Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 Review

Test Setup and Overclocking

Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 Review

Test Setup

Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87
Intel Core i7-4770K
Club3D HD7970 Royal Ace
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400MHz
Corsair AX1200i
Corsair Neutron GTX
Corsair H100i
Windows 7 x64  


In keeping with a range of motherboards these days, Gigabyte give you the option in the BIOS to overclock your CPU automatically, rather than fight with the manual overclocking. Of course as with any automatic option there is always a price to pay in terms of the quality of the overclock and the voltages necessary to reach that point. The first two, 40% and 60%, use decent voltages to get a good boost. So if you're absolutely determined not to overclock yourself, this is a good choice. Its also worth pointing out these tools in the BIOS are actually preset overclocking options, this is actually VERY difficult to do with the Haswell range due to their being such a difference in the overclocking ability of the CPU's. So these settings are there to help a huge range of people rather than being perfect for the CPU you actually fit.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 Review     Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 Review  

As you move up to the 80% mark the voltages quickly get silly. With some serious cooling you could possibly run this, but we'd definitely not recommend it, its worth making very clear for those of you knew to overclocking though some of the Haswell K series CPU's will actually require these kind of volts for this overclock due to their being such differences in the yields this generation #siliconelottery. What Gigabyte are having to do is give settings that will work for a very wide range of CPU's there for this voltage like with our CPU could be massively over volting your processor for what it may actually require to run that overclock. Most motherboards with auto overclocking features will always run a much higher voltage than required if you get your hands dirty and do it manually though, as demonstrated in the last picture at the bottom of the page.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 Review

Moving on to what is possible when you put the effort in and do the overclocking yourself? Well the G1 Sniper completely caught us unaware on this one, when we first heard about the boards price and specification we all thought 4.6GHz would be a pretty good clock for the board. It just so happened we booted first time at 4.6, shut down and reset to 4.8 and that was stable, few more tweaks later we had our CPU's maximum clock running at 4.9GHz and just 1.26v in the bios. The screenshot says 1.58v but it never moves from that, even with no 'Load Line Calibration' (LLC) setting in the bios it remains rock solid. SO the G1 Sniper has maxed our CPU out to the same levels as all the other boards we have tested, so we can confirm that cut price does not mean cut back overclocking!

This just proves what we have said since the beginning, CPU efficiency has moved on so much you dont need a top end board to get the most from it with Haswell. Most of the difference between boards are the extras on the board like networking, SATA ports and USB ports then more critical things like PCI-E slot layout and aesthetics. A good way to put it is most boards perform very similarly but it just depends if you want icing on the top or you have big pockets and want icing AND a cherry!

Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 Review  

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Most Recent Comments

09-12-2013, 07:26:15

This is a hell of a review for a hell of a board. Thanks guys, I'm getting one.Quote

09-12-2013, 08:45:19

Just goes to show you don't need a highend motherboard these days, at least not for 1150/55. So many motherboards these day at this price point or slightly higher that are more than capable. All it comes down to now is if you actually need those extra features of the more expensive motherboards or not.

I love the design on the Gigabyte's G1 Sniper boards though, dat green and black goodness Quote

09-12-2013, 08:59:12

A nice review for my lunch break .

the need for an expensive board seems to keep on diminishing, this is very good for the more budget minded of us.Quote

09-12-2013, 11:16:25

Nice i may grab one of these after christmas for my next build...may even go for a 'hulk' green theme Quote

09-12-2013, 11:51:44

Thanks Tom for the great review. The first look had me and I bought it for the new rig.

Some pointers however to take into account:

If you are running windows 8/8.1 - The Soundblaster Recon 3Di has some 'issues' which you can live with, however, frankly, they annoyed me enough to buy an internal card.

Essentially it is a known issue that probably around 60% of the time you switch your rig on, the soundblaster will not be detected in Windows and you will require to shut down, power off completely and restart (which fixed it every time) however, it's just not good enough from Creative's standpoint and we all know that a set of drivers is still 2-3 months away.

The only other bad point to make is the Orange LED down near the legacy PCI ports is unfortunately the brightest light in the case. My case which will have some pictures up soon on the forums is covered in some matching green LED's and I feel this LED is a horribly bright addition that does kind of tarnish everything else about this board which frankly is excellent both visually and from an overclocking perspective.Quote

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