Power Consumption and Conclusion
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Good construction and design
- Efficient power management features
- Mature Easy Tune 6 overclocking application
- Dual SLI/CrossfireX support
- Below average synethic benchmark results when compared to P8Z77-V Deluxe and other Z68 board benchmark results
- Small bundle of accessories