Test Setup, Test Results, and Conclusion
The Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5 may impress potential buyers because of its features, in spite of its quite limiting mATX form factor. However, at the end of the day, motherboards are also evaluated based on actual performance. The G1.Sniper M5 is not the first board that we tested that utilizes the Intel Z87 Express chipset. As a matter of fact, we had met and previously wrote about the ASUS Z87-DELUXE, MSI Z87 XPOWER, and the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-OC in the pages of HWM Philippines. Hence, for this review, we compared the scores of the G1.Sniper M5 to those of the three motherboards that were mentioned.
The three boards were tested using the setup below. We also used the same setup in grilling the G1.Sniper M5.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K (3.5GHz)
Memory: 2x 4GB Kingston HyperX Beast 1833MHz
Graphics Card: Gainward GeForce GTX 670 Phantom
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 1TB
PSU: ACBel 1000W
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
Futuremark PCMark 7
The first test that we ran was Futuremark’s PCMark 7 which has been a standard in testing a variety of computing platforms. PCMark 7 attempts to simulate common PC usage scenarios by incorporating subtests, each of which has an equivalent score. There is also an overall score that summarizes the general performance of the system in all subtests.
In PCMark 7, the overall score of the G1.Sniper M5 is certainly favorable, putting the mATX in the same league as its larger rivals. It even managed to do better than the GA-Z87X-OC and stay close behind the Z87-DELUXE, although the numerical differences are obviously very minimal.
Moving forward to the subtest scores, the G1.Sniper M5 remained consistent in outperforming the GA-Z87X-OC, particularly in Computation, Creativity, and Entertainment. Note that as a gaming motherboard, the G1.Sniper M5 should be able to maximize the performance of a graphics card, which is essential in gaming. Since Creativity and Entertainment involve simulations of image editing and gaming which are activities that require excellent graphics performance, in these areas are where the G1.Sniper M5 excelled.
In the three remaining subtests of PCMark 7, the GA-Z87X-OC noticeably took the lead in Lightweight, Productivity, and Storage. Although the G1.Sniper M5 was surpassed in these subtests, the scores should bear no significant impact on the actual performance of the board. Additionally, notice that the MSI Z87 XPOWER consistently landed the last place in all tests of PCMark 7.
Cinebench 11.5 main focuses on two key PC performance elements: CPU and OpenGL. The second test is about hardware-accelerated rendering based on the GPU. In general, the G1.Sniper M5 did well in Cinebench 11.5’s subtests.
Futuremark 3DMark 2013 and Dirt 3
To further evaluate the potential of the G1.Sniper M5 in gaming, 3DMark 2013 and Dirt 3’s benchmark application were used. In these two tests are where the G1.Sniper M5 really manifested its strength as a gaming platform. The G1.Sniper M5 consistently took the lead. MSI’s Z87 XPOWER, however, ended with the lowest numerical figures.
In spite of lacking flashy features like bullet-studded and gun-inspired heatsinks, the G1.Sniper M5 remains a true-blooded G1-Killer motherboard from Gigabyte. It keeps the black-and-green color scheme which we can easily associate with the G1-Killer branding. It is one of the smallest members of the pack, being based on the mATX form factor, but is packed with several relevant features. Audio enthusiasts may also find its advanced audio features useful, but we deem that these should not significantly increase the price of the G1.Sniper M5.
We are satisfied with the scores of the G1.Sniper M5 in the series of tests that we did. Looking at the raw scores, it is in the same league as the more expensive and larger Z87-based motherboards such as the ASUS Z87-DELUXE (PhP 16,790) and the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-OC (PhP 11,000). It even outshone the XL-ATX-size and much more expensive MSI Z87 XPOWER (PhP 24,950). Proving itself as a credible gaming motherboard, it yielded the highest numbers in 3DMark 2013 and Dirt 3’s benchmark application.