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Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 LGA 1155 Micro ATX Motherboard Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

PC gaming is alive and well and hardware vendors are working to create unique features in their product lines to entice this niche audience. Gigabyte has always had a soft spot for gamers who want the best components for their LAN rigs so they can own their friends in any game genre they choose to play. Gigabyte has broadened their product line to include performance gaming mice, keyboards, and PC cases. They also have a line of "G1-Killer" motherboards that Gigabyte claims is designed with 3D gaming in mind. One of their latest boards in the G1-Killer series is the G1.Sniper M3, and just happen to have a sample that we are reviewing today.

 

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

The G1.Sniper M3 was designed into a micro ATX form factor that sports Intel's latest Z77 Express chipset and supports the third generation of Intel's LGA 1155 "Ivy Bridge" processors. It is challenging to pack enough performance features and overclocking options onto a micro ATX footprint, but Gigabyte's G1.Sniper M3 has broken the code in this department. This $180 board includes a digital power phase design with auto voltage compensation, dual UEFI BIOS, and an onboard Creative Sound Core3D quad-core audio processor for rich, high-definition audio.

Continue reading our review of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 LGA 1155 Micro ATX Motherboard!!

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

The G1.Sniper M3 comes with a three-year warranty and a host of features courtesy of the Z77 chipset. The rear panel supports a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port, D-SUB, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, eSATA, optical out, and five audio jacks. These options should make for a interesting home theater PC configuration for users wanting an excellent system for high-definition gaming and movies. 

 

Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard Technical Specifications (taken from Gigabyte's website)

CPU
  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU

(Some Intel® Core™ processors require a graphic card, please refer "CPU support List" for more information.)

Chipset
  1. Intel® Z77 Express Chipset
Memory
  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
    * Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2400(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Onboard Graphics Chipset:
  1. 1 x D-Sub port
  2. 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
    * The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
  3. 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
  4. 1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600
Audio
  1. Creative CA0132 chip
  2. Support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di
  3. High Definition Audio
  4. 2/5.1-channel
  5. Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  1. Intel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
    * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
  2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
    (The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
    * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
    * PCIE Gen.3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.
  3. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
  4. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
    (PCIEX4/PCIEX1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology (PCIEX16 and PCIEX8)
Storage Interface Chipset:
  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 3 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2~4) supporting up to 3 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s connector on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 3Gb/s device
  4. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
    * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.
USB Chipset:
  1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
  2. Up to 10 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  4. 3 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  5. 1 x CPU fan header
  6. 3 x System fan headers
  7. 1 x front panel header
  8. 1 x front panel audio header
  9. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  10. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  11. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  12. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x D-Sub port
  3. 1 x DVI-D port
  4. 1 x HDMI port
  5. 1 x DisplayPort
  6. 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s connector
  7. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  8. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  9. 1 x RJ-45 port
  10. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  11. 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control
  7. * Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.
BIOS
  1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress Install
  4. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  5. Support for EasyTune
    * Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
  6. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
  7. Support for Auto Green
  8. Support for ON/OFF Charge
  9. Support for Q-Share
  10. Support for 3D Power
  11. Support for EZ Setup
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
  2. Intel® Rapid Start Technology
  3. Intel® Smart Connect Technology
  4. Intel® Smart Response Technology
  5. LucidLogix Virtu MVP
    * Make sure the monitor cable has been connected to the integrated graphics port on the back panel.
  6. cFosSpeed
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft® Windows 7
Form Factor
  1. Micro ATX Form Factor; 24.4cm x 24.4cm
Remark
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
  2. Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP SP1/SP2. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.

 

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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