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  • Ristogod - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    The Title of the article indicates you are comparing the G1.Sniper 3. Instead you use the G1.Sniper M3 in the review. Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Thanks :) I've had the Sniper 3 on the brain. Though several pairs of eyes have read through and all missed the title.

  • A5 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I wish manufacturers were more willing to send you cheaper mATX boards.

    Neither of these boards really feel like a good value compared to cheaper things in the same companies' lines. I guess the ROG makes some sense if you really need the wi-fi card + SLI/XFire (which loses you the Intel NIC as a useful feature...), but still.
  • IanCutress - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    It is something I am changing with Haswell. After initial launch reviews, I want to look at mATX. I've let the manufacturers know. That means gaming models and the cheaper end of the spectrum, perhaps in a couple of roundups focusing on price points or individually if people prefer the reviews that way.

  • A5 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I personally like round-ups better due to the fact that they make the writer make explicit comparisons, but I understand that they're way more work for you :P

    Either way I'll probably upgrade before it would be published, but I appreciate the idea of increasing coverage in that segment.
  • DanNeely - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I'm probably going to hold off until the USB3 fix refresh is out; so I should be able to read all the initial wave reviews before opening my wallet. My main box is going to be high OCed and water cooled; so I assume the boards I'm interested in will be in the initial flagship/near flagship review wave. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Agreed - at these prices I wouldn't consider such mainboards at all. Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    A5, I don't see them as a good value compared to cheaper boards in the same company. My view has always been (with gaming matx) they are a great value when compared to more expensive boards in the same company. They pack a lot into these little boards /w features typically only seen in their highest end offerings. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I had the Gene for about a week before replacing it. It was an awesome board, I just couldn't stand the coil whine. Sample size of 1, though, so did you notice any whine with your review sample? Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    No coil whine on my sample. I notice that some motherboards cause my testing PSUs to whine every now and again, especially in multi-GPU setups on gaming tests, but I can't say I had any with the Gene.

  • Termie - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Ian - thanks for another enthusiast-class review!

    I've had the MVG since last summer and absolutely love it. But you give it too much credit in one regard - it doesn't have built-in wireless. I did a double-take when I saw you mention that not once, but twice, and went straight to the Asus website:

    I even read the instruction manual, and sure enough it says the wireless card is sold separately. So, unless it's been updated recently, the wireless mPCIe card does not come with the MVG.
  • IanCutress - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Thanks, though it seems I had a complete brain fart on my end. Up until this point I had always assumed that any ASUS board with an mPCIe Combo Card comes with the WiFi module - the giveaway should have been the lack of WiFi antenna in the box. Typically there's no need for me to install the mPCIe card for every motherboard I test (and I clearly didn't here), though it will become necessary when I've finished updating our WiFi testing scenario. That is a bit disappointing to not come with the WiFi card, though I still stand by my recommendation.

  • Termie - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    By the way, two minor typos. On the gaming page, you say "rather ubiquitous to lane counts", but I think you mean ambivalent. Also, the POST graph refers to the MVG as the Maximus V Formula.

    Great job overall - you're really able to dig deep to illustrate the fairly significant differences between motherboards.
  • lmcd - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    On the wireless card -- is it mPCI-e AND mSATA, or mPCI-e OR mSATA?

    As in, are there places for two expansions there? I'm guessing no but hoping otherwise...
  • philipma1957 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    just one or the other I own both of these boards. I use the mSata on the asus as my boot drive Reply
  • DalekDoc - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I thought the PCIe layout on the G1.Sniper M3 made sense. This is the only matx board I've seen in which you can dual-gpu + sound card/other add-on PCIe card.

    The layout on the Gene and most other matx boards means you're blocking the 4rd PCIe if you go dual gpu as most gpus are dual slot nowadays..
  • philipma1957 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    the gigabyte is far better to run two hd7970's on air cooling due to the better spacing of the slots. the gigabyte is better for two hot cards.

    the asus msata is nice very stable I do not think it is worth the extra 30 bucks. I rather have 2 of the gigabytes then one of each. which is what I have one each.
  • JDG1980 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I know it's a longshot, but any chance we will see reviews of LGA 1155 workstation boards? Personally, if I'm going to pay $200+ for a motherboard, I'd rather have rock-solid stability (with ECC) instead of flashy gamer stuff, but I know I'm in a minority here. I'd like to see reviews of the Asus P8C-WS and Supermicro X9SAE-V; both are C216-based boards which give most of the usual desktop features (integrated sound, lots of USB ports/headers, and multiple PCIex16 slots) while supporting Xeon CPUs and ECC RAM. Reply
  • Tros - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I had to double-check. Did the MVG fail at 47x multiplier, or was that just lazy-cropping into png? Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I wish you guys did more motherboards under 150. That's my cap and honestly I haven't seen a reason to even get near that, 130 is the most I've ever actually spent; for features I didn't need. 125 is the sweet spot for me; but 150 is a hard cap, soft cap is 130. 200 is just insane. Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    For overclocking and enthusiast oriented boards you get what you pay for. This review wasn't supposed to be catered to budget builders at all. Reply
  • takeship - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I built with first the Asus Gene V, and then the M3 Sniper, all in the last 9 months. Biggest difference: the pci & fan header layout on the Gigabyte made more sense, vs transiting nearly the length of the board with the 3rd Asus fan header. Makes a mess of routing. Headers all along the edges, and the lower (none-blocking) location of the second x8 pcie were a big plus. Not to mention the larger CPU socket area. I seem to recall the Gigabyte had a better fan control setup as well, though I could be wrong (and anyways the 3D UEFI is not good). Top it off with the fact that the Gigabyte was on sale for $140 when I picked it up, far below the $205 I paid for the Asus. I love my Asus board, but I would recommend the Gigabyte over it in an instant. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Yikes, lost me at Creative Labs... Reply
  • chedrz - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I love my Sniper M3. It's rock-solid, stable, hasn't given me any sort of problem. I guess that makes it the exact opposite of every ASUS board I've ever owned. I was a little worried about the Creative sound also, but I fortunately have a Xonar D2X that I've been using. This board's a champ. Reply
  • jrs77 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I'd wish that GA or ASUS release some high-end, but stripped motherboards where there's only the absolute minimum of components on them.

    Take sound for example. An $30 USB-DAC will beat any onboard-sound solution easily, and noone really needs anything else then the PEG-slots either.
    The mass of USB- and SATA-ports is a waste of efforts aswell, as you usually have a single SSD + HDD, mouse, keyboard, USB-DAC and the front-USB ports for your camera etc.

    Less is more, and less components result in less errors. Additionally, less components result in less board-temperature and cleaner routing.

    Will never happen unfortunately :/
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    The X58-OC did happen. It was apparently a complete failure, judging by how often in featured in giveaways.
    It may have been pared back a bit too much though, with only two USB ports on the back, IIRC. Of course, you can use an external hub for mice and keyboards, so that won't matter.

    But given how it went the first time around, I doubt that anyone else is going to try that any time soon again.

    Also, I think you're oversimplifying. PCI cards still exist, and plenty of people have one that they'd rather use in their new machine. Network cards, sound cards, that kind of thing. Why buy new, when you have a card that works perfectly well?
    Also, I am currently using every one of the MIVG's rear USB outputs, AND two USB hubs.
    Charging mini and micro USB, managing screens, two keyboards, a mouse, an IR receiver, a Joystick, a floppy drive, a camera - I don't think paring back on USB is an option, as I don't even have a printer, scanner, modem or DAC/ADC attached. I'm also using 4 SATA ports, for two SSDs, a hotswap bay and an optical drive. Going down to two is very limiting, given how many disks are supported by almost all cases.
    Considering that you want to market to the masses in order to recoup your investment, as a mainboard maker, I doubt anyone is going to cut features (even features that are there anyway, due to the platform) only to make an expensive board, with no option for expansion.

    And as for onboard sound: It's plenty good to attach a microphone, and the optical outs are also usually just dandy. Saves a USB port for other devices than a USB-DAC.
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Check out the Asus P8B-X. Reply
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    I still don't get, why GigaByte perpetually insists on adding VGA D-Sub headers to the I/O-Panel. That interface is so obsolete, it's a complete joke, and cutting back on USB 2 headers is the result. DP and HDMI are nice to have, there's a case for DVI, in case you want to dual-screen, but VGA is just not used anymore. Even budget TFTs should be coming with only digital inputs by now.

    It's interesting to see, that the Creative solution is clearly targeted at 48kHz usage, with results getting worse, at higher sampling rates.

    When the M3 first was announced, I was excited, because finally there was a rival to the Gene series. But this first iteration is (spec-wise and price-wise) simply not in the same league.

    The placement of the second x8 PCIe is the only thing that's good about it, as you probably won't run two big GPUs in a micro-ATX case, hence by putting it down there, the option remains for big cases, and in small cases there's more PCIe bandwidth available.
    The downside is, that you cannot install a big card in the second PCIe, if a combination of large coolers blocks the first PCIe slot.
  • Ilias78 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Always the same story with Ian: Loves Asus motherboards, while dissing every other brand... Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Currently the M3 is my board of choice. I pick it over the Asus variant every time (if in stock) It's $50 cheaper than the Maximus V Gene (here in Calgary) and I like the fact that they didn't cheap out on the sound option yet still include the Intel Nic. It hits in all the right areas. Reply
  • Speedgod66 - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - link

    as an owner of the g1 sniper m3 I have to say some of your comments are valid -should have more sata ports very annoying , pciex 8x x8 layout is brilliant no card overheating running 2 evga 680 classifieds -but the sound for gaming is underestimated it is fantastic and gives you positional awareness of your enemy better than the Asus I have the maximus 1V genieZ and Maximus 1V extreme Z in other systems -love the extra features -but still anyone looking the sniper is great for gaming -posters a waste of time Reply

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