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Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87: gaming motherboard with high-quality sound

11.12.2013, Jan Vítek, recenze
Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87: gaming motherboard with high-quality sound
Hot news in the offer of motherboards by Gigabyte is G1.Sniper Z87, whose name indicates that it is for gamers. Nevertheless, this board provide us high-quality sound with the possibility of replacement of operating amplifiers and other advantages.
In its motherboards, Gigabyte usually boasts with the Ultra Durable technologies, but the Ultra Durable 4 Plus used here is a little put back. It promises high-quality MOSFETs (Lower RDS(on)), which will ensure enough power for processor and will not overheat, which is characterized by the marks Ultra Cool, Ultra Performance and Ultra Safe, which conceals 2 BIOSes of the system Gigabyte UEFI DualBIOS.

We will better have a look at other features of this motherboard which does not offer the best components concealed under Ultra Durable or the widest accessories. This motherboard tries to impress us by something else - high-quality sound and game network card, among other.

Network operation

Let us first have a look at the network solution Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 with Advanced Stream Detect technology, which is the motherboard's main trump. It serves for identification of network operation and its prioritizing, that is, the highest priority is given to packets during network gaming, where response has the highest priority, followed by video communication. The second priority group includes video and audio streaming, and downloading of data and other operations have the lowest priority. In this case we can use the function Visual Bandwidth Control, which enables us to monitor how various applications use the network, and if any one of them is so demanding that it is blocking the others, we can put it down.

- three priorities of network operation -

On the way to better sound

Creative Sound Core 3D is an audio processor that we can find under the golden cover next to the slots. It promises high audio processing power and technologies hidden under the brand Sound Blaster. It includes Sound Blaster SBX Pro Studio Crystalizer for sound enhancement by details or Sound Blaster SBX Pro Studio Surround, ensuring surround sound, where we are to be able to distinguish not only the direction from where the sound is coming but also the distance from the sound source. All this can, naturally, be set and adjusted by means of the supplied software.

- replaceable operating amplifier -

At the end of the previous chapter we have mentioned the replaceable operating amplifier Burr-Brown OPA2134PA, which we can replace by other chips. Gigabyte offers these chips here as part of its three-component kit, but we can also get them separately according to their designation. The impact of use of the AMP-UP chip is shown in the following video, comparing the quality of sound reproduction with the function switched on and off and showing the procedure for replacing the chip with another one.

However, this is not all to the issue of sound. We also have here the function Gain Boost to increase the gain 6x or 2.5x, so that we can use the audio output even for earphones with high impedance. The task of the capacitors Nichicon and gold-coated audio outputs is to contribute to better sound, but we will stop at the function USB DAC-Up. It is related to the single gold-coated USB 2.0 port at the rear I/O panel of the motherboard.

- USB port reserved for external DAC -

Gigabyte states that this port will be most suitable for connecting of external DAC, whose power supply will feature very low interference without distortions owing to the special isolated power source of this connector. Generally low level of interference is promised also by the onboard audio card, owing to the Audio Noise Guard separating the analogue audio circuits on the board from the digital circuits, which is highlighted on the board itself by the path of LEDs right next to the capacitors, which will glow green upon switching the computer on. You can see it on the photo of the bottom part of the motherboard in the previous chapter.

Protection of USB and RJ45 ports

The technologies of Ultra Durable 4 also take care of protection of the USB and RJ45 ports against electrostatic discharge, and each USB port is allegedly protected by an own fuse. According to the producer, there is no risk that a blown fuse in the case of problems with one port would lead to other ports blowing as well. And finally, what is not missing is the function On/Off Charge, which enables charging a mobile phone from a USB port even when the computer is switched off or in the sleep mode. However, it may be the case that a mobile phone will need connecting before you switch off your PC or put it into the sleep mode, which downgrades this function a little.

- protected USB ports -

Then we can already talk about the software equipment App Center, including Easy Tune for setting PC output and Smart Fan 2 for setting of cooling.

Article in Czech: Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87: herní deska s kvalitním zvukem