Gigabyte Z87 Haswell Motherboard Round-Up

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The latest in Gigabyte’s Sniper series of gaming motherboards is the G1.Sniper 5, which features the same familiar neon green and black color scheme. The banana clip-looking cover on the southbridge is gone, replaced by a more subdued design that’s accented by a tiny gold skull. Around the CPU socket is an active heatsink, and it’s designed to be ready for a liquid cooling system if you so desire. You can also load it up with fans aplenty, as there are nine fan headers on the PCB.

Like the Z87X-UD4H, the G1.Sniper 5’s four DIMM slots support up to 32GB of DDR3-3000(OC) RAM. The IGP supports two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, and the expansion slots can handle up to 4-way SLI or CrossFire for monster GPU setups. There are two PCIe x16 slots at x16 (even with a dual-GPU setup), two PCIe x16 slots at x8 each, and three PCIe x1 slots.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5
Specifications & Features
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Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron processors in the LGA1150 package

Intel Z87 Express Chipset

4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture, support for non-ECC memory modules and XMP
Support for DDR3 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) /
2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) /
1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz memory modules

2 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 3840x2160
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB

Creative Sound Core 3D chip
Support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di
High Definition Audio
2/5.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
1 x Intel GbE LAN phy (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
* Teaming is not supported.

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band
Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire/NVIDIA SLI technology

Chipset:
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Marvell 88SE9230 chip:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10

Chipset:
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)
Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Chipset + 2 Renesas uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs:
Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports

E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm

As low as $389 currently

The Z87 chipset gives you six SATA 6Gbps ports (supporting RAID 0/1/5/10), while the Marvell chip offers up another four (RAID 0/1/10). For USB support, you get up to two USB 3.0 ports and six USB 2.0 ports from the chipset and eight more USB 3.0 ports from a Renesas chip.

The rear I/O panel sports a PS/2 port, a pair of HDMI ports, DisplayPort, both a coax and an optical S/PDIF, six USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two LAN ports, and five audio jacks.


Note that although there are two LAN ports--one a Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 chip and one Intel GbE LAN--teaming is not supported. However, it does come with a wireless card that offers dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, and 2.1+EDR.

  

One of the G1.Sniper 5’s most notable features is AMP-UP Audio. Basically, for gamers or audiophiles with specific tastes in sound chips, Gigabyte made this board so that you can actually remove the OP-AMP with the included tweezer-like tool and swap in a different one. You can buy them in a number of places, and with this feature you can easily pop a new one onto the PCB.


  
The G1.Sniper 5 has the same onboard button configuration as the Z87X-UD4H: power, reset, clear CMOS, BIOS switch, and SB switch, with voltage measurement points.

  

In the box you’ll find a pile of goodies including one additional OP-AMP chip, the IC extractor tool, wireless module, 3.5-inch front panel with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a CrossFire connector and several SLI connectors as well as the usual manual, driver disc, quick installation guide, six SATA cables, and the I/O shield.

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I was initially going to get the sniper board for my haswell build but I couldn't see spending $400 on a motherboard. I settled for a nice asrock z87 extreme ac

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I love the Gigabyte mobos.

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I bought the Z87X-UD4H along with a 4770 at a great combo price 2 months ago. I have been running rock solid at 4.4Ghz without even trying hard. I may try to push it a bit more at some point but for now I am very happy with this boards performance and great bang for the buck.

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