Drive and Audio Performance ResultsOur drive and audio testing differs a bit from the rest of our testing, for several reasons. First of all, when it comes to drive performance comparison, nearly every platform on the market is very close to one another, as most do provide external drive controllers which means the numbers offered are very much platform agnostic. And finally, with audio, we do not list any numbers except for those reported by the product we are testing in order to provide the most information possible, as each audio CODEC will behave quite differently, and each board does not employ the same CODEC. As such, there is no standard we can use other than the numbers themselves. You can always check our other motherboard reviews in order to make direct comparisons to audio performance.
We've tested each drive interface separately in order to provide the most complete numbers possible. Employing HDTune Pro for all of the testing, we tested each drive outside of the OS environment, using a separate OS on a separate drive. However, we do use drives with a fair amount of data on them (60% full) to simulate performance in real-world situations.
HDTune Pro (SATA2)
In HDTune Pro SATA 3 GB/s performance, we found the Gigabyte G1. Sniper M3 to be quite slow, a tad over 15 MB/s slower than our best result. The Intel Z77 Express PCH has proven to not be the fastest performer on any of the boards I have tested so far, so this is not 100% surprising, but the big gap here compared to other results is a bit wider than I expected, but at the same time, it does also give reason for the lower-than-expected Handbrake results.
HDTune Pro (SATA 6Gb/s)
SATA 6 Gb/s showed nearly the same as SATA 3 Gb/s, with the G1.Sniper M3 near the bottom of the results, although it did end up faster than the ASUS Maximus V Gene and the Biostar TZ77XE4.
HDTune Pro (USB3.0)
USB 3.0 drive performance is way down at the bottom fo the pile with the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3. I actually re-tested a few other boards to confirm that this wasn't an issue with the drives itself, as many of the drive test results here were uninspiring.
RightMark Audio Analyzer
The RMAA results given by the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 are very much underwhelming, which came as a shock ot me, since I've been using this board every day for the past week, both for listening to music, and for gaming. I use a relatively high-end audio setup, at least when considering PC audio, and I was really rather impressed with the audio playback, something that you wouldn't understand just by looking at the results above. I spent a good six hours looking into this problem, and it really seems confined to the audio input side of the G1.Sniper M3's Creative CODEC, which ties the Line-Out port with "What U Hear" which turns the Line-Out into a secondary Mic-In. You can manually adjust this setting inside the audio card's control panel, and it did improve the results considerably, however not enough to actually make these results truly valid. The audio offered by the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 is very nearly the best audio I have ever heard, bar none; it's just the input side and available testing methods that poses the problem.