With Intel’s new chipset and 4th generation processors almost upon us, you’ll find the eTeknix team working doubly hard to bring you the latest and greatest content before and during the launch, but this comes with its hiccups to say the least. With a constant new set of BIOS updates being handed to us almost daily, we are vigorously testing away, and trying to tease our readers with some visuals at the same time which is where we see ourselves today.
We wanted to show our readers a bit of an insight into some of the boards that we’re getting a chance to work with, and to talk about their features and aesthetics, while not breaking Intel NDA and getting the whip for being naughty. This is why we have a huge set of previews being released over the next coming days, showing you exactly that, while focussing mainly on the design and style among some features that are non-Intel related.
Next up in the preview arena we find the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5; a micro-ATX form factor motherboard which is set to pack a punch, like its predecessor did with the Z77 chipset. For those not wanting to skimp all out on the fully-fledged G1.Sniper 5, a micro-ATX board has been developed to give users the power and features of a true gaming board branded under the G1-Skiller series, without losing out on any of the beneficial traits that we expect within this range.
Following on from the G1.Sniper M3, we find the M5 keeping with the colour scheme and design of the Sniper range with a black PCB and green accented components ranging from the DIMM slots to the PCI-Express lanes, even to the heatsinks.Design wise, we see the same branding being used and from attending a MSI event in London, MSI plan to release more models within the MPOWER range, offering different price points depending on the users needs.
For a small form factor board, the M5 certainly isn’t lacking cooling potential with two heatsinks around the CPU socket area, providing sufficient cooling to those wishing to push the boundaries of the new 4th generation processors from Intel.
A small, low-profile heatsink covers over the new Intel chipset, while still allowing larger PCI-Express expansion cards room within your system. The G1-Killer branding is present here, showing you that this board means business.
For those wanting a full look around the board, checking out its design and feature list, we have produced a video preview just for you, where we take a close look at the board in a lot more detail, while trying not to give anything away in terms of benchmarks and performance.
I’ve always liked the G1-Killer range of boards, though never were a big fan of the bullets and other similar design ploys, but Gigabyte have clearly cleaned up their act and have gone down a more serious route with the G1.Sniper M5 and have opted for a simple yet effective design and have still managed to chuck on a load of features despite its micro-ATX form factor.
Now smaller components seem to be getting a lot of hype lately especially with small form factor chassis being released to the market like the BitFenix Prodigy among others, which opens up a huge pathway for mini-ITX and Micro-ATX boards, which finds the likes of Gigabyte producing more products for these markets, which is where we find the M5 suitably placed. The thing I honestly love from a personal point of view is that they still manage to include key features that we’re all used to such as improved audio, three PCI-Express x16 lanes, and overclocking technology that is generally found on higher-spec full ATX form factor products.
In summary, this is one of the boards that I’m most excited about, and that’s purely down to previous experience with the G1.Sniper M3 that seemed to keep wanting to push in terms of performance and overclockability and had no flaws whatsoever, while still maintaining a small footprint with thanks to its form factor. From a design point of view, the M5 is a personal favourite of mine and with a shiny green watercooling kit, we think modders are going to love the colour scheme and the form factor will allow for some really cool looking systems, so all we have to wait on now is to see if the performance matches this high quality of design that we’ve seen today.