G1 sniper3 1 Detailed hands on pictures of Gigabytes G1.Sniper 3

Earlier today we swung by Gigabyte's office for an update ahead of Cebit and we were pleasantly surprised when the company told us that we could post pictures of its near final revision motherboards as of today. Due to the fact that Gigabyte has several new boards, we'll be breaking this down in a few articles so we can take a closer look at the various models, starting with the G1.Sniper 3.

Earlier today we swung by Gigabyte's office for an update ahead of Cebit and we were pleasantly surprised when the company told us that we could post pictures of its near final revision motherboards as of today. Due to the fact that Gigabyte has several new boards, we'll be breaking this down in a few articles so we can take a closer look at the various models, starting with the G1.Sniper 3.

Sadly we can't write too much about the technology of these 7-series chipsets motherboards for Intel's third generation Core i processors as they're currently being called, although to make things easy we'll simply stick to Ivy Bridge as and when we refer to the CPU. That said, it's not as if we're looking at boring boards here, as although they might not be packed to the brim with shiny new features, there's enough here to go around.

G1 sniper3 1 Detailed hands on pictures of Gigabytes G1.Sniper 3

As you have most likely already seen from the picture above, Gigabyte has really toned down the heatsink design on its gaming boards with the G1.Sniper 3 and we were told that they'd received a lot of criticism for its heatinks on the previous boards and as such decided to go for something a bit plainer. This looks a lot cleaner at least, although we're sure that some users won't be happy with this move either.

So what's new? Well, let's start at the rear of the board – and no we're not talking about the I/O – as some of the biggest changes have taken place here. As you can see, the audio chip has changed, gone is the huge Creative 20K2 chip and in its place is the much smaller Sound Core3D which isn't much larger than your average audio chip. However, as with its previous models, Gigabyte has also added a headphone amp, Nichicon audio capacitors and some shielding to reduce any potential signal interference.

G1 sniper3 2 Detailed hands on pictures of Gigabytes G1.Sniper 3

If you look closely in the bottom right hand corner of the picture you'll see another small chip underneath the audio shielding, this is the new Killer NIC from Qualcomm. Considering that the previous implementation used an FPGA, memory chips and a PHY from Broadcom, we'd say that this is a massive improvement in terms of PCB space requirements. The cost is apparently a lot lower as well, but just don't know how much cheaper it is. The downside both in terms of both of the new chips is the fact that some additional CPU processing time is needed, but this is unlikely to be a huge issue for anyone going for one of these boards.

Due to some controversy over the Killer NICs, Gigabyte has added a second network controller – this time from Intel – to allow competitive gamers to use a standard network controller to avoid being called cheaters, although you can't see that chip in the picture above, but it's right above the first x16 PCI Express slot on the board.