GIGABYTE includes the latest version of their UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) DualBIOS with the the G1.Sniper 5 motherboard. The UEFI BIOS offers full keyboard and mouse support while using the BIOS pages with enhanced mouse navigation supported by right clicking the mouse – goes back to previous view if inside a settings pop-up or on a sub-menu page. Note that this right click functionality behaves this way in Classic Mode only. Right clicking in Windows Mode displays the Shortcuts menu. GIGABYTE also includes a screen capture utility, which generates a 1024×768 BMP image in normal resolution mode and a 1920×1080 BMP image in HD resolution mode on an attached USB drive upon clicking the F12 function key.
GIGABYTE's BIOS implementation continues to one of the better Z87-based implementations on the market. The only complaint with the BIOS was the inability to access screens in high resolution mode using a standalone video card. I tried with an NVIDIA 570 GTX through VGA, HDMI, and DVI to no avail. The only way HD resolution mode worked was by attaching an HDMI cable directly to the on board port and removing the video card from the system.
BIOS Notable Features
GIGABYTE's UEFI BIOS is by far the most innovative UEFI implementation I've seen on a Z87-based board. The most obvious change is the revamping of their 3D BIOS to the new DualBIOS branding. GIGABYTE offers two different use modes in the BIOS – Windows Mode and Classic Mode. You can switch between the two using the Shortcut menu or by pressing the F2 function key. The Windows Mode BIOS pages offer a modern-style interface with entry fields and horizontal sliders for most fields. Additionally, some fields have an On/Off toggle setting, allowing for instant application of the field value with this toggle set to On. The fields are grouped by sectional pages similar to the Classic Mode grouping. Windows Mode also offers a high definition operational mode that uses the additional resolution space to show board specs along the outside of the configuration screens. You can click on the Resolution Toggle setting from the shortcut menu or hit the F6 function key to switch from standard to HD resolution. A Home section housing customizable tabs has be added to house your favorite features and a Favorites frame containing a Shortcuts section for fast access to menus and sub-menus.
Windows Mode, Home section, Performance page
Windows Mode, Home section, custom page
The Home section offers the use a series of six customizable tabs for housing any settings within the BIOS. The first two tabs, named Performance and Standard, are pre-populated with settings appropriate to the tab name. Each tab contains a Setup button allowing for configuration of the settings shown with the tab. For settings with numeric configuration, like CPU ratio or voltage settings, have an entry field, a horizontal slider, as well as an on-off button to the right of the slider. You have the option of manually entering values or using the slider for selection. The On-Off button is the most intriguing though, allowing the user to enable real-time adjustment and enactment of the setting changes made.
Windows Mode, Home section, HD resolution mode
In HD resolution mode, the BIOS screen resolution increases to full 1080p mode (1920×1080 resolution). In high definition mode, the normal Windows Mode pages and tabs are centered in the window with various fan speed, temperature, and voltage status, and board and CPU information around the outer edges of the screen. This is one of the most innovative features of GIGABYTE's DualBIOS, but it is also one of the more flaky. In order to get the BIOS to render in HD resolution, I had to connect via the on board HDMI port with the video card removed from the system. Otherwise, HD resolution would not work.
Windows Mode main screen, Home section, Setup User Options popup
When the Setup button is clicked, the Setup User Options menu displays. The user has the ability to select any setting from the BIOS for display as well as customizing the tab name. The options can be reorder from within this menu as well.
Windows Mode main screen, Home section, Select a Shortcut popup
Windows Mode main screen, Home section, Shortcut popup
When the Select Shortcut link is clicked under the Shortcuts heading in the Favorites frame, the Select a Shortcut menu displays. Through this menu, the user has the ability to added quick links to commonly used pages. This shortcut menu displays in the Favorites frame while in the Home tab or when the mouse is right clicked while in the Windows Mode BIOS interface. Note that only menus and sub-menus can be added to this shortcut list, options cannot be directly added to the list.
BIOS Walkthrough – Overlocking Setting, Classic Mode
M.I.T. tab, M.I.T. Current Status page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Frequency Settings page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Frequency Settings page, Advanced CPU Core Settings page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Frequency Settings page, Advanced CPU Core Settings page continued
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, Memory Overclocking Profiles popup
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, DRAM Channel Timing Settings page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, DRAM Channel Timing Settings page, Misc Timing Control settings
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, DRAM Channel Timing Settings page, Misc Timing Control settings continued
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, Advanced Power Settings page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, CPU Core Voltage Control page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, Chipset Voltage Control page
M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, DRAM Voltage Control page
M.I.T. tab, PC Health Status page
M.I.T. tab, PC Health Status page, Fan and Temperature Threshold settings
M.I.T. tab, Miscellaneous Settings page
Windows Mode screens
Performance tab, Frequency page
Performance tab, Memory page
Performance tab, Voltage page
Performance tab, Voltage page, Advanced Power Settings page
Performance tab, Voltage page. CPU Core Voltage Control page
Performance tab, Voltage page, Chipset Voltage Control page
Performance tab, Voltage page, DRAM Voltage Control page
Hey guys, thanks for the
Hey guys, thanks for the great reviews. They are really helpful, much appreciated.
I’m relatively new to pc gaming but I am addicted. It is vastly superior to consoles and I will never go back. I started with a gaming laptop in 2011 and I am ready to upgrade to a monster Desktop.
I have been researching all year and I know CES is around the corner and I will wait until after for some news BUT I’m tired of waiting. I am planning on placing an order month.
I want to build a MONEY IS NO OBJECT gaming rig based on the Z87 platform with the Nvidia 780 Ti classified card. I was hopeing for a 6GB card but again I’m tired of waiting.
The trouble I’m having is deciding on the motherboard.
What is the BEST motherboard out there for gaming.
Features I would like:
Good on board audio
Upgraded NIC on board for low latency (I’m a BF4 fenatic)
Maximus extreme, Formula, Gigabyte Sniper or Msi Gaming???
The Sniper may offer you the
The Sniper may offer you the best mix of features since it has the upgradable OP-AMP so you can customize the audio experience and the integrated Killer NIC allowing for network traffic tweaking. However, any of the board's mentioned would give you a good gaming experience.
Make sure to pair the board with a good CPU and a strong PSU as well.
This is a fantastic
This is a fantastic review Morry! Objective and extraordinarily detailed. As with Ryan, Josh and and Allyn, I have an immense amount of respect for your journalistic integrity, professionalism and the top-tier reviews you publish. You’re handwork does not go unnoticed. I just wanted to articulate my appreciate for your devotion to PCper and it’s audience. not only you but the top-tier reviews you publish.
I’ve been eyeing parts and so far I’m rather interested in the feature set of the ROG Hero motherboard. What do you think of Asus’s “entry-level” ROG board? Would you suggest anything else at the ~$200 price level? So far I haven’t found anything with such a rich feature set and great software suite.
– Stewart Graham