Anyone who seriously listens to music from their PC buys a decent discreet audio card
Gigabyte Technology, one of the world’s largest makers of mainboards, has introduced its new G1.Sniper Z87 mainboard that combines rich overclocking functionality with Creative Technology Sound Core3D audio processor as well as features aimed at gamers, such as Killer E2200 networking processor.
“The new G1.Sniper Z87 has PC gaming built-in to its DNA, an utterly compelling choice for any high performance PC built with fragging in mind,” said Henry Kao, vice president of Gigabyte motherboard business unit.
Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 mainboard is designed for Intel Core i-series “Haswell” microprocessors in LGA1150 packaging. The motherboard features four DDR3 memory slots, two PCI Express x16 slots, six Serial ATA-6Gb/s ports, advanced power supply circuitry and son on.
First Mainboard with Creative Sound Core3D
The G1.Sniper Z87 features a dedicated Sound Core3D audio processor from Creative, a multi-core sound and voice processor offering high-performance hardware audio processing, with leading-edge audio technologies including the latest SoundBlaster software suite.
Sound Core3D is Creative’s first sound and voice processor to integrate an array of high-performance digital signal processor (DSP) cores and a high-quality HD audio codec on one chip. Sound Core3D incorporates Creative’s Quartet DSP with four independent processor cores, 6-channel 24-bit 102dB digital-to-analog converters, 4-channel 24-bits 101dB analog-to-digital converters, integrated headphone amplifier-out, digital microphone interface, S/PDIF inputs and outputs and general purpose inputs and outputs (GPIO) all in a compact 56-pin QFP package. Sound Core3D has been certified for Dolby Digital decode, which is available on a product-by-product basis depending upon specific customer implementation of the chip.
The Sound Core3D processors power DSP algorithms to drive CrystalVoice processing, THX TruStudio Pro playback enhancement and an additional advanced audio toolbox of algorithms. CrystalVoice features technologies that are specially designed to deliver crystal clear vocal fidelity in video conferencing, multiplayer games and online chats.
Upgradeable Operational Amplifier
Gigabyte motherboards are the world’s first to feature an upgradable onboard operational amplifier (OP-Amp). OP-Amps are commonly found in high-end audio equipment and offer not only amplification of the audio signal, but a superior audio experience generally. The motherboard’s OP-Amp is mounted on a socket which allows users to physically switch out and try different OP-Amps which offer distinct and nuanced properties that make the audio clearer, punchier and more life-like. Additional OP-Amps can be purchased separately to further expand audio capabilities.
Featuring a gold plated USB 2.0 port, Gigabyte USB DAC-UP provides clean, noise-free power delivery to any digital-to-analog converter (DAC). DACs can be sensitive to fluctuations in power from other USB ports; this is why Gigabyte USB DAC-UP takes advantage of an isolated power source that minimizes potential fluctuations, ensuring the best audio experience possible.
To optimize the audio experience provided by the onboard OP-Amp, the G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard also features Gain Boost with onboard switches to select between 2.5x and 6x amplification modes depending on output device. Most OP-Amps are capable of providing a high-gain audio output that is ideal for high-end headphones and speakers that have higher impedance headroom.
To help protect and insulate the Creative Sound Core3D audio processor and onboard amplifiers from electromagnetic interference (EMI), the Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard features an audio noise guard that essentially separates the board’s sensitive analog audio components from potential EMI noise at the PCB level. LED trace path lighting illuminates to show the separation of the PCB layers.
The Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard uses the highest quality Nichicon Muse ES series bipolar audio capacitors at each channel layout. These professional audio capacitors deliver the highest quality sound resolution and expansion to create a true Hi-Fi audio experience.
The Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard uses top quality gold plated hardware for improved connectivity and long lasting durability for the USB DAC-UP port, DisplayPort and HMDI ports and audio connectors. Gold has superb signal conductivity and will not tarnish over extended periods of use. The Sound Core3D audio processor is also shielded by a gold-plated cover which eliminates electrostatic interference.