Gigabyte Next Generation Intel Preview
(Enhanced Audio Motherboards)
Last week we went to Taipei, one of the global cities in the production of technology and home to Gigabyte's Head Office. Not only did we have a really interesting tour of their factory detailing how each stage of the production process is carried out but we also had a chance to meet some of their great staff and we were shown their next generation Intel boards. Today we can show you some images as well as talk about what makes them different to the competition... and previous Gigabyte models.
The key feature that Gigabyte chose to highlight during this event was the new and innovative way they have decided to implement high quality sound at minimal cost to the consumer. The G1.Sniper 5 (and 5M) will be the first motherboards to feature built in Creative Sound Blaster x-fi (20k2), Sound Core 3D and Upgradeable Op-Amp Sockets.
On top of those core features the motherboard will also have Nichicon high end audio capacitors, gold plated connectors for input/output sockets and a built in gaming headphone amplifier. All of these features are designed to improve the quality of sound over traditional motherboard audio, specifically in gaming, without having to purchase a stand-alone sound card.
"Users can swap out the motherboard's onboard operational amplifier, which allows the audio enthusiasts to explore their personal audio preferences using a range of nuanced OP Amps"
Having a selection of Op-Amps to interchange on the motherboard means consumers can personalize sound quality to suit their listening habits. The Op-Amps all have different sound characteristics that are designed to improve different types of music, game sounds and even boost minor details in movies. Basically enabling users to hear richer, vibrant sound details and help drive high end headphones.
The Sniper 5 and 5M will come with an upgrade kit which includes an additional Op-Amp and IC Extractor to safely remove and replace the Op-Amp's in the motherboard.
The two Op-Amps included are the BB OPA2134 which is a general Op-Amp for all music sounds with a full frequency range and high performance. Also bundled is the LM4562NA which is more suitable for pop music and small orchestras providing clear and bright sounds. Then there are multiple Op-Amps that you can purchase separately costing anything from $1-$20.
Finally, even though there Sniper 5 and 5m are the only models to be previewed today with the upgradable op-amps, Gigabyte have stated that more models will be coming soon.