GIGABYTE revealed its new FM2+ motherboards including the newest addition to its G1-Killer range of gaming motherboards, the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X. Debuting two exclusive audio features: GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP and Gain Boost.
The GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X motherboard features the new FM2+ APU socket, and is designed for the upcoming 'Kaveri' AMD APUs, while preserving compatibility for current AMD FM2 'Trinity' and 'Richland' APUs. FM2+ AMD APUs offer native support for 8 GT/s PCI Express gen 3.0 as well as DX11.1 support, integrating the high performance 'Steamroller' core. Native support for 4K resolution displays on HDMI and DisplayPort is also integrated.
GIGABYTE AMP-UP Audio combines a range of features and technologies that give audio enthusiasts and PC gamers more control over their motherboard audio. Featuring a gold plated USB 2.0 port, GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP provides clean, noise-free power delivery to your Digital-to-Analog Converter. To avoid fluctuations in power from the other USB ports, GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP has an isolated power source that minimizes potential issues. USB DAC-UP also allows the port to be configured in BIOS for enthusiast system configurations which do not require USB power to the DAC. This makes it suitable for high-end audio enthusiasts.
A new debutant feature is Gain Boost that provides onboard switches to select between 2.5x and 6x amplification modes depending on output device.
GIGABYTE motherboards feature an onboard operational amplifier (OP-AMP), commonly found in high-end audio equipment. The motherboard's OP-AMP is mounted on a socket which allows users to physically switch out and try different OP-AMPs which offer distinct and nuanced audio properties. Additional OP-AMPs can be purchased separately to further expand audio capabilities.
G1.Sniper A88X features an audio noise guard that separates the board's analog audio components from potential ESD pollution at the PCB level. LED trace path lighting illuminates to show the separation of the PCB layers. Nichicon MUSE ES series audio capacitors are used for each channel layout to create the most realistic sound effects for professional gamers.
The GIGABYTE G1.Sniper A88X motherboard uses top quality gold plated hardware for improved connectivity and long lasting durability for the USB DAC-UP port and audio connectors. Gold has superb signal conductivity and will not tarnish over extended periods of use. The Realtek ALC898 audio processor is also shielded by a gold-plated cover which eliminates electrostatic interference.
(A detailed description for OP-AMP, LED trace path and gold plated connectors can be read in our G1.Sniper 5 review)