Gigabyte has been producing G1-Killer branded motherboards for every platform since X58, targeted at gamers and power users. Is the feature-packed Sniper 5 worth the considerable premium over regular Z87 motherboards?

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In a nutshell, yes and no, depending on your specific requirements.

One thing that immediately stands out when you look at the board is the four green PCIe x16 slots, which uses a PLX switch like the Asus Maximus VI Extreme to enable up to 4-way GPU operation on the regular Haswell platform. I don’t know why anyone would build such a rig with Haswell except for the purposes of competitive benchmarking, since it would most certainly be bottlenecked by the CPU/memory subsystem and additional PCIe latencies induced by lane switching – the X79 high end desktop platform is more purpose-built for this.

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There is also green LED backlighting under the motherboard which should look spectacular inside a windowed case.

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Glancing at the rear I/O panel, we see the usual plethora of ports, with the connectors carrying analog signals getting the gold-plated treatment to prevent oxidation, which is a nice touch. The board designers also ditched the the legacy display options, deploying two full-sized HDMI and one DisplayPort to enable IGP triple monitor outputs.

Considering the premium positioning of the motherboard, we were tad disappointed not to see the inclusion of Thunderbolt here.

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An Atheros based 802.11N/Bluetooth 4.0 wireless expansion card is also bundled with the package, together with a 2×2 antenna.