Review of Gigabyte G1.Sniper A88X
Bluetooth 1 Feb 2015
Building a gaming system can be quite a chore if you are unaware of what to look for. In the past, DIY users always go for the highest end and most expensive Intel processor and board. They also went for the most expensive graphics and audio card for the best gaming experience. There is nothing wrong with that if you are cash rich. What if you can save some costs and spend that money on more RAM or Graphics card?
What are the criteria for a gaming board ? Good graphics – YES, Good Audio – YES. Upgradable – YES. If you are on a budget, it might be good to actually consider a gaming board based on the AMD A88X chipset with the A series processors.
The G1.Sniper A88X is one of these boards that fits the bill because it is built for gamers that are more budget conscious. Based on the A88X chipset and support the Socket FM2+ APU processors, it supports the PCIe 3.0 as well as DX11.1. It also offers 4K resolution display on HDMI port with it’s integrated video.
On top of that, Gigabyte features gold plated USB 2.0 port to provide clean noise free power delivery to your DAC so that it offers the best audio experience with lesser noise.
The emphasis on audio isn’t just clean audio but also on the audio boost with a replaceable OP-AMP. THere are switches on board which you can set the amplification level to suit your speakers or headphones.
Again, it uses the Realtek ALC898 audio processor and audio noise guard that separates board’s sensitive analog audio components from potential ESD pollution at the PCB Level. The link is bright green in colour.
Just like the UD4 series, it features Ultra Cool, Ultra performance using new heatsink designs and solid caps and lower RDS(on) MOSFET design. It also has Humidity protection design to prevent short circuit and the Dual BIOS.
AS for the video portion, the AMD chip supports Dual Graphics. It allows you to boost 3D Graphics performance by adding a discrete AMD Radeon graphics. AMD EYEFINITY technology is support and allows the support of multiple independent display output simultaneously. With 2 PCIe slot, the board also support AMD CrossFire (at 16x + 4x) for those who require more graphics power.
As it is a gaming board, LAN speed is important. Gigabyte included cFosSpeed, a network management application which helps to improve network latency and maintaining low ping times to deliver better responsiveness.
In the next page, we will take a detail look at the motherboard and BIOS.