Ahead of the launch of AMD’s Kaveri processor series, GIGABYTE has announced its A88X motherboard lineup, featuring seven models. Of these, the two that stand out are the F2A88X-UP4 and G1.Sniper A88X – the latter of which is targeted at gamers.
The G1.Sniper A88X:
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X
Audio is a major focus with this board. Its first unique feature is “USB DAC-UP”, a dedicated gold-plated USB 2.0 port that drives itself from a separate power source as the others. The goal here is to allow those with USB digital-to-analog converters to use this special port to avoid potential power fluctuations, reducing noise and increasing reliability. It’s interesting that GIGABYTE chose this particular board to feature this option on, but it does show that the company realizes that gamers do value their audio (which would further be proven if they actually owned a DAC).
Further improving the audio capabilities on the G1.Sniper A88X is “Gain Boost”, a combination of toggles on the board and a user-replaceable OPAMP. With the toggles, you can increase the gain by 2.5x or 6x, useful if your headphones happen to have a higher impedance. It’s a little unfortunate that this feature is not software-driven, however, as it could be. As for the OPAMP, if you happen to prefer your own, you’ll have the option to go that route.
Other audio-specific features include the use of Nichicon MUSE ES capacitors, gold-plated hardware and “Audio Noise Guard”, yet another feature that reduces power noise, this time to the onboard Realtek ALC898 audio card.
Specific features on GIGABYTE’s other A88X boards are not discussed, so we’ll have to wait until their launch for that (a release date is yet another piece of information not revealed). GIGABYTE’s entire A88X lineup is as follows:
GIGABYTE A88X Lineup
We’ll be sure to take a look at one of these boards with our Kaveri coverage.