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Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Z87 Motherboard Review

Author: AkG
Date: January 5, 2014
Product Name: G1.Sniper 5
Part Number: G1.Sniper 5
Warranty: 3 Years
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Gigabyte’s Sniper series has received its fair share of press over the years and in many ways it epitomizes the PC gaming crowd's needs With its instantly recognizable black and green colour scheme and gaming inspired embellishments (like ammo-shaped heatsinks) these boards have quickly gained the attention and admiration of gamers. The latest is the G1.Sniper 5, an enthusiast level LGA1150 Z87 board destined for the already-cluttered Haswell market.

While the military inspired design may be one of the more in-your-face aspects of the G1.Sniper lineup, there’s more to these motherboards than what first meets the eye. Every one of them boasts a wide variety of interesting features and aspects that have been cleverly designed for overclockers and everyday gamers alike.

GIGABYTE received their fair share of critique about the original Sniper’s design with seemed to only appeal to a very narrow segment of gamers who wanted the “meanest” looking motherboard at the nearest LAN party. This newest iteration tones things down by a fair bit by removing some of the more controversial add-ons and replacing them with more a tasteful, neutral design.

Some may not like this new direction but the G1.Sniper series was never really about its looks; rather, the features these boards offered was above reproach. In this regard,the Sniper 5 has all the usual features such as high end audio abilities, wireless abilities, dual networking ports, ten SATA ports, dual front USB 3.0 header and even a 16 phase all-digital VRM. Unlike most ‘gaming’ orientated motherboards GIGABYTE has gone well beyond the call of duty by including Intel and Killer NIC options alongside a high end Core 3D audio chipset with an op-amp socket and even boosted the number of SATA 6Gb/s ports to ten via a discrete Marvell controller.

In order to take advantage of the advanced PWN design, GIGABYTE has implemented a user friendly BIOS as well as software features that will take the hassle out of overclocking and let gamers quickly get optimal performance from their new system. This has been approached via two distinct BIOS setups called Classic and Dashboard with the latter being almost completely customizable.

While GIGABYTE’s G1.Sniper 5 may be have a long list of features, it certainly isn’t targeted towards the mainstream. Indeed, with a price of nearly $400, this happens to be one of the most expensive Haswell-based motherboards available. It competes directly against luminaries like ASUS’ Z87 Deluxe, EVGA’s Classified and MSI’s awesome MPower MAX. Will an extremely complete list of features allow the Sniper 5 to pull away from these well-regarded alternatives? Let’s find out.

 
 
 

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