Today we take a quick look at one of Gigabyte's upcoming motherboards, the G1.Sniper M5. This M-ATX offering is only the second iteration of its kind, but its small form factor already has big shoes to fill. Based off the full sized Sniper board, the M5 is set to pair down the dimensions whilst keeping the majority of the performance. A bold claim? Only time will tell, but history is on its side.
As usual the board comes with the typical Sniper colour scheme of green and black - a recurring theme since the very first Sniper board. The combination wasn't everyone's cup of tea at first, and there are still a few who still aren't all that fond of it, but it is continuing to grow on us as time progresses.
As usual, let's have a peek at some photos before we settle down for the video preview.
A fairly standard affair when seen from above. Good looking little thing it is.
Focussing more around the CPU area; sleek, good looking heatsinks which look as if they'll dissipate a fair amount of heat when needed to.
The chipset's heatsink sports a skull and dagger logo, much like its bigger brother.
Here we can see the same audio components found on the standard Sniper board.
As with its bigger brother, we really do like the look of the M5. It seems set to provide great performance with a small form factor, which is always an impressive feat. Once again, like the M3, it's heavily based off the standard Sniper, but that is in no way a bad thing. The heatsinks on its predecessor were always a bit of a let down, with very little styling put in at all, which is a stark contrast to this little bad boy. The VRM heatsinks around the CPU are sleek yet beefy, and they look absolutely fantastic.
The PCIe lanes are wired up for 16x, 8x, 8x, but once again we're not sure as to how this will change when cards are in use or indeed how things are set up with the chipset as we dont know all the Intel details yet. There's also a single 1x lane for components which are less bandwidth heavy. We can also see that there are 6 SATA ports along the bottom right side of the board, which should be enough for the average user.
Along with the rest of the new top end lineup, the Sniper M5 has a heavy focus on good quality audio reproduction, which it hopes to achieve with high end components, a separate section of the motherboard which is protected from electrical interference from the main circuitry, and user-upgradeable Op-Amps to fine tune your audio experience. All together the audio solution is set to take on dedicated sound cards in terms of audio quality.
With its M-ATX form factor this little green devil would be right at home in the recently released Corsair Obsidian 350D, but it would be equally as happy in a full sized setup. Another win for Gigabyte as this board ticks all our boxes.
A big thanks to Gigabyte for sending us this board for our hands-on preview. Discuss this topic further in the OC3D Forums.