Gigabyte G1.Sniper3 Z77 Motherboard Review

Intro, Specs, and Bundle

Over the last few months, we have looked at plenty of Z77 based motherboards here at HH, covering a wide range of price points. But today we dive deep into one of the higher-end models available, the Gigabyte G1.Sniper3. We slapped an Ivy Bridge chip in this one instead of the Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K and 2700K's we've tested in the boards thus far, to see how well Intel's newest chips and the Z77 work together. Specifically, we used an Intel Core i5-3470 chip, which we reviewed in depth here.

The Gigabyte G1.Sniper3 supports LGA 1155 processors and features support for up to 32GB of DDR3-2066 (OC) system memory. As a gaming motherboard, Gigabyte saw fit to include support for up to 4-way SLI and CrossFireX (up to PCI-E x8 with four cards and PCI-E x16 with two) too.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper3
Specifications & Features


Onboard Graphics:


Expansion Slots:



Form Factor:
Supports LGA1155 Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron processors
L3 cache varies with CPU
Intel Z77 Express
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2666(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort
Creative CA0132 chip
Support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di
High Definition Audio
Support for S/PDIF Out
Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
Intel GbE LAN phy (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
2 x PCI Express x1 slots
1 x PCI slot
Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI technology
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2/3/4/5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
1 x mSATA connector
2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/7/8/9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
Up to 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
Chipset + 2 VIA VL810 Hubs:
Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm 

All told, this Sniper3 board has four PCI-E x16 slots, two PCI-E x1 slots, and a PCI slot for plenty of expansion options. There are six total SATA 6Gbps ports (two via the chipset and four from Marvell chips) in addition to four SATA 3Gbps ports and an mSATA connector. Between the chipset and VIA chips, the board supports up to ten USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and a pair of FireWire ports, as well. Onboard D-Sub, DVI-D, DisplayPort, and HDMI ports are available via the rear I/O panel should you want to take advantage of Ivy Bridge's integrated graphics or leverage LucidLogix's Virtu GPU Virtualization software.


Although it lacks a teaming function, the Sniper3 does have dual LAN ports; one runs on the Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 LAN chip, while the other uses Intel’s Gigabit LAN technology.


Befitting a higher-end motherboard, the G1.Sniper3 comes with plenty of accessories; there’s the requisite manual, multilingual installation guidebook, drivers and utilities disc, I/O shield, and half-dozen SATA cables, but that’s just the start. The box also includes a dual CrossFireX bridge and two-, three-, and four-way SLI bridges; a USB 3.0 front panel with two ports; and a Gigabyte Sniper-themed poster and stickers, in case you like to decorate your case with terrifying images of death. (No judgement.)


But wait--There’s more--including an external eSATA panel with two eSATA ports, Molex power cables, two more long SATA cables, and a Molex-to-dual-SATA power adapter cable. A dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 combo PCI-E expansion card with dual antennas came along for the ride, too.

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