Introduction and Features
Update: Go to Page 2 to view the test results and the conclusion.
Gigabyte initially introduced the G1.Sniper M5 at Computex last year, along with the company’s refreshed portfolio of computing solutions such as motherboards and graphics cards. Carrying the “G1” prefix, the G1.Sniper M5 is positioned by Gigabyte as a motherboard for gaming rigs. Some of the G1-Killer series motherboards that previously appeared on our website include the G1.Assassin, G1.Assassin 2, G1.Sniper 2, G1.Sniper 3, and the G1.Sniper Z87. Gigabyte differentiates the G1-Killer series from its other motherboard lines as well as competitors by using a black-and-green color scheme. Such a color scheme, along with heatsinks inspired by military elements like bullets, magazines, and skulls, put emphasis on the “fierce” nature of the G1-Killer motherboards.
Upon receiving the package of the G1.Sniper M5, we instantly noticed that it is smaller than those of the G1.Assassin, G1.Assassin 2, G1.Sniper 2, and the G1.Sniper 3. Unlike these motherboards, the G1.Sniper M5 complies with the micro ATX (mATX) form factor with a printed circuit board (PCB) measuring 244 x 244mm. The board’s small profile makes it an appropriate platform for consumers who are planning to build a minimalist gaming machine. One reminder, however, is that its mATX form factor means that it has less expansion slots than its full ATX comrades. Nevertheless, do not get us wrong: we deem that the G1.Sniper M5’s set of features is enough to make PC gamers satisfied.
Unboxing the G1.Sniper M5, we were welcomed by its standard set of accessories. The package includes a user’s manual, backplate, four SATA cables, and an SLI bridge. Although the board can also support AMD CrossFire, we did not see a bundled adapter for the said feature. Apart from the accessories that were mentioned, one thing that also captured our attention was the AMP-UP Audio kit which consists of a nuanced operational amplifier (OP-AMP) and an IC extractor. The kit allows users to swap out the G1.Sniper M5’s onboard OP-AMP and use the supplied or any other nuanced OP-AMPs available in the market. The bundled OP-AMP is an LM4562NA chip from Texas Instruments.
Looking at the entire motherboard layout, the G1.Sniper M5 is more modest compared with some of its G1.Killer siblings. Nevertheless, it maintains the black-and-green color scheme and has a heatsink embossed with a skull carrying a military knife, manifestations that the G1.Sniper M5 is still a true-blooded G1.Killer motherboard. Sporting an mATX form factor, the board is limited to having four expansion slots, consisting of two PCIe x16 3.0 for supporting a 2-way multi-GPU setup, PCIe x8, and a PCIe x1 slot. Note that the G1.Sniper M5 uses an LGA1150 socket.
The G1.Sniper M5 comes with a set of four DIMM sockets that can support up to 32GB system memory and 3000MHz memory clock (overclocked). Adjacent to the DIMM sockets are the debug LED, onboard power button, clear CMOS and reset switches, two BIOS switches, and voltage measurement points. These components are helpful, particularly for PC enthusiasts who are into overclocking and, when the time comes, troubleshooting. On the storage front, the G1.Sniper M5 has six SATA 6Gbps connectors. The board can support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 configurations.
Inspecting the set of rear connectors of the G1.Sniper M5, we immediately noticed the board’s abundance in terms of video outputs. It does not have the legacy VGA connector, but it has a DVI-I, DisplayPort 1.2, and two HDMI 1.4a connectors. All of these are meant to support onboard graphics to be provided by an Intel processor. Like the audio connectors, notice that the DisplayPort and HDMI connectors are gold-plated for enhanced signal conductivity and elimination of electrostatic interference. The Gigabit Ethernet of the G1.Sniper M5 looks ordinary, but it is actually linked to a Killer E2200 chip from Qualcomm Atheros. This chip utilizes Advanced Stream Detect technology which is useful in bandwidth prioritization. The board also comes with two black-colored USB 2.0 connectors and four blue-colored USB 3.0 terminals.
In addition to the AMP-UP kit, Gigabyte extends the support for audio enhancement with the integration of a Creative Sound Core 3D audio processor, Nichicon high-end audio capacitors, headphone amplifier, and gold-plated audio connectors. These components are embedded to help in achieving detailed audio quality, less distortion, less interference, and realistic sound effects, which are as essential as having excellent graphics quality when gaming.