Articles: Mainboards

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There are no ideal mainboards, so the question is whether the particular model’s highs outweigh its lows. Gigabyte’s G1.Sniper 5 has few downsides and most of them are not serious. Like other Gigabyte mainboards, it doesn’t report any POST procedure data when starting up, but that's hardly a problem. Its idle power draw is rather high, which is typical of LGA1150 mainboards from any brand. The Live Update and EasyTune utilities have awful user interfaces, but we hope that their developers will do something about that eventually. That's in fact all the downsides we can find about this mainboard.

As for the advantages, they are too numerous to be listed in a single paragraph. To mention but a few, the G1.Sniper 5 offers a lot of USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbit/s ports, an increased number of PCIe lanes, a discrete Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card, and two integrated network adapters (one of which is based on Intel's newest Gigabit Ethernet controller and another supports bandwidth prioritization thanks to the Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 chip). The mainboard carries a POST code indicator, nine fan connectors (two for CPU fans), Power/Reset/Clear CMOS buttons and two BIOS chips with two BIOS switches. It has a customizable UEFI DualBIOS that can be used with the classic BIOS interface. Its audio subsystem is based on a 4-channel audio processor Creative Sound Core3D and allows you to replace its opamps for sound customization. Featuring premium capacitors, a headphone amplifier, gold-plated connectors and EMI insulation, it ensures high sound quality.

The mainboard also features Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 5 Plus technologies, heatsinks with an additional fan and support for liquid cooling systems, voltage check points, and handy latches of graphics and memory slots.

Gigabyte’s LGA1150 mainboards are overall a very good series of products as they have no problems at their default settings and let you easily overclock CPUs. You should consider them if you plan to switch to a Haswell processor. The G1.Sniper 5 is a special product, though. Its PLX PEX 8747 switch ensures speed benefits for multi-GPU configurations but at the expense of increased power consumption. Obviously, it wouldn't be rational to use this mainboard with only one graphics card. You should also note that it is E-ATX, being 2 cm wider than ATX mainboards, which may make a difference for certain computer cases.

Being as good as other LGA1150 mainboards from Gigabyte, the G1.Sniper 5 offers huge functionality. It is quite expensive but you know what you pay for. If you can fully use all of its features, it won't disappoint you.

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