Gigabyte G1.Sniper3 Z77 Motherboard Review

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Test Setup and PCMark 7

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective UEFI menus and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set the memory frequency to the maximum officially supported speed for the given platform. The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows 7 Home Premium x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, cleared temp and prefetch data, and ran the tests.

In order to both see how an Ivy Bridge chip would do in a Z77-based motherboard and also get data for comparison to other boards we’ve tested recently, we ran our benchmarks twice--once each with the Intel Core i5-3470 (Ivy Bridge) and Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge).

The Core i5-3470 is a fine processor and enjoys the perks of Ivy Bridge, but it’s a decidedly mid-range CPU as opposed to the higher-end Core i7-2600K. For example, the i5-3470 lacks Hyper-Threading, so it’s running four cores/four threads instead of four cores/eight threads, so bear that in mind when evaluating benchmark scores.

Futuremark PCMark 7
General Application and Multimedia Performance
Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark whole-system benchmarking suite. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment and uses newer metrics to gauge relative performance, versus the older PCMark Vantage.

Below is what Futuremark says is incorporated in the base PCMark suite and the Entertainment, Creativity, and Productivity suites, the four modules we have benchmark scores for you here.

The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system
-Windows Defender
-Importing pictures

Video Playback and transcoding

-DirectX 9

Image manipulation
Web browsing and decrypting

The Entertainment test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in entertainment scenarios using mostly application workloads. Individual tests include recording, viewing, streaming and transcoding TV shows and movies, importing, organizing and browsing new music and several gaming related workloads. If the target system is not capable of running DirectX 10 workloads then those tests are skipped. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given an Entertainment test score.

The Creativity test contains a collection of workloads to measure the system performance in typical creativity scenarios. Individual tests include viewing, editing, transcoding and storing photos and videos. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Creativity test score.

The Productivity test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance in typical productivity scenarios. Individual workloads include loading web pages and using home office applications. At the end of the benchmark run the system is given a Productivity test score.

The deltas between these motherboards is small; in the overall PCMarks score, in fact all but one are within a few dozen points of one another. The G1.Sniper3 with the Ivy Bridge chip did take the top spot by a slim margin, though; it was also tops in the Productivity sub-test and trailed the pack ever so slightly in the Entertainment sub-test but lagged behind by a little more in Creativity.

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