Published: 9th December 2013 | Source:Gigabyte | Price:£116 | Author: Tom Logan
Since the Z77 chipset, Intel have absolutely got the formula nailed down. We've often mentioned how, within reason, you can buy any Z87 motherboard and find yourself with a good performing option that overclocks well.
Gigabyte released the G1.Killer series, and the Sniper variant in particular, a while ago and it was always a high-end option that has, over recent times, gradually reduced in cost without losing a lot of features.
Today's review of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 takes both of these standpoints and tests them to the very breaking point. At a barely believable £116 the Sniper sees just how far you can lower the price of a motherboard and still consider it worthy of something as inspirational as the G1.Killer series, and also how little can you pay for a Z87 motherboard and still have plenty of performance available.
Is it a bridge too far, or is it such insanely good value that every other manufacturer has to take a long hard look at their pricing policy?
Specifications follow the regulation Z87 arrangement of USB3.0 ports, SATA 6Gb/s offerings and PCI Express lanes. The Sniper Z87 does give us the first, in memory, motherboard that comes with the SoundBlaster Recon3D soundchip rather than a RealTek or TI offering.
Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
Intel® Z87 Express Chipset
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode. (The PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
2 x PCI slots
Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFire™/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5)
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
7 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (3 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
3 x system fan headers
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x serial port header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x BIOS switches
2 x audio gain control switches
Back Panel Connectors
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI port
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x RJ-45 port
5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone/Speaker Out)
iTE® I/O Controller Chip
System voltage detection
CPU/System temperature detection
CPU/System fan speed detection
CPU/System overheating warning
CPU/System fan fail warning
CPU/System fan speed control
2 x 64 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for APP Center @BIOS EasyTune EZ Setup USB Blocker Smart TimeLock Smart Recovery 2
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