Features & SpecificationsIt's hard to know where to start with a motherboard that seems to have it all. The Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 is a system within itself, removing the need to upgrade anything including the audio and network devices. It's only intended to be outfitted with a graphics cards -- two of them to be exact.
The board offers support for 2-way CrossFireX or 2-way SLI depending on your preference. With such a configuration, however, many gamers find that there minimal (if any) room left to upgrade a motherboard's onboard audio codec with a discrete sound card from Creative or elsewhere.
This won't be an issue for G1.Sniper2 owners, as the board incorporates a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor (20K2) supporting X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity and EAX Advanced HD 5.0 technologies.
Additionally, Gigabyte as included a high capacity amplifier, which is able to drive 150Ω loads, allowing gamers to enjoy a fuller range of dynamic sound with crisper details and less distortion when using high quality headphones. The amplifier also features wide bandwidth, low noise, high slew rate and low distortion, making it ideal for professional audio usage. Gigabyte has also equipped the G1.Sniper2 with four additional amplifiers onboard for the center/sub-woofer, rear speaker, side surround and line out.
For those concerned about network lag mucking up their gameplay, Gigabyte has included Bigfoot Networks' Killer E2100 NIC, which is featured on all G1.Killer motherboards. Gigabyte is the only motherboard manufacturer to have implemented the Killer E2100 Gigabit network controller onboard.
Utilizing a unique combination of dedicated Network Processing Unit (NPU) and exclusive Game Networking DNA technology, the Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 is designed to give the best online gaming experience possible. The Dedicated NPU features its own 1GB DDR2 memory buffer which helps offload network traffic from the CPU, freeing it up to do other important computing tasks.
While Gigabyte has included some very impressive audio and network controllers, the company hasn't forgotten about storage support. Apart from the six SATA 3Gb/s ports attached to the Intel Z68 chip, an additional two SATA ports have been included.
Unfortunately, the Marvell 88SE9172 controller has been embedded rather than the newer and faster 88SE9182. The included chip provides an additional two onboard SATA ports that support 6Gb/s speeds as well as RAID0 and RAID1 arrays.
The G1.Sniper2 is brimming with USB connectivity, exceeding the dozen standard USB 2.0 ports courtesy of two Etron EJ168 controllers that supply four USB 3.0 ports -- two at the rear and another two using a bundled 3.5" front mounted bracket.
Gigabyte has infused the G1.Sniper2 with many of its own technologies as well, such as its DualBIOS feature. With two physical BIOS ROMs onboard, DualBIOS enables quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper updating. It also supports booting from 3TB+ hard drives without requiring you to create partitions.
Gigabyte's On/Off Charge technology is also worth mentioning as it lets you charge devices regardless of whether your PC is on, in standby or even off. What's more impressive is that it allows devices to draw more current than standard USB ports allow, boosting the recharge time over similar "sleep and charge" implementations.