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  • Gigabyte G1 Sniper A88X Gaming Motherboard Review
  • Gigabyte G1 Sniper A88X Gaming Motherboard Review

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    When hardware enthusiasts look to build a gaming rig they often look at the upper high-end for their product selection.  This isn't because they need it but, rather because those systems offer the most in terms of power and expandability.    In this review we looked at the Gigabyte G1 Killer Sniper A88X gaming motherboard built on the AMD A88X chipset for the FM2 processor platform.  Simply put this is an APU based gaming rig that comes with some really surprising features and not something to be overlooked for a gamer on a budget.

    Motherboard layout is rather conservative and doesn't deviate much from a normal retail motherboard.  There are two 16x PCI Express expansion slots.  The first is using bandwidth directly from the APU while the second is hardwired to use 4x lanes from the A88X chipset.  While this configuration will support dual card Crossfire the intent of the board is to run either a single high-end graphics card or to link a lower-end GPU with the onboard graphics processor.  

    To build a good gaming system you need two basic things, Good Video and Good Audio.  When used together they can create a totally immersive gaming experience that is almost equal across any gaming platform.  To create a good audio ambiance Gigabyte has included the new audio system called Amp Up and is based on a pluggable IC called an OP-Amp.  By replacing the OP-Amp module you can tune the audio profile to match your preferences and do so with little to no system resources.
    Overclocking the Sniper A88X was rather straight forward and similar to overclocking a Bulldozer or Phenom CPU.  To help in this endeavor we choose the A10-6800K Richland "Black Edition" processor which is not only the fastest APU you can currently buy but also features an unlocked multiplier.  Our overclocking tests were done using a single AIO watercooler and after a few voltage bumps we were able to reach 4.9Ghz.  Sadly no LN2 this round but given that Richland processors have no cold bug it will be interesting to see just how fast this processor can go.

    Despite the obvious lack in power over a 3770K or 4770K the FM2 processor platform is very versatile when used in a budget based gaming rig or media center.  The Gigabyte G1 Sniper A88X builds on that by offering a high-end audio solution that is not only tunable on the hardware level but is also electrically separated from the rest of the motherboard.  We feel this is a great combination and worth a look the next time you are building a gaming rig. 
    Good Things
    Onboard Hardware Audio Solution
    Excellent Color Scheme
    Standard ATX Motherboard Size
    CrossfireX Support
    Thicker and Stronger PCB
    Matte Black Finish
    Bad Things
    Power of APU is less than competitor
    Limited benefit from overclocking
    Ninjalane Rating
    Gigabyte G1 Sniper A88X Gaming Motherboard Review

    Furious 5 of 5
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