Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Gigabyte G1 Sniper B5

I don’t usually do Motherboard reviews, because usually they’re all the same really. A few extra SATA ports here and there, a colour scheme and some fancy marketing hype. Obviously the more you pay for an item the better the performance will be, but sometimes you got to ask yourself how much power do you need?
The G1 Sniper B5 is a 4th Generation 1150 Micro ATX form factor motherboard.
Let’s take a look at what we have to play with on the board!
 Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
·         Intel® B85 Express Chipset
·         4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
·         1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160
·          Realtek® ALC898 codec
·         High Definition Audio
·         2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
·         Support for S/PDIF In
·         Support for S/PDIF Out
·         Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
·         1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
(The PCI Express x16 slot conforms to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
·         1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
·         2 x PCI Express x1 slots
(The PCIEX4 and PCIEX1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
·         2 x PCI slots
·         4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~SATA3 3)
·         2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 4~SATA2 5)
·         Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB headers)
·         Up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 2 x SATA 3Gb/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 S/PDIF Out header
  • 1 x S/PDIF In header
  • 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 1 x serial port header
  • 1 x parallel port header
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
So all in all, it’s a pretty feature packed board in a micro form factor.
Having said all that though, it’s not why I’m writing this review. You’ve probably already made up your mind on whether a motherboard like this will suit your next PC needs. What this motherboard has that a lot of others lack is decent Audio. Now it does come with your stock standard Realtek audio chip, but it what it has as an extra is a little something called Gigabyte Amp-Up Audio (which is basically your pre-amps).

Now, I was less than optimistic about how it would sound, after all, on board audio is horrible, regardless of your motherboard. These little pre-amps however help boost up that audio to a level where even audio enthusiasts wouldn’t mind if they had absolute no other choice.

Compared to other on board audio I’ve tried, this is probably the best that I’ve ever heard for something that comes with the motherboard. How does it fair against a $200 dedicated sound card? Well, not as well, as it shouldn’t. After all, the price of a soundcard itself is higher than the whole motherboard, but what it does do is offer those who want ‘good’ audio without the need of buying extra hardware, a real good option to consider. With the availability of many pre-amp options out there to suit your listening preferences, those who want to tweak it a bit have that option to do so.
For its price, it will be hard for you not to consider the G1 Sniper B5 as your next upgrade. It looks good, has awesome green LED’s running down the side and offers superior audio than other motherboards with on board audio.

By Sahin Selvi
The opinions in this article are presented by Centre Com and do not truly represent those of the author (Sahin Selvi). The benchmark results may differ from user to user depending on what background software you are running and versions of benchmark software. These results aren’t portrayed to be seen as exact performance figures but merely as a rough estimate on the performance of the machine. These results are in no way bias to any company or person and are here to provide the end user in depth details and to provide extra assistance of potential purchases. All information on this page is subject to copyright. Please do not copy any parts of this article.