First LGA1366 mainboards appeared back in 2008 and since then they have already become somewhat obsolete. That is why mainboard makers initiated a second wave of Intel X58 Express based products. The major difference between the new boards and the older models became the support of such new interfaces as USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps. Gigabyte did exactly the same thing and rolled out an entire family of new LGA1366 mainboards starting with the UD3R model and going up to UD9. However, they didn’t stop there and besides the common mainboards, began offering products in the new gaming series called “G1-Killer” as well as a special overclocking board.
In fact, the terms “gaming mainboard” and “overclocking mainboard” are very popular these days, but they somehow remain pretty vague and unclear. This is why they may often be applied to almost any contemporary mainboard. Today any mainboard with at least two graphics card slots supporting ATI CrossFire and Nvidia SLI configurations is positioned as a gaming product, even though most gamers do perfectly fine with just one graphics accelerator. The boards that were specifically designed with gamers in mind are Asus RoG (Republic of Gamers) and MSI Big Bang. As for overclocking, even some entry level mainboards have overclocking-friendly features and all manufacturers always stress their products’ unprecedented overclocking potential. It turned out Gigabyte have their own unique ideas of true gaming and overclocking mainboard. Well, it is going to be even more interesting to see what these ideas are with the help of a gaming Gigabyte G1.Sniper mainboard from the G1-Killer series and Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC mainboard for overclocking fans.
Closer Look at Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC
The box with Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC inside is of pretty standard size, but its design is dramatically different from what we saw on regular mainboards packaging. No bright multi-color images, no numerous logo icons, just the model name and a modest but significant description: “Overclocking Motherboard”.
There is a mainboard photo on the back of the box with a brief description of its selected peculiarities, which we are going to dwell on later in our article.
The accessories bundle is quite ordinary. Here is the detailed list of everything inside:
- Four SATA cables with metal connector locks, two with L-shaped locks and another two with straight ones;
- A flexible bridge for two-way SLI graphics configurations;
- A hard bridge for three-way SLI graphics configurations;
- A flexible bridge for two-way CrossFireX graphics configurations;
- A set of adapter-cables for manual voltage monitoring with a voltmeter;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- User manual;
- A booklet with brief assembly instructions in 18 languages;
- DVD disk with software and drivers;
- “Dolby Home Theater” and “Gigabyte” logo stickers for the system case.
The only unique thing is the 2-Way CrossFireX bridge and a set of adapter-cables for manual voltage monitoring with the help of a voltmeter. Special bridges for ATI CrossFire graphics configurations rarely come even with graphics and hardly ever with mainboards. As for the sables, the board has a row of control spots, which allow users to manually take important voltage readings off them at any time. If we need to know the current voltage in any of the primary knots, then the best way to obtain the reading would be with a voltmeter probe. However, if you need to constantly monitor the voltages, then it is easier to use adapters, to free your hands.