g1 sniper m3 1 Gigabyte shrinks the G1.Sniper series to mATX with the M3

So far, all of Gigabyte's G1 series gaming motherboards have used the ATX or XL-ATX form factor, but with the introduction of its 7-series boards the company decided to launch a much requested mATX model, the G1.Sniper M3. It shares some of its features with the G1.Sniper 3, but as it's a smaller board; some compromises had to be made.

So far, all of Gigabyte's G1 series gaming motherboards have used the ATX or XL-ATX form factor, but with the introduction of its 7-series boards the company decided to launch a much requested mATX model, the G1.Sniper M3. It shares some of its features with the G1.Sniper 3, but as it's a smaller board; some compromises had to be made.

 The G1.Sniper M3 starts off with a pair of x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots, albeit both slots would as usual operate in dual x8 mode when used with a pair of graphics cards. The board also has a x16 PCI Express 2.0 slot, although it only has four lanes connected via the chipset, as well as a x1 PCI Express 2.0 slot. You only get two SATA 6Gbps and three SATA 3Gbps ports, but most mATX chassis don't have space for much more than five drives anyhow, so this shouldn't prove to be an issue for most.

g1 sniper m3 1 Gigabyte shrinks the G1.Sniper series to mATX with the M3

As with the G1.Sniper 3, Gigabyte has used Creative's Sound Core3D here too, albeit with a slightly different design. We're not sure if there will be more capacitors or not, but there are a lot of empty spaces where additional audio grade capacitors appear to missing from. You do of course get the headphone amp here too, alongside the shielding which this time around also surrounds the front audio jack header.

g1 sniper m3 2 Gigabyte shrinks the G1.Sniper series to mATX with the M3

There's no Killer NIC is sight on the G1.Sniper M3, instead an Intel Ethernet controller is being used which isn't a terribly bad alternative. The board also has headers for six USB 2.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. What we are missing though is the power, reset and clear CMOS buttons alongside the POST80 debug LED.

At the rear of the board we find four USB 2.0 ports – no USB 3.0 hubs on this board – two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a PS/2 port, an Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-sub connectors. Not bad, but somewhat disappointing compared to the G1.Sniper 3.

g1 sniper m3 3 Gigabyte shrinks the G1.Sniper series to mATX with the M3

We're not blown away by the G1.Sniper M3 and it looks slightly short on features compared to ASRock's Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M, at least as far as we can tell from the tiny picture that leaked. It's not a massive difference and hopefully the G1.Sniper M3 will make up for being somewhat lighter on features by being more affordable than the competition. We should also point out that the board we saw didn't have the final heatsinks, as they should look more like the ones on the G1.Sniper 3. We'll have to wait and see how popular the G1.Sniper M3 will be with gamers, especially as this is the target market and also where Gigabyte is going to have to slug it out with the competition.