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Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 review

Small, green and rather smashing - we call it baby Hulk

Our Verdict

For

  • CrossFireX and SLI compatible
  • 4 DIMM slots
  • Solid performance
  • Good overclocking

Against

  • Green styling is not everyones cup of tea

We've seen our fair share of powerful mini motherboards recently, and although this little G1.Sniper isn't quite as diminutive as its mini-ITX compatriots, it's still one hell of a strong board, with a feature list as long as Mr Tickle's arm.

It's also a little more grown up looking than the last Gigabyte G1 board we cast our eyes over. Sure, the G1.Assassin X58 performed fantastically well, but it looked like the A-Team had cobbled it together while they were trapped in a Nerf factory, and came with that ridiculous warning on the box that it was not to be used as a gun.

The G1.Sniper retains the green and black styling, as well as the top-end performance, but has done away with the pathetic firearm aesthetics. As a mATX board, it will still provide a quality basis for a small form factor gaming PC, and thanks to the increased real estate compared with the smaller form factor, you actually do get a bit more for your money too.

Moar cards

The main thing you get here is proper support for multi-GPU setups, and that includes both Nvidia's SLI and AMD's CrossfireX options. The mini-ITX boards simply don't have the space to cope with secondary PCIe slots, and the H77 mATX mobos can't split out the PCIe 3.0 connector into two x8 lanes to enable multi-GPU fun.

It has the ATX standard of four DIMM slots too, so it's really sticking the boot into the mini-ITX competition in terms of features alone. When you consider that it's also cheaper than the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe mini-ITX board, the G1.Sniper starts to look even more attractive.

The performance is right up there with the more expensive (though smaller) Asus board, even in the various gaming benchmarks we've thrown at it. Gigabyte has really upped its game in recent times, and is now providing proper competition for the top boards once more.

Where it does stretch those long legs again is in the overclocking stakes. Without really spending a whole lot of time digging around in the BIOS, I managed to hit a rock-solid 4.8GHz clockspeed. That's the sort of speed we were getting out of the RoG Maximus V Formula, which is a full extended-ATX board with all of Asus' tech wizardry thrown at it.

The fact that this diminutive board can keep pace with those big boys is impressive, and shows just what a sterling gaming machine you could make with this at its base. You don't necessarily have to want to build a wee machine for the G1.Sniper M3 to make sense, either. It'll happily fit in a full-size ATX chassis and still deliver all the performance we PC gaming folk crave.

As you might be able to tell, I'm pretty impressed with this little board. For the money you're dropping on it, you'll pick up a board that's capable of standing toe-to-toe with pretty much any of the full spec boards around right now. If you can bring yourself to ignore the faintly unpleasant Incredible Hulk-esque green styling, you'll be one happy gaming bunny.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelZ77 Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots4
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameGigabyte
Form FactorExtended ATX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron, Xeon
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, China RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots1
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Audio Channels5.1
BluetoothYes
Gigabit EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Number of SATA Interfaces10
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
HDMIYes
DVIYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
DisplayPortYes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports6
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports8
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports4
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports2
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 3.0, PCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots6
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of mSATA Interfaces1
Country of OriginTaiwan
Processor TechnologySmart Response Technology, Quick Sync Video Technology
Width305 mm
Depth264 mm
ManufacturerGIGABYTE Technology, Inc
Product ModelG1.Sniper M3
Product NameUltra Durable 4 G1.Sniper M3 (rev. 1.0) Desktop Motherboard
Product LineUltra Durable 4
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300, Serial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberG1.SNIPER 3
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.giga-byte.com
Marketing Information

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper M3 Gaming Motherboard
The G1.Sniper M3 is the first m-ATX gaming motherboard of the GIGABYTE G1-Killer series, which have been designed from the ground up to provide the winning edge in a close 3D gaming contest. Precision is the watch word in all areas of the motherboard's design, with as much attention to detail paid to the motherboards aesthetic qualities as to its technical prowess.

Equipped with the latest Intel Z77 Express Chipset, the G1.Sniper M3 motherboard harnesses the outstanding performance of the new 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors. With an exclusive 'Digital' VRM design; GIGABYTE 3D Power and GIGABYTE 3D BIOS (Dual UEFI), The G1.Sniper M3 motherboard ensures exceptional power delivery and absolute control.

Package Contents
  • Ultra Durable 4 G1.Sniper M3 (rev. 1.0) Desktop Motherboard
  • Motherboard Driver Disk
  • User's Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s Cables
  • I/O Shield
  • 1 x SATA Braket
  • 1 x 2-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 3-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 2-Way CrossFireX Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 3.5" Front Panel with 2 USB 3.0/2.0 Ports
  • 1 x GC-WB300D (Including Two Antennas, One USB 2.0 Cable, Driver Disk, and User's Manual)