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!
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|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4770K – Quad-Core, 3.50GHz|
|Motherboard||ASUS Z87-EXPERT (BIOS: ’1206′ 07/19/2013)|
GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 (BIOS: ‘F7′ 08/05/2013)
GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H (BIOS: ‘F7′ 08/05/2013)
|Memory||Kingston HyperX Beast 2x8GB – DDR3-2133 11-12-11-31 @ 1.65v|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (GeForce 326.41 Driver)|
|Storage||Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair HX850W|
|Chassis||Corsair Obsidian 700D Full-Tower|
|Cooling||Noctua NH-U14S Air Cooler|
|Et cetera||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
Let’s get on with it!
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT||100.0 MHz|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||100.0 MHz|
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H||100.0 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 Scores||Home||Work||Creative|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||5605||5423||4480|
|3DMark (2013)||Fire Storm||Cloud Gate||Ice Storm|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||4700||20083||143964|
Things are looking good, so far.
To properly give the internal SATA 6Gbps a good workout, we turn to HD Tune and CrystalDiskMark.
|HD Tune Pro 5||Minimum||Average||Maximum||Latency|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||299.3||407.6||437.2||0.059ms|
|CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2||Read Seq.||Read 4K||Write Seq.||Write 4K|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||501.0||38.44||311.0||126.5|
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 5.0||Result|
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT||255 s|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||244 s|
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H||255 s|
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT||3754 s|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||3644 s|
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H||3656 s|
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2011||Result|
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT||1082 s|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||1108 s|
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H||1077 s|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||80.47||8.14|
The G1 board continues churning out good results.
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 SP3a||Integer||Float||Mem Latency|
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT||27.447 GB/s||27.660 GB/s||22.2 ns|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||27.441 GB/s||27.567 GB/s||21.9 ns|
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H||27.491 GB/s||27.556 GB/s||22.0 ns|
|Sandra 2013 SP3a||Arithmetic (Agg.)||Multi-media (Agg.)|
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT||111 GOPS||400 MPix/s|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5||112 GOPS||400 MPix/s|
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H||112 GOPS||400 MPix/s|
|Ethernet (iperf)||50 Jobs (64KB)||50 Jobs (1518KB)|
|ASUS Z87-EXPERT (Intel I217V)||938||942|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 (Intel I217V)||936||937|
|GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 (Intel I217V)||936||941|
All checks out here – time to move onto our final thoughts.