Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 Review  

Introduction

It doesn't seem five minutes ago that we were first taken in by the looks of the Gigabyte Sniper. The gun and magazine shaped heatsinks really caught our eye, as Gigabyte went the full hog down the military theme.

The second edition of the Sniper scaled these elements back a little, whilst still remaining committed to the general theme, and now with the release of the Z77 chipset we have the Sniper 3 already upon us. Surprisingly the military design has been yet further reduced with the name and packaging being the only parts that hold true to the original idea.

Whilst it's a real shame that Gigabyte didn't have the bravery to continue being the most recognisable motherboard around, the underlying hardware should be just as good as it's ever been. Let us find out if the Sniper lives up to its name reputation, or if the aesthetics aren't the only part to have been kicked to the kerb.

Technical Specifications

The specifications are as high as we'd expect from a motherboard that costs the thick end of £280, with an array of connections covering everything you could realistically hope to install in a big E-ATX package.

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
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 2666(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Onboard GraphicsIntegrated Graphics Processor:
  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. 1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
  2. 1 x Intel GbE LAN phy (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
    * Teaming is not supported.
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
    * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.
  2. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
    * The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated.
    (The PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
    * PCIE Gen.3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.
  3. 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (The PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  4. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology™
Storage InterfaceChipset:
  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2/3/4/5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. 1 x mSATA connector
    * The SATA2 5 connector will become unavailable when the mSATA connector is installed with a solid state drive.
  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.
2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
  1. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/7/8/9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
USBChipset:
  1. Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
  2. Up to 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
Chipset + 2 VIA VL810 Hubs:
  1. Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
IEEE 1394VIA VT6308 chip:
  1. Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (available through the internal IEEE 1394a headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x PCIe power connector
  4. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  5. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x mSATA connector
  7. 1 x CPU fan header
  8. 4 x system fan headers
  9. 1 x front panel header
  10. 1 x front panel audio header
  11. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  12. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  13. 2 x IEEE 1394a headers
  14. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  15. 1 x power button
  16. 1 x Clear CMOS button
  17. 1 x reset button
  18. Voltage measurement points
  19. 1 x BIOS switch
  20. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  3. 1 x D-Sub port
  4. 1 x DVI-D port
  5. 1 x HDMI port
  6. 1 x DisplayPort
  7. 2 x RJ-45 ports
  8. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  9. 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
    * 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
  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(s) on the back panel.
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft® Windows 7
Form Factor
  1. E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm

 

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Most Recent Comments

18-06-2012, 16:15:35

tinytomlogan


With the latest Z77 chipset on board we take a look at the Gigabyte Sniper 3 and see if it matches its predecessors.

Continue Reading

18-06-2012, 16:25:10

dugdiamond
lovely upgrade to the sniper range

18-06-2012, 16:25:51

SieB
Love this board, just wish it wasn't so damn expensive. With boards like the GD65 you have to ask if paying over double the price is worth it.

18-06-2012, 16:27:51

dugdiamond
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Love this board, just wish it wasn't so damn expensive. With boards like the GD65 you have to ask if paying over double the price is worth it.
without a doubt that price WILL be half the price..... in 6months

someone has to pay for the nextgen research, that'll be available this xmas

18-06-2012, 16:31:05

Josh Weston
I honestly can't believe how low your volts are for 4.8GHz...Jesus H Christ almighty.

Gigabyte have certainly done something right with this board.

A great review, Tom - looks as though I may have to devote more attention to the Sniper boards from now on.

18-06-2012, 16:34:27

PetrolHead247
I love this board so much, i'd love to have one. Performance wise this looks like the best Z77 board out there atm, and one of the best looking boards too

18-06-2012, 17:43:21

WillSK
Looks like an amazing board but as the others have said, way out of my price range. I'm actually a fan of the fact they've not gone for gun shaped heatsinks etc. but that's prob just me

18-06-2012, 17:44:50

Josh Weston
Quote:
Originally Posted by willsk View Post

Looks like an amazing board but as the others have said, way out of my price range. I'm actually a fan of the fact they've not gone for gun shaped heatsinks etc. but that's prob just me
Oh no, I think there are a great many people amongst this forum who didn't like the marketing scheme that Gigabyte was employing.

18-06-2012, 17:58:28

SieB
Yep not many people on here were liking the gun shaped heatsinks.

19-06-2012, 03:27:45

C C
Someone please tell me why such an expensive board should have VGA (or even DVI, for that matter)?

What a waste of I/O space. Gigabyte dun goofed.

19-06-2012, 04:19:01

Josh Weston
Quote:
Originally Posted by C C View Post

Someone please tell me why such an expensive board should have VGA (or even DVI, for that matter)?

What a waste of I/O space. Gigabyte dun goofed.
Because there are a lot of people, myself included, who still use DVI. And, if my monitor was to fail, my back-up solution would be a VGA monitor of mine.

19-06-2012, 05:29:32

C C
Mhm... And you're going to buy a board like this, but not buy a graphics card?

19-06-2012, 05:47:41

Josh Weston
Quote:
Originally Posted by C C View Post

Mhm... And you're going to buy a board like this, but not buy a graphics card?
Ha, no but if said graphics card failed, not having on board video would really be annoying, as it would shut you down from your computer until you got a replacement.

19-06-2012, 06:13:19

WillSK
Image quality wise DVI is exactly the same as HDMI. The only difference i know of is that HDMI carries audio as well. Anyways sorry Tom I will get back on topic now.

As Josh said though the onboard video would come into play if your GPU failed.

Just a thought, imagine how sexy this board would look with dual 690s *drool

19-06-2012, 06:20:18

C C
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Weston View Post

Ha, no but if said graphics card failed, not having on board video would really be annoying, as it would shut you down from your computer until you got a replacement.
The chances of your primary monitor and GPU both failing at the same time are pretty slim. Gigabyte (or anyone) should not be catering for scenarios like this if it means wasting I/O space with an archaic connection.

And even if your primary monitor and GPU BOTH failed at the SAME time, I'm sure you've got one of those DVI to VGA things you could use, I've got at least three of them around the place.

19-06-2012, 12:11:37

VengeanceUK
Quote:
Originally Posted by C C View Post

The chances of your primary monitor and GPU both failing at the same time are pretty slim. Gigabyte (or anyone) should not be catering for scenarios like this if it means wasting I/O space with an archaic connection.

And even if your primary monitor and GPU BOTH failed at the SAME time, I'm sure you've got one of those DVI to VGA things you could use, I've got at least three of them around the place.
actually i have had this happen in the past, albeit part and parcel of a lightning strike, but nonetheless, the fact remains that BOTH my monitor AND GPU were trashed in an instant and i would have welcomed this feature back then so don't suggest "IT CAN'T HAPPEN" as it clearly can

19-06-2012, 18:19:04

C C
Quote:
Originally Posted by VengeanceUK View Post

actually i have had this happen in the past, albeit part and parcel of a lightning strike, but nonetheless, the fact remains that BOTH my monitor AND GPU were trashed in an instant and i would have welcomed this feature back then so don't suggest "IT CAN'T HAPPEN" as it clearly can
I didn't say it can't happen, I said the chances are slim. And you're missing the point, completely.

19-06-2012, 19:14:05

murphy7801
oh so ugly for so much money

22-06-2012, 05:44:59

0iqprofessor
I actually agree that DVI/VGA don't need to be on the board, but I think they should include a PCIe card that serves as an adapter. I had to use the Intel HD 4000 to get through a week of waiting for my 4 7970s (shame the 7970GE came out already).

This should've been different with the WiFi module though, as a built-in module shouldn't have made the board so cramped.

Very value board in my opinion. 300 bucks for a board with so many features. It's essentially a thunderbolt port away from the P8Z77-V Premium from ASUS for 120 bucks less. Very fast board, good for HPC as far as I've used it, the 2 Gigabit LAN ports are great, temps are fine and overclocks great. Dual BIOS is cool but doesn't match ASUS's, power cosumption is terribly inefficient, and is sort of bloated for a board. Works well with my Gentoo Linux and Windows 7 and pretty much all of its software works on at least one of those OSes. Wish it had FireWire and eSATA in the back. Shame it was E-ATX, I was going to get it crammed into the CoolerMaster 430.

Board looks rather silly, and the color scheme is weird.

25-06-2012, 04:15:15

Noobalert
Hey TTL what temps were you seeing @ the 1.092v, 4.8GHz OC on air?

and thanks... love the youtube vids, and hard work you put in to educate noobs like me!!!

25-06-2012, 04:31:06

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobalert View Post
Hey TTL what temps were you seeing @ the 1.092v, 4.8GHz OC on air?

and thanks... love the youtube vids, and hard work you put in to educate noobs like me!!!

1.092v wasnt the vcore... And it wasnt me that wrote the review.

25-06-2012, 05:35:13

Noobalert
sorry for the mistake please
Reply
x

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