Despite the launch of the mainstream Sandy Bridge platform Intel is still keeping alive its high end X58 chipset and LGA 1366 CPUs. Gamers are often lumped in with overclockers, but even your most diehard COD players don’t need a liquid Nitrogen overclocking mode. You can still overclock the G1-Sniper, you just don’t have the unnecessary extravagances designed to appeal to the hardcore overclocker market.
In its place Gigabyte has packed in some very interesting features. A creative X-Fi soundcard is built onto the motherboard, and Gigabyte has chosen to include a Bigfoot networks Killer NIC 2100 chip as well. This is a gaming-focused network controller that promises better performance and allows for localised QoS settings.
In keeping with the gaming focus, around the CPU sit heatsinks based upon gun parts, while the chipset is cooled with one based on a banana clip, complete with bullet. When combined with the matt black PCB and bright green PCI-E and RAM slots this makes for a look that some love while others hate.
The G1-Sniper supports three-way SLI and Crossfire. It has two 6Gbps SATA ports thanks to a third party controller chip, and six SATA 3gbps ones. USB 3 is also present, with two ports at the rear of the board and a bracket that fits two more USB 3 ports in a 3.25in drive bay.
This is quite a costly product, but it is worth keeping in mind that a discreet Killer NIC network card costs around $200 and a low end X-Fi card costs about $60. This makes the pricing seem more reasonable, though still a luxury.
It is an excellent option for those looking to build a hardcore gaming system, but for the rest of us a P67-based motherboard is probably a better option.