Conclusion: Not only is the Z68X-UD7-B3 a tad cheaper, but it delivers similar performance and overclocking abilities with a more practical configuration in our opinion. For a $360 motherboard, the G1.Sniper2's spec sheet seems underwhelming with a single Ethernet connection, four USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA port and a standard PCI Express expansion slot setup.
Excerpt: 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.
Pros: Strong overclocking prowess, Excellent stability, Good looks
Summary: The G1.Sniper 2 is another well designed solution from GIGABYTE. Both in stock and overclocked settings, the board delivered solid numbers and performed well. The board design and style was well thought out and targeted squarely at the enthusiast gaming crowd, meant to be shown off in a big windowed case. This is also one of the few board's I've encountered lately that has a usable PCI-Express x1 slot with both PCI-Express x16 video card slots occupied.
Summary: GIGABYE took a different approach with the G1.Sniper 2. This board is a lean, mean, fighting machine. Designed to be a champion, the board leverages key technologies, such as integrated Bigfoot Killer NIC and Creative X-Fi audio, that enable it to adeptly take out its more feature-rich brethren.
Conclusion: The G1.Sniper 2 is an excellent board with a lot of innovative features that should make gamers rejoice. These features make excellent additions to any board and we are really surprised to see that GIGABYTE is the only manufacturer to adopt such unique features as they really do make for a great gaming board. Add to that the fact that its ready for 22nm Ivy Bridge processors and PCI-E 3, and we have a board is actually future-proofed to an extent.
Excerpt: Earlier this year Legit Reviews was fortunate enough to attend the launch of the GIGABYTE G1 Killer series of motherboards while at CES 2011. This was also just days after the launch of the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors. When GIGABYTE started planning and designing the G1 series of boards, I’m not sure they had an idea of how big of a hit that the LGA1155 series of processors was going to be.
Excerpt: I'm just going to come out and say it. When GIGABYTE released the G1 line-up, I hated it. I was really bummed that they decided to concentrate on the X58 chipset and ignore the P67 chipset. By the time the G1 line came out the 2600k had well and truly established itself as the processor to buy thanks to its strong overclocking potential and excellent price point.
Summary: The price of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper 2 Z68 Motherboard puts it in the Enthusiast Gamer category of motherboards.
The Gigabyte G1.Sniper 2 Z68 is a solid gaming motherboard, stock or overclocked, packed with unique features that make it stand out from the rest of the Z68 high end motherboard crowd.
Performance-wise, the Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 motherboard is remarkable and performed a lot better than I expected.
Pros: Excellent Layout with virtually no clearance issues, Bigfoot Killer E2100 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit), 22nm Ivy Bridge/PCI-E 3.0 compatible, Remarkable Audio Subsystem implementation using Creative technology and high-end components, Two extra SATA3 6Gb/s ports with RAID 0/1 via Marvell 88SE9172 controller, Four USB 3.0 ports (2 in the rear and 2 midboard) via 2 x Etron EJ168 chips, Fourteen USB 2.0 ports (8 in the rear and 6 headers midboard), Quick OC button (+7 CPU Clo...
Conclusion: As we saw with the X58 Killer-series boards, Gigabyte has been pushing themselves on the innovation and marketing fronts albeit with varying degrees of success. Pushing a “gamer” motherboard tends blur the line between self styled gamers and power users but the Sniper 2’s features reflect its target audience quite well. There are however a few things that may not sit all that well with anyone.
Pros: - Built in NIC and soundcard saves space and avoids compatibility issues, - Exceptional sound quality from Creative X-Fi, - Excellent layout, no clearance issues, - OC button works great and is perfect for gamers, - Ivy Bridge and PCI-E 3.0 support, - Solid BIOS, relatively bug free for a brand new board, - Software suite is huge, - SSD caching and Virtu are nice additions
Cons: - $360 puts the Sniper 2 among the most expensive 1155 boards, - No UEFI BIOS interface and Touch BIOS doesn’t seem useful, - CMOS jumper could be more accessible