It is quite amazing to see what Gigabyte brings to the table for roughly 80 EUR. Now granted, if you where planning dual-graphics cards, this is a no-no due to the limitations of the chipset. However, being B75 chipset based this motherboard has everything you need from 6 Gbps SATA ports, USB 3.0 ports and of course an improved and enhanced audio solution that is based on the Realtek ALC 868 codec. But lets not forget the included Gigabit jack. So yeah, we feel that is downright lovely. And that is the work we'll be using to describe the motherboard today, lovely.
Also the aesthetics are pretty nice. What the photo's do not show you is that once the mobo is powered up an array of green LEDs at the backside of the motherboard will lit up. That looks lovely. The mobo does not have a dark black coating though, it's more of a dark brown. Still, thjat is a very decent looking motherboard right there.
In terms of tweaking and overclocking, B75 chipsets officially may not be overclocked. This is a regulation set by Intel so that they can make more money and diversity with the Z87 chipset. But that didn't stop Gigabyte. Now manual overclocking was not very pleasant, but the motherboard has built in presets. 4700 MHz did not work, but flicking the CPU to 4600 Mhz worked perfectly. Again .. for an 80 EUR motherboard that is pretty impressive. Remember, Haswell processors, just like Ivy Bridge, are mind numbing irritating to cool once you increase CPU voltage. For this review we used a dual-fan-dual-radiator D14 from Noctua, we do this on purpose. We do get the question every now and then as to why we do not liquid cool the processor. That's simple, we choose a high-end heatpipe cooler to emulate and replicate the most common OC situations you guys apply at home. See, most of you guys use heatpipe coolers. Albeit the AIO Liquid Cooling kits definitely are getting more popular. But these as well often cool at the very same performance level the Noctua D14 offers. Proper liquid cooling we feel is the only way to go once you pass 4600 MHz with a wee bit of extra voltage on the processor (1.35V and higher).
Lovely - that's what the G1.Sniper B5 is. it offers 90% of what you guys need. performance wise you are close to the Z87 chipset, differences are easily tweaked out. Combined with four SATA 6 Gbps ports, the Gigabit Ethernet interface and the 7.1 channel HD audio as delivered by the Realtek ALC868 codec we already are happy.
Though the motherboard is now SLI/Crossfire compatible (2nd slot will fall back to x4 PCIe lanes) you will still get full x16 Gen 3.0 on the first slot. Excellent for ANY graphics card.The G1.Sniper B5 motherboard offers you everything and anything you need from an enthusiast class Haswell processor platform, in terms of features, USB 3.0, SATA3, PCIe Gen 3.0, relatively ease of tweaking and sure, the design and component selection is done well. We would have liked to seen one extra NIC or added WIFI though. Typically a great product comes at a high price, but at 80 EUR please do realize that the G1.Sniper B5 is a really good balance of price versus features.
At that price we just have to give a great value award.
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