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For advanced features unfortunately we were coming up a little short. Normally we would look into the advanced VRM design or insane overclocker centric features but this board really feels more like a value edition rather than a performance or feature packed offering. We will go over however the material we have to work with here and show you what it does have.
The audio capabilities are handled by the Creative CA0132 Chip which supports the Creative software layer with support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di, THX Tru Studio Pro, Crystal Voice and Sound core 3D which are all digital effects to enhance the gaming audio output and add to the gameplay experience. The audio solution also implements something we have seen on previous G1 board the front audio headphone amplifier to allow for great front panel audio performance when used with gaming headsets to make sure you are fully immersed in the game.
Also with the audio solution you will notice a metal shield around the audio capacitors and components which is designed to keep noise out of the audio source and help keep the cleanest audio direct to your ears to maximize the immersion. Also inside this shield we do see the usage of high end Nichicon Muse caps which are known for their quality and usage in high end audio solutions as they provide the best and clearest audio signal possible for your gaming environment.
One thing we definitely noticed was the omission of the Bigfoot Killer NIC chip which we have seen on previous G1 boards, while some see the Network solution Gimmicky it does seem like it adds to the fact that the M3 is more of a cost saving model rather than a super high end solution that the G1 solutions have been known to be. With the omission of the Bigfoot Killer NIC it was replaced with an Intel Gigabit solution which is not necessarily a bad solution and also with it is included a bandwidth accelerator cFosSpeed which is designed to ensure maximum speed is delivered to the programs that need it when they need it most.
Here we see the Gigabyte EZ Setup which allows 1 click setup to some of the key features offered by Z77 such as smart response which is Intel’s SSD caching technology, and rather than going through all of the menus and setups to set it up via the Intel driver the single click can do all of the work for you. Also a less discussed Item being Intel Rapid start which caches all data for a quick startup from Hibernate mode which only takes a couple seconds to be back to the same state on every open program where you left off. Lastly is Intel smart connect which leaves all of your favorite apps such as email, social networks and etc all updating in the background in real time so that there is no need to update when your back at your system as it can do this automatically even when asleep.