Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review - HotHardware

Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review

24 thumbs up
We’ve looked at our share of Z68-based motherboards here at HotHardware, and the Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 is another stand-out to consider.

The G1.Sniper2 is in Gigabyte’s line of Sniper/Guerilla/Assassin gaming motherboards, although it’s currently the only one in the family with the Z68 chipset.



Gigabyte G1.Sniper2
Specifications & Features
CPU  -Supports 2nd Gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron processors, LGA1155 package
-L3 cache varies with CPU 
Chipset Intel Z68 Express 
Memory -4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
-Dual channel memory architecture
-Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
-Support for non-ECC memory modules
-Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules  
Onboard Graphics -1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 
Audio -1 x Creative CA20K2 chip
-Support for Dolby® Digital Live and DTS™ Connect
-Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies
-High Definition Audio
-2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
-Support for S/PDIF Out 
LAN -1 x Bigfoot Killer E2100 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) 
Expansion Slots -1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
-1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
-2 x PCI Express x1 slots
-2 x PCI slots 
Multi-Graphics  -Support for AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology 
Storage Marvell 88SE9172 chip:
-2 x SATA 6Gb/s connector (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
-Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
Chipset ICH:
-2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0, SATA3_1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
-3 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_2~SATA2_4) supporting up to 3 SATA 3Gb/s devices
-1 x eSATA 3Gb/s connector (eSATA/USB Combo connector) on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 3Gb/s device
-Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
USB 2 x Etron EJ168 chips:
Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 on the back panel, 2 available through the internal USB header)
Chipset:
Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, including 1 eSATA/USB Combo connector, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Interior I/O iTE IT8728 chip 
Form Factor ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm 

This ATX board supports the gamut of Intel socket LGA1155 chips, from the mighty Core i7 on down to Celeron processors, as well as up to 32GB of DDR3-2133 memory over four DIMM slots. On the graphics side, the G1.Sniper2 offers Intel’s integrated graphics of course (which powers an HDMI port with a maximum resolution of 1900x1200) as well as two PCI-E x16 slots (one x16 and one x8), two PCI-E x1 slots, and two PCI slots, with support for two-way SLI/CrossFireX.

For storage, the chipset powers a pair of SATA 6Gbps connectors, three SATA 3Gbps connectors, and one 3Gbps eSATA/USB combo connector (on the back panel), while a Marvell 88SE9172 chip delivers another couple of SATA 6Gbps connectors. The former supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, while the latter supports RAID 0 and 1.


   
     

The G1.Sniper2 comes with a driver/utilities/software disc and a trio of manuals--one for the motherboard in English, a multilingual installation guidebook, and an Intel SRT installation guide. Predictably, it also has a rear I/O panel, a two-way SLI bridge, and a smattering of SATA cables.

Like some of its predecessors, this motherboard has a 5.24-inch front panel that you can install. The panel sports a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA/USB port, and a Quick Boost overclocking button.

And for those who love to trick out their cases, bedrooms, basements, or what have you, Gigabyte included a colorful poster (one side is scary-looking men, and the other is a human-shaped target) as well as a cornucopia of death-y, bullet-y stickers.

Article Index:

1 2 Next
+1
+ -

"Great review. I really like this board, its one of my favorites. The price , for a Z68 board, is a bit steep, but the added features such as the onboard creative sound chip and the Bigfoot Killer E2100 Nic, I think its justifiable if you feel you need it. . As for the GPU support, the average hardcore PC gamer wont need or have more than two cards. Running 8x/8x is fine, but running 8x/4x/4x is not ideal, so, I feel that this board doesn't need the extra slot, and lets keep remembering its a limitation of the Z68 chipset. in terms of bandwidth. I like that the 1X slot is in the ideal location too. Overall, it's a great looking, featured packed board.."

0
+ -

I've owned a Gigabyte motherboard before and they're really good motherboards... This G1.Sniper2 (though expensive but not unreasonably expensive) doesn't look like it disappoints based on the words you said... I really liked the way you went in-depth with the features and even snuck in commentary about how gaming boards are supposed to have it all... Yes, the heatsinks look cool and I don't think anything can beat a gun clip, anything...

I am disapointed that you didn't take it further in the overclocking; I've overclocked with a Gigabyte motherboard before and they're surprisingly good overclockers... I managed to get 4GHz out of a E7200 from a GA-G31M-ES2L, and that's pretty respectable in my opinion... I suppose people with patience can get more out of it but I'm guessing you had a deadline to meet... Also the charts are so close to itself as usual but I'm surprised that this board managed to beat out Crysis... I don't know why there are so many charts where the results are similar but I'm guessing it's required, still not a favorite of them...

Anyway, good review Seth! May be on my wish list come the time I need to upgrade.

Also major plus for having a Creative Audio Chip in it instead of a Realtek or a VIA... Definitely great of Gigabyte to include the real thing instead of an imitation.

EDIT: Even more of a major plus if EUFI happens to be installable on this motherboard.

0
+ -

Very nice motherboard and a great review. I still haven't tried any overclocking on this Hot Rig at all but it's nice to see companies throw in those quick and easy overclocking functions.

0
+ -

Not a big fan of the quick and easy but hey, if it allows consumers to overclock; so be it.

@LBowen You should really do some overclocking; I mean that system is piratically begging for it to push it to it's limits... Surely you'll find time between your exercising and your studies to organize an overclocking session for yourself will you?

0
+ -

Enjoyed the review Dave and Seth.

My question is when a board ships with the old bios as this one can a future update enable UEFI or is that baked into the ROM?

It's surprising more companies are not on board with the UEFI interface as your article stated the other day Gigabyte is now using UEFI on their boards.

+1
+ -

@ThuderBird I am pretty sure UEFI is simply built into the programming. As long as the ROM chip is large enough to support the larger BIOS they should be able to update it to a UEFI BIOS. With them now being on board I would bet they will release updated versions for their high end boards.

0
+ -

with cards like the 2WIN series NVDIA or the asus mars- I feel we are going to see less and less 3+ card systems in most cases. and perhaps wider distances between x16 slots.

Obviously those with deep pockets or hardcore enthusiasts will always put as many as possible.

0
+ -

Anyone know why these boards seem relatively unavailable ? Is there a shortage or problem with them? Newegg has them deactivated and not even an auto notify button. If you do spot one its like around 500 dollars???

0
+ -

myndmelt:

Anyone know why these boards seem relatively unavailable ? Is there a shortage or problem with them? Newegg has them deactivated and not even an auto notify button. If you do spot one its like around 500 dollars???

"Here you go:

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63552&vpn=GA-G1%2ESniper2&manufacture=Gigabyte&promoid=1363

"Took me a while to find, I guess a mass amount of people have read this review and went crazy for it. Same thing happened with the 990FX roundup review, after that, sales of the Crosshair 5 Formula skyrocketed."

Edit: I went back , and found it unavailable, sorry , what gives

"Maybe they are going to implement the new 3D bios on them."

 

0
+ -

I dont really understand why this board is so pricey, geared towards gamers, sure, it looks cool (being a gamer myself) but I cant really justify that pricing.

and those heat sinks or whatever they are around the cpu look like they could get in the way of a large fan. I dunno. my noctua fan is pretty giant, and blocks my ram slots on my 1366 motherboard (EXTREMELY annoying)

1 2 Next
Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: