GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 Motherboard Review

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 Motherboard Angled
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by Rob Williams on December 2, 2013 in Motherboards

Gamers with deep pockets who appreciate motherboards packed to the gills with features, features, and more features ought to have a look at GIGABYTE’s G1.Sniper 5. Its black and green aesthetics are eye-catching, sure, but its feature-set would surely make its rivals green with envy. Read on to find out what we think of the G1.Sniper 5!

Performance Testing

From a performance perspective, we feel that motherboard benchmarking is useless. It’s the motherboard’s job to allow all of the installed hardware to operate at its full potential, so in theory, a $100 option shouldn’t be much (or any) slower than a $300 one. The differences in price instead comes down to the quality of the onboard components and other features.

So why do it at all? It’s because it’s important to make sure that the board we’re dealing with doesn’t lack in one particular area versus the rest. If board A performs 2% slower than board B in PCMark, for example, that’s of no concern to us – random benchmark variance is a fact of life. However, if one board consistently performs weaker than the rest, that’s worthy of note – it could suggest that weaker components have been used which do not allow the hardware to operate at its full potential.

Please bear this in mind when perusing our results. Just because a board under-performs in a single test, it doesn’t mean anything in regards to its quality as a whole. Our ultimate goal here is to make sure that each board we test performs as we’d expect across the gamut of scenarios we pit them against.

Because some motherboards auto-OC the CPU when certain options are chosen (XMP, for example), we force the Turbo ratios for our Core i7-4770K to reference settings: 39x/39x/38x/37x (1/2/3/4 cores).

 Intel LGA1150 Test System
ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K – Quad-Core, 3.50GHz
MotherboardASUS Z87-EXPERT (BIOS: ’1206′ 07/19/2013)
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 (BIOS: ‘F7′ 08/05/2013)
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H (BIOS: ‘F7′ 08/05/2013)
MemoryKingston HyperX Beast 2x8GB – DDR3-2133 11-12-11-31 @ 1.65v
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (GeForce 326.41 Driver)
AudioOnboard
StorageKingston HyperX 240GB SSD
Power SupplyCorsair HX850W
ChassisCorsair Obsidian 700D Full-Tower
CoolingNoctua NH-U14S Air Cooler
Et ceteraWindows 7 Professional 64-bit

Let’s get on with it!

BCLK ValuesResult
ASUS Z87-EXPERT100.0 MHz
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5100.0 MHz
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H100.0 MHz

The BCLK matchup is as perfectly even as it could get.

General System Performance

To take a look at the “overall” performance of our PC configuration, we rely on dual Futuremark suites: PCMark 8 and 3DMark (2013).

PCMark 8 Suite ScoresHomeWorkCreative
ASUS Z87-EXPERT552553864333
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5560554234480
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H538954034341
Higher results are better.
3DMark (2013)Fire StormCloud GateIce Storm
ASUS Z87-EXPERT472319834139827
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5470020083143964
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H439119747137622
3DMark results in points; higher is better.

Things are looking good, so far.

I/O Performance

To properly give the internal SATA 6Gbps a good workout, we turn to HD Tune and CrystalDiskMark.

HD Tune Pro 5MinimumAverageMaximumLatency
ASUS Z87-EXPERT308.5465.2438.10.038ms
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5299.3407.6437.20.059ms
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H183.5363.3294.70.070ms
Min/Avg/Max results in MB/s; higher is better. Latency results in ms; lower is better.
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2Read Seq.Read 4KWrite Seq.Write 4K
ASUS Z87-EXPERT514.341.83317.5160.2
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5501.038.44311.0126.5
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H506.830.92314.258.66
All results in MB/s.

As we discovered in our look at GIGABYTE’s UD3H board, its I/O performance was quite lacking – for what reason, we’re not sure. There’s no such issue with the G1.Sniper 5, however.

Rendering & Image Manipulation

Writing files to disk or reading a website doesn’t do much to exercise our CPU, so for that, we turn to a few common scenarios – image editing, video rendering and 3D rendering – using a combination of Adobe, CyberLink and Autodesk products.

Adobe Lightroom 5.0Result
ASUS Z87-EXPERT255 s
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5244 s
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H255 s
Results in seconds; lower is better.
CyberLink MediaEspressoResult
ASUS Z87-EXPERT3754 s
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 53644 s
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H3656 s
Results in seconds; lower is better.
Autodesk 3ds Max 2011Result
ASUS Z87-EXPERT1082 s
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 51108 s
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H1077 s
Results in seconds; lower is better.
Cinebench R11.5OpenGLCPU
ASUS Z87-EXPERT80.038.14
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 580.478.14
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H82.088.16
Higher results are better.

The G1 board continues churning out good results.

Sub-system Performance

For memory and CPU testing, we utilize SiSoftware’s Sandra 2013 (SP3a), and for Ethernet testing, we use iperf (or more appropriately, the Java-based jperf which utilizes it).

Sandra 2013 SP3aIntegerFloatMem Latency
ASUS Z87-EXPERT27.447 GB/s27.660 GB/s22.2 ns
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 527.441 GB/s27.567 GB/s21.9 ns
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H27.491 GB/s27.556 GB/s22.0 ns
Int/Float/Cache results in GB/s; higher is better. Latency results in ns; lower is better.
Sandra 2013 SP3aArithmetic (Agg.)Multi-media (Agg.)
ASUS Z87-EXPERT111 GOPS400 MPix/s
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5112 GOPS400 MPix/s
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H112 GOPS400 MPix/s
Higher is better.
Ethernet (iperf)50 Jobs (64KB)50 Jobs (1518KB)
ASUS Z87-EXPERT (Intel I217V)938942
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 (Intel I217V)936937
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 (Intel I217V)936941
Results in Mbps; higher is better.

All checks out here – time to move onto our final thoughts.