At the heart of the motherboard’s built in audio solution is the Creative Recon 3D chip. The Recon 3D chip is a quad core solution and is expected to handle all the audio related processing.
However Creative Soundblaster solutions have been renowned for their software bundles and their Recon 3D and Z series cards come with a variety of software to tweak the sound including enhancements like Scout (which enhances the sound of footsteps to make it easier for gamers who play FPS games), Crystal Voice (enhancements for microphones including converting your voice into a male or female and vice versa along with many other options). So when you purchase the Gigabyte G1 Sniper 5 motherboard you not only get the Creative Recon 3D chip but also their audio stack with the plethora of tweaks available.
That said, these enhancements will be appreciated more by gamers and less by music lovers as some of the effects make songs sound unnatural.
Coming to the overall sound, it matches the abilities of the Recon 3D sound card I tested earlier.
So for all intents and purposes its as good as the discrete audio solution from Creative.
However there is the added advantage of OPAMP swapping to further tweak the sound. I had a few additional OPAMPs around to test the board but frankly the differences in sound were very minute even on a good quality speaker system and so OPAMP swapping isn’t that useful in the case of this board.
So to conclude the audio section of the Gigabyte G1 sniper M5 board passes muster but its flaky support for different memory kits is a big drawback.