In my quest to upgrade the final components of my PC, I had to make the big purchasing decision of what CPU and Motherboard to get. I first settled on the CPU, which I wanted to be an i7. So thanks to OutletPC.com, I grabbed the Intel Core i7 3770k @ 3.5GHz. That’s when the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 caught my eye.
This micro-ATX motherboard is aesthetically eye-catching with its incredibly bright green and black design. Especially for a piece of hardware that goes on the inside of your computer. The moniker for this motherboard plays on being a sniper, clearly evoking that this is a motherboard meant for gamers. And boy does it show.
For the first time in my experience, I have encountered a BIOS that is GUI based. While it is pretty and allows you to use the mouse, it’s very clunky, unintuitive and quite sluggish. I still found myself using the keyboard to navigate instead.
Overclocking options allow you to get up to 4.8GHz, but I didn’t mess with it too much for fear of damaging my system as would any overclocking do, as well as void any warranties you may have. Performance was top-notch, I never had to upgrade firmware or have any issues installing drivers on my Windows 8 machine.
The on-board audio is stellar, allowing for optical audio and 7.1 channel audio. It is powered by Sound Blaster Recon3Di. Other ports such as the HDMI and USB 3.0 are very welcome. There’s even legacy support with a PS/2 port, which surprised me, as everything else is modern and futuristic on this board.
There’s just so much room on this board, it reaches the maximum size as a micro-ATX board in my system, but I imagine you could even use this in larger towers. The G1.Sniper M3 includes 4 DDR3 slots for up to 32GB of RAM, which is amazing.
Gigabyte’s “G1.Sniper M3″ may be a tad overblown in color and gamer-centric to the point of overkill. It is all done for the right reasons and features some impressive quality construction and a well-thought out design for really anyone building a new PC. I purchased this motherboard to help me future-proof myself for up to five years, I think I’m successful and very happy with this purchase. Even if the GUI-fused BIOS is a weird transition. With the ability to overclock easily through the BIOS for my i7 3770k (the OC-able version), make this the perfect gaming motherboard at a higher than average price.
The CPU and Motherboard were provided by OutletPC.com at a promotional discount for review purposes