Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review - HotHardware

Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review

24 thumbs up
Like the other motherboards in the G1.Sniper/Guerilla/Assasin family, the G1.Sniper2 sports a black PCB with gunmetal black and neon green accents--a striking color palette, although we wonder at the usefulness of a Sniper wearing neon green. (It just seems a little counterproductive. We digress.) The heatsinks evoke gun barrels, and there’s a banana clip with a bullet peeking out of the top for extra intimidation. One of the gun barrels has a quintet of neon green lights.



Also like most Gigabyte boards you’ll see, there are no physical buttons on the G1.Sniper2, which is a little odd for a higher-end board of this type.

There are heatsinks galore around the CPU socket, but they didn’t in any way interfere with our sizable CPU heatsink. For that matter, even with a big dual-fan heatsink sitting on top, we were able to fairly easily get to all the fan and power connectors.

Next to the CPU socket are four memory slots, which are conveniently color-coded in black and neon green so you can easily tell where to put your first pair of DIMMs. The PCI-E slots are spaced so that there’s ample room for two PCI-E x16 cards (which will operate at x8 each) in an SLI or CrossFireX setup.



The back panel features seven USB 2.0/1.1 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA/USB Combo connector, an optical S/PDIF Out connector, an HDMI port, a PS/2 port, five audio jacks including line in/mic in and line out, and a gigabit LAN port powered by the Bigfoot Killer E2100 chip. (Note that the G1.Sniper2 supports a total of eighteen USB ports between the chipset and a pair of Etron EJ168 chips.)

Gigabyte definitely worked to bake in strong audio capabilities to this board. It features Creative Soundblaster Digital Audio Processor (20K2), X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, and EAX Advanced HD 5.0, along with a built-in front audio headphone amplifier.

There are many included utilities and software with this motherboard, which are all available on the driver disk. Some of the more notable utilities include EasyTune 6, for adjusting a variety of settings from the OS; Gigabyte EZ Smart Response, which provides an easier way to configure Intel’s SRT; Cloud OC, which lets you overclock your machine via the Internet; 3TB HDD unlock, which does what it sounds like it does for larger hard drives; and Smart 6, which gives you control over a variety of settings in the OS environment. If Smart 6 sounds a lot like EasyTune 6, it’s because they are indeed a lot alike.

Gigabyte's bundled software also includes TouchBIOS, which lets you adjust BIOS settings from the OS (more on that later) and LucidLogix Virtu technology. The G1.Sniper2 also includes support for PCI-E Gen 3.

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"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.."

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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@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.

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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.

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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???

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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."

 

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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)

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