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Pros: The board itself functions great. The built in audio, form factor, and features are great.
Cons: Gigabyte support is terrible. I've been having issues with the PCIe 3.0 slot not being able to recognize my GPU when it's set to 3.0 mode. I've been through 2 boards and 3 GPUs, and none of them will work properly. If I set the slot to 2.0, it will boot. Setting the slot to "auto" or "gen3" will default it to the integrated graphics.
To add insult to injury, the support experience is terrible. The exchange with the support technician(s) is laughable, with there seemingly only be 5 responses to choose from:
1. Change the PSU
2. We've tested the board with a Radeon 7870 and it works
3. Set the BIOS to init PEG first
4. Update the BIOS
5. RMA the board
In my exchange with support, I've received each of these responses at least twice, despite very detailed documentation of the steps I provided on how I've been trying to troubleshoot this issue. It almost looks like the support person answering these questions isn't even reading any of my responses. I've even gone out of my way to get a second board to test with and getting the same results.
Other Thoughts: If Gigabyte can address the problems with their support staff and actually read what their customers are telling them, I would be more satisfied with this purchase. I would also appreciate more intelligent responses to questions, instead of something that is copied and pasted from a manual.
I've found other users with similar issues on this board, and the only "solution" I've been able to come across is buying a Gigabyte branded Radeon 7870.
Pros: For a micro ATX board, the Sniper M3 is packed with features. The features that drew me to it were the Intel NIC and the Sound Blaster audio chipset. The EM shielding around the audio components is great as well, it gives much cleaner sound, especially on the front panel connectors.
I did have a chance to test the 3.0 x8 slot also (for reasons to be explained later) and the placement is a little inconvenient. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I didn't have too much trouble with the USB connectors underneath. If your connectors aren't extremely fat and the wires can be bent, a card will fit in on top of it without much issue. I dropped an XFX 7870 DoubleD card in without issue.
The board also has a decent number of PWM fan connectors for micro ATX. It supports 3 fans in addition to the CPU fan, which is a nice plus.
Cons: I've recently run into an issue with the board where it refuses to detect a Radeon 7800 series in the x16 slot when it is set to auto or gen3. I've had this happen with 3 cards and 2 boards, so it leads me to believe that it's something with the BIOS that is causing this. I've seen other reports of similar problems with the board, so it doesn't seem like it's an isolated issue. To test, I installed the same card into the bottom x8 slot and it booted just fine as PCIe 3.0.
Other Thoughts: If you plan on running an SLI or Crossfire setup with this board in a micro ATX case, be sure to pick one that has 5 expansion slots. Otherwise, you won't be able to run 2 dual slot cards as there's nowhere for the lower card to go.
I am using this board in a Lian Li v354 case, which has 5 expansion slots. Since all micro ATX boards have room for 4 expansion slots, most cases are built to only support 4 cards.
Pros: Compact size, 6x SATA ports (2x SATA III and 4x SATA II) make it great for a small home server. It has a ton of functionality built in, so you won't miss having only one expansion slot. WHS 2011 runs on it just fine.
Paired with a Lian Li PC-Q08 case, you can have a lot of computer in a very small space. Add a discrete graphics card and you can even have a great gaming machine!
Cons: For the price, I expected a little bit more. Others have pointed out the poor quality of the wireless adapter, though I don't have any experience with it (don't use it).
BIOS also leaves a bit to be desired, as tweaking functionality is somewhat limited. I have low voltage DDR3 RAM (1.3v) and I can't lower the voltage of the board enough to match that specification. Also, according to the posted updates, the USB3 controller will cause the computer not to sleep properly without a BIOS update (can't be done via Windows).
Other Thoughts: I've been waiting for this board to come out ever since I saw the announcement for my new Home Server. The 6 on-board SATA ports were a must for my configuration and drove my decision to wait for release. For the price, it may have been possible to get one of the other boards and add a SATA card, however having the expansion slot free is a bonus.READ FULL REVIEW