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Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 LGA 1155 Micro ATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Power Consumption and Conclusion

Power Consumption

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The G1.Sniper M3's power results showcased some of the benefits of using a micro ATX motherboard. It consumed about 36 percent less power during idle and about 10 percent less power under load conditions over the P8Z77-V Deluxe. This really isn't a fair comparison because the P8Z77-V Deluxe has a couple more hardware components and is geared toward different types of users. However, I still think it is relevant to note how energy efficient it is compared to other solutions that utilize the Z77 platform.

 

Performance

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Analyzing the G1.Sniper M3's performance during synthetic and real-world testing was a mix of smiles and frowns for us. This board seemed to stand out better during real-world testing, which for me is a better evaluation of how hardware will perform for users when they purchase it to upgrade their PC systems. The board seemed better optimized for games like Crysis 2 and less for synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark11 or 3DMark Vantage and I think gamers will be able to make additional tweaks to the graphics configurations to take full advantage of everything the G1.Sniper M3 has to offer. It's also noteworthy to mention that users should try out Gigabyte's latest version of Easy Tune 6 because I found it to be very stable during extended use when I wanted a quick boost to CPU performance without manually overclocking in the BIOS.

 

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The board's unique Creative audio hardware and bundled software helped it win several benchmark categories in PCMark Vantage to make it standout as a multimedia and gaming competitor. While it may have been a bit unfair to tag team it against a full ATX board from ASUS, the G1 Sniper M3 held its own as a stable overclocker and tough gaming motherboard. Many of the board's limitations may have been from the Z77 chipset itself (especially in the system memory area) so we will need further testing with the Z77 to fully understand how its capabilities affect the motherboards that vendors produce to support this platform.

 

Pricing

As of July 1, the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $179.99 with free shipping. This board is also available at other retailers like Amazon.com for $172.24 and Best Buy for $179.99.

 

Conclusion

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We'd like to thank our friends at Gigabyte for providing the G1.Sniper M3 micro ATX motherboard for our review today. The gorgeous style, small footprint, and enhancements to the board's gaming and multimedia features will certaintly make it more competitive against other Z77 boards from ASUS and other vendors.

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Strengths

  • Good construction and design
  • Efficient power management features
  • Mature Easy Tune 6 overclocking application
  • Dual SLI/CrossfireX support

Weaknesses

  • Below average synethic benchmark results when compared to P8Z77-V Deluxe and other Z68 board benchmark results
  • Small bundle of accessories
July 3, 2012 | 10:09 AM - Posted by CoffeeKid

It would be nice if the comparison was against the ASUS Maximus V Gene. That way we can see two gaming z77 micro atx boards going head to head.

July 3, 2012 | 10:16 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

We are looking to have the board in very soon!!

July 3, 2012 | 10:53 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla (not verified)

Did you notice any issues with the audio drivers? Creative is notorious for having a bad(unstable) drivers.

July 4, 2012 | 04:01 AM - Posted by rrr (not verified)

Great thing that mATX market seems to be thriving, and not just limited to ultra-low-end budget office mobos.

July 5, 2012 | 09:19 AM - Posted by chefbenito (not verified)

I definitely like this review and mATX z77. It would be great if we could push it a bit with a faster cpu/gpu config and then we can compare it to some other boards in its class. Not so sure a 5770 is uh, worthy?, either way good rev, def want to see what this board does with a fast kepler gpu and an IB part.

Thanks again!

July 15, 2012 | 03:19 PM - Posted by Steve Grever

I'd definitely like to use a higher-end GPU, but we try to evaluate the motherboard exclusively with mid-range hardware to differientate if the added performance comes from the mobo or the other hardware. =) 

July 9, 2012 | 04:02 PM - Posted by Branthog

I don't understand the market for mATX. Who is looking to make a high end gaming build -- possibly with multiple GPUs -- but has to make it in a very small form factor?!

July 15, 2012 | 03:06 PM - Posted by Steve Grever

My personal opinion is the micro ATX form factor caters mostly to LAN party gamers and HTPC builders because it is a smaller form factor that can be used in portable, lower-wattage PCs. They aren't typically used for "high end" gaming PCs, but more for gaming systems with single or dual graphics cards that aren't comparable to ATX-size boards with higher-end specs.

July 16, 2012 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Phillip Lee (not verified)

Steve - Was there contact between the CNPS12X cooler and video card? Is that why the 5770 was installed in the middle PCI express slot (x4) rather than the top PCI express x16 slot? I ask because I have this motherboard and am thinking of getting the same cooler. Any help would appreciated. Thanks

April 26, 2013 | 08:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It says right on the motherboard PCIEX16, 4 and 8 - not 2x16 and 1x8.

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