Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review - HotHardware

Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review

24 thumbs up
Gigabyte is fairly unique in the motherboard market in that the company still uses an old BIOS interface at a time when most manufacturers have flashy, colorful, and powerfully appointed UEFIs. To each his own--you could argue that there are pros and cons to each approach--but the fact is that there isn’t much to talk about regarding this motherboard’s BIOS. With some minor exceptions, it’s pretty much the same thing you’ve seen on any Gigabyte board in the recent years.



That is not to say that there aren’t a multitude of ways to tweak the G1.Sniper2’s settings. Indeed, there are several. You can of course adjust settings manually from the BIOS, but you can also use the Smart QuickBoost utility, the EasyTune6 utility, the OC button on the back I/O panel, the OC button on the optional front panel, or the TouchBIOS utility. If you really want to test its limits, you can also overclock your system over the Internet with the Cloud OC utility.

Using the old standby method of manually adjusting settings via the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.), we reliably hit 4.5GHz on standard air cooling. TouchBIOS is essentially just a GUI of the BIOS running within the Windows environment, so it offers the same tools as the actual BIOS.

Using the Smart QuickBoost utility, you can click a button to overclock the system on one of three settings: Faster, Turbo, and Twin Turbo. You have to be a little careful with Smart QuickBoost, as it will give a quick boost to whatever settings you already have. Thus, if you already have the system overclocked, QuickBoost might offer an easy one-button overclock to, say, 5.2GHz if you already overclocked the system to 4.5GHz. With stock settings, even the Twin Turbo setting is 4.2GHz the Core i7 2600K we used for testing.



Oddly, the EasyTune6 utility looks and feels almost identical to Smart QuickBoost, but the three options are “1”, “2”, and “3”, and the highest automatic overclock it offers is 4.1GHz on our Core i7 2600K CPU.

The system also automatically overclocked itself to 4.2GHz when we used the back panel or front panel OC buttons.

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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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