Today we get to take a quick look at the Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 - Gigabyte's top offering when it comes to gaming motherboards. It's the natural successor of the G1.Sniper 3, and as such it has some pretty big shoes to fill. Last generation's Sniper left us seriously impressed, so it will be interesting to see how the new board stacks up.
As is normal for Gigabyte's Sniper range, the motherboard sports a rarely seen colour scheme. The now classic green and black is one of the least used these days, but we must say that it's been growing on us steadily through the years. It is perhaps its scarcity among the other boards which causes people to seek it out - its exclusivity drawing in customers who want the best.
Let's all have a butchers through some juicy photos of the motherboard before we get to the video.
A similar sight to what we've seen before with past Sniper boards.
An extremely good looking set of heatsinks surround the CPU socket.
You see that there orange skull and dagger? That lights up green when the power's on. We like it, we like it a lot.
The upgradable Op-Amp is on show to the left of the image, whilst you can see the Audio Noise Guard protecting the sensitive circuitry from any interference.
From what we've seen of the Sniper it looks as if it's going to be a cracking motherboard. It's using the existing foundation from the past Sniper iterations and then adds new features to finish off an already fantastic platform.
The heatsinks that used to look like magazines and barrels from a rifle are now gone, replaced with sleek numbers that, in our opinion, are a big improvement.
Taking a look at the CPU area we can see that Gigabyte are putting quite a bit of effort into keeping the VRMs cool. Not only is there a set of chunky heatsinks, but there's also two watercooling barbs sticking out of either end, showing that this board is meant to get itself wet. Plus, if the inbuilt watercooling just wasn't enough for you, there's also a small fan to supply airflow to the area. Suffice to say that the VRMs and other power circuitry is going to be keeping mighty cool!
Taking a bird's-eye view at the PCIe lanes we can see that they're electronically wired for 16x, 8x, 16x, and 8x for the full sized lanes, along with three 1x slots. We're not sure as to how this will turn out when laden with video cards as PCIe lane support is still under NDA, but we have a feeling Gigabyte are hiding a PLX chip on the board as it seems to be set out for a multi-graphics card setup.
We can also see that this board comes with 10 SATA ports, which should be enough for just about anyone when it comes to storage.
The new emphasis on audio reproduction is apparent on this board, with a section of the main PCB dedicated to audio circuitry and components. The DIY upgradable Op-Amp can be seen towards the bottom right of the board, just above the pair of top quality golden capacitors. The Op-Amp options are there for those of you who know preceisely what you want, and want nothing more but the best audio solution for you. You can also clearly see the Audio Noise Guard which separates the delicate components from the electrical interference from the rest of the board, which might otherwise infringe on how well sounds are produced.
All in all we look at this as a win for Gigabyte, as their new gaming star looks fantastic. We look forward to testing this board further in the future, but for now it's goodbye.
A big thanks to Gigabyte for sending us this board for our hands-on preview. Discuss this topic further in the OC3D Forums.