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.
In retrospect, the decision to skip the P67 ended up probably being the better idea, but I was none the less disappointed at launch because it looked like a strong feature packed board. In the end, though, it doesn't matter now.
The G1 series has finally graced the LGA 1155 platform in the form of the G1.Sniper2; a name I'm a little iffy about. It makes sense, but I would've loved to have seen it called the G1.SniperZ to represent the fact that it's based on the Z68 chipset. The fact that initially I also thought it was called the Sniper Z due to the way they've done the 2, means that I grew even more attached to the name.
In the end, though, I'm just being a bit nit-picky and to be honest, it's probably got more to do with the fact that when GIGABYTE launched the board it really looked the part. I was just a little sad that they chose to ignore the LGA 1155 platform initially. That no longer matters, though, as they've now got it on the newer Z68 platform and I've got my fingers crossed the board lives up to my expectations.
Like most higher end GIGABYTE boards, the Sniper2 sits in quite a large box. Unlike the UD7, though, it doesn't open up and instead we only have a front and back. You can also see above how one could think the 2 is a Z. The box is really detailed and you get a great idea of the features that are on offer, especially on the back where the main features are really detailed.
Moving inside the package, we've got some paperwork, driver CD, four SATA cables, SLI cable and a back I/O plate which has the G1 Killer branding.
Along with those normal kinds of extras, we've got a front panel extra that offers us two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA / USB port and a "Quick Boost" button which we'll talk about later. The difference between this panel and a lot of others is that it's a 5.25" one verses the typical 3.5" we normally see companies offer.
Before we get onto the motherboard side of things, the last piece in the bundle includes a double sided GIGABYTE poster and a bunch of stickers. It's not a lot, but these little extras help the board stand out from other companies which is always a good thing.
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