Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Intel Z77 Express 27

Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Intel Z77 Express Review

(27 User comments) »

Value & Conclusion

  • The Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 is available right now with an MRSP of $169.99.
  • First mATX G1.Killer product
  • Overclocks really well, with excellent memory support.
  • OnBoard Creative Recon3Di audio CODEC with excellent audio playback
  • Relatively low cost
  • Clean and simple color-themed layout.
  • Fully Functional AMI UEFI BIOS with support for 3TB+ drives
  • PCIe slot placement not optimized for CrossFire/SLI when in a normal mATX case
  • Overclocking requires more voltage than previously tested products
  • Higher power consumption than other tested Intel Z77 Express products
  • SATA and USB 3.0 drive performance with tested hardware is underwhelming
  • Limited SATA ports (only five internal ports provided)
I've spent a little over a week using the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3. I must say that the biggest thing that stands out for me with this product is the fact that the audio performance is really really good, although the input side is a bit lacking, as shown by our RMAA test results. Now that it's been some time that this product has been on the market, and the BIOS has been updated to version "F7", everything offered by this board works really really well, and overclocking is very simple, although higher than expected voltage is required when clocking. Memory performance is pretty good, while CPU performance is outright outstanding.
I have spent many months using the G.1 Sniper2 motherboard as the base for my personal gaming rig, and nearly every feature offered by the new G1.Sniper M3 is better than its older full-ATX brother except of course, the overclocking stuff, and well, the PCIe slot design. I have absolutely no idea what Gigabyte was thinking with this arrangement, other than it's perfect for single VGA users who want to add in an external drive controller, or maybe perhaps a PCIe SSD. However, if you plan to use this board for CrossFire or SLI, and in a mATX case, you might be disappointed with the performance offered, as it is a fair bit slower than products that offer a usable mATX PCIe 3.0 x8/x8 slot arrangement.
I really wanted to like this board, but the fact of the matter is that I am a bit disappointed by the overclocking performance, and the PCIe design. If you can deal with these issues, the board is great, but being a multi-GPU gamer, I do require a bit more than what the G1.Sniper M3 offers, especially on the audio side of things, where the input-side of the audio CODEC was very underwhelming.
The one thing that makes it acceptable to me is the relatively low price, as although there are many other products in the same price range with greater functionality, none of them will offer the same audio quality that the G1.Sniper M3 does. If you are a single GPU gamer, and want an affordable mATX product, the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 is definitely suited to meet your needs, and then some. Don't forget to hit us up in the forums and tell us what YOU think!
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