The Gigabyte G1 Assassin Motherboard

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Performance Review

Super Sight, Super Hearing, Super Speed, and Super Shield are the four killer instincts that and true warrior needs. In the middle of battle they all count. These four features are what define the new GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard! If one of these features weren't up to par, you would be sure to get fragged out in the field of battle! The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin is based on the flagship Intel X58 chipset, and features the latest and greatest features that can be found on a X58 motherboard. GIGABYTE Skipped right past the usual suspects for features and took a shot at the biggest and baddest options out there!

GIGABYTE G1 Killer Assassin X58 Motherboard

There is very little that the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin isn't capable of. Let's take a look at the four killer instincts of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin. The first, which is Super Sight refers to the graphics card capabilities of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin. The G1 Assassin will support 4-way CrossFireX and 3-way SLI. This will give your gaming rig the vision it needs to see the enemy before he sees you! This is ever so important in battle! The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin has two PCI Express X16 slots running at X16 and two at X8. If all four PCIe X16 slots are filled that will all operate at X8.

Super hearing is another of the killer instincts of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin. GIGABYTE has incorporated an Creative Soundblaster X-Fi digital audio processor (20K2) onto the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin! Because hearing you enemy before he hears you is just as important as seeing him. The Creative Soundblaster X-Fi digital audio processor has features like EAX Advanced Hi-Def, Dolby Digital Live and DTS connect.

The Super Speed killer instinct will give you the speed you need when you need it. Along with the onboard Creative Soundblaster X-Fi, GIGABYTE has incorporated the latest gaming network card on the the G1 Killer series of motherboards. The Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 Game Networking platform features a dedicated network processor and 1Gb of dedicated DDR2 RAM, this will free up your Intel Core i7 processor so you can take out your enemies as fast as you can. If you need a little speed boost in the middle of your latest frag fest, GIGABYTE has you covered. They supplied a front access control panel with a simple to use overclocking feature! Simply depress the OC button and the GIGABYTE G1 Killer series will automatically overclock your system on the fly! It may not be a record setting overclock, but it may be just enough to get the edge in the battle! GIGABYTE has also incorporated the latest SATA 3.0 (6Gbps) and USB 3.0 technology onto the G1 Assassin.

Staying cool in battle is a must. In order to do that, GIGABYTE has armed the GIGABYTE G1 Killer motherboards with the Super Shield killer instinct! The Super Shield Killer Instinct features custom coolers throughout the G1 Assassin. There is a grand total of five smart fan connectors, and of course the GIGABYTE G1 Killer series is using GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 technology. Power delivery is always a big deal for enthusiast level motherboards. GIGABYTE hasn't failed to deliver, the power. The GIGABYTE G1 Killer motherboards features dual 8-pin CPU power, driver MOSFETs, and 16 phases to keep your Intel Core i7 processor from getting thirsty for power.

GIGABYTE G1-Killer Instinct Features

Super Sight Super Hearing Super Speed Super Shield
4-way CrossFireX and 3-SLI Onboard Creative
Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor (20K2)
Bigfoot Networks Killer
E2100 Game Networking Platform
Locked and Loaded Heatpipe Design
  X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity Front Access Control Panel with OC button 5 Smart Fan Connectors
  EAX AHD 5.0 SATA 3.0 (6Gbps), USB 3.0 and 3x USB Power GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3
  Dolby Digital Live   Maximum CPU Power Delivery
  DTS Connect   Dual CPU Power
  Front Audio Headphone Amplifier   Driver MOSFETs
  Nichicon High-end Audio Capacitors    

GIGABYTE G1 Killer Assassin X58 Motherboard

If you like to see all of the the specifications for the GIGABYTE G1.SNIPER2 in particular, we have you covered.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Specifications

CPU
  • Support for an Intel Core i7 series processor in the LGA1366 package
  • L3 cache varies with CPU
QPI
  • 4.8GT/s, 6.4GT/s
Chipset
  • North Bridge: Intel X58 Express
  • Chipset South Bridge: Intel ICH10R
Memory
  • 6 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory
  • 3/Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
  • Support for non-ECC memory modules
  • Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Audio
  • 1 x Creative CA20K2 chip
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Digital Live/DTS Neo:PC/DTS Interactive
  • Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN 1 x Bigfoot Killer E2100 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
  • 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  • Support for 3-Way/2-Way NVIDIA SLI technology and 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way ATI CrossFireX technology
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0~SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Marvell 88SE9182:
  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB South Bridge:
  • Up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
1 x Renesas D720200 chip and 2 x VLI VL810 hubs:
  • Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
  • 2 x 4-pin PCIe 12V power connectors
  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 1 x system fan header
  • 3 x fan headers
  • 1 x front panel header
  • 1 x front panel audio header
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  • 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
  • 1 x Quick Boost button header
  • 1 x heatsink LED power connector
Back Panel Connectors
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out)
I/O Controller
  • iTE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
  • System voltage detection
  • CPU/System temperature detection
  • CPU/System fan speed detection
  • CPU overheating warning
  • CPU/System fan fail warning
  • CPU/System fan speed control
BIOS
  • 2 x 16 Mbit flash
  • Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  • Support for DualBIOS
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  • Support for @BIOS
  • Support for Q-Flash
  • Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  • Support for Download Center
  • Support for Xpress Install
  • Support for Xpress Recovery2
  • Support for EasyTune
  • Support for Dynamic Energy Saver 2
  • Support for Smart 6
  • Support for Auto Green
  • Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
  • Support for ON/OFF Charge
  • Support for Cloud OC
  • Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  • Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  • Support for Microsoft Windows 7/Vista/XP
Form Factor
  • XL-ATX Form Factor; 34.5cm x 26.3cm

Now that you know all there is to know about the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin, we can take a look at what comes along with the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin inside the box on the next page!

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Packaging and Bundle

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

The retail packaging for the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin is anything but subtle! The flaming skull is going to stand out like a sore thumb on the shelves of your local shop. There is very little detail about the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin on the front of the retail package. There are a couple of key points like the Killer E2100, and the Creative X-Fi 20k2.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

Unlike the front of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard, the back of the retail packaging is filled with marketing text and details about the GIGAGYTE G1 Assassin.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

Opening up the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin we are presented with a second box all tricked out in camouflage. Nothing like building a little suspense!

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

Flipping open the camouflage box, we can catch our first glimpse of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard, within yet another box. At least we know that the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin is well armored for the battle of Fedex!

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

Removing the box containing the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin we are presented with the fourth and final box for the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin. This box contains the bundle and all of the accessories for the G1 Assassin.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin comes with everything that you will need to fire it up. There is a bridge for both NVIDIA SLI and Crossfire, as well as a bridge for 3-way SLI. GIGABYTE also included four SATA cables, two of which feature one end on a 90 degree angle. The rear I/O shield included with the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin features the G1-Killer logo and adds a little bit of flare the the typically bland back of the case. The 5.25"

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Retail Package and Bundle

Along with the manuals and driver disk, GIGABYTE also included some graphics, and a poster of the three G1 killers, Assassin, Sniper, and Guerrilla. 

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Layout

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Performance Review

As we saw on the first page, the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin features custom coolers on all of the critical parts of the motherboard. Including the Intel X58 chipset, the Intel ICH10R South Bridge chipset, PWM's and Mosfets. It's not often we get to see something as unique as the GIGABYTE G1 Killer series of motherboards. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the look of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard. At the least, it's unique. Is it too much though, well, to each their own I suppose.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Layout

The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin features six 1.5 Volt DIMM sockets and supports triple channel DDR3 memory at up to 2200MHz. 

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Layout

Taking the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin for the first spin reveals a closer look at a very busy corner. The first feature of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin that stands out to me is the customized cooler that is designed after a assault rifle magazine. It isn't very easy to see, but we can see that the clip is connected via a heatpipe to the North Bridge. Starting just below the 24 pin motherboard power socket is eight SATA ports. The six black SATA ports are SATA 2, while the pair of white SATA ports are SATA 3 which are controlled by the Marvell 88SE9182 chip. Just past our SATA ports is the CR2032 battery, followed by a 4-pin Smart fan header. Working our way up the left edge of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin we can see the pin out for the front panel LED's and switches which are closely followed by a pair of USB 2.0 headers and a pair of front panel USB 3.0 headers.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Layout

Spinning the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin around once again we can see the home of the Super Sight and Super Hearing Killer Instincts. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin has the capability to run up to four PCIe X16 2.0 graphics cards in a X8,X8,X8,X8 configuration. Nest to the fourth PCIe X16 slot is a 4-pin Smart Fan header, a four pin molex power connector and the front panel audio header. Along the left side of the image is the components that make up the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi. The largest of the chips is the Creative 20K2 audio processor. Sitting next to the Creative 20K2 audio processor is Hynix H5DU1262GTR chip, this hynix chip is a 128Mb DDR SDRAM running at 200MHz. Just beyond the memory is the Nichicon High-end audio capacitors. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin features two different series of Nichicon Capacitors. The little gold ones are Nichicon MW series while the green ones near the Audio Jacks are Nichicon Muse ES series. These capacitors along with the Creative 20K2 audio processor will make your explosions realistic and the gunshots will make you duck for cover! 

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Layout

Just behind the audio jacks on the rear I/O panel is the Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 NIC and a pair of Samsung 512Mb DDR2 RAM modules. We can also see the pair of 8-pin CPU power sockests here.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Layout

The rear I/O panel for the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin, isn't as crowded as some of the boards we have seen in the past. It's actually kind of refreshing to see that not every high-end motherboard has every last port squeezed into that small area. Nothing to out of the ordinary here, eight USB ports, four USB 2 and four USB 3.0, optical and coaxial SPDIF. A pair of P/S2 ports, RJ45 port and five audio jacks.

If you like to watch videos we found this pretty good clip over at Newegg that goes over the layout of the board as well.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

Here is the main page of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard BIOS, which gives you access to all of the sub-pages within the BIOS. Also accessible is Q-Flash and the ability to save or load your CMOS settings. As you can see this board uses Award Software and looks virtually identical to other Gigabyte boards that we have reviewed in recent months.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

Hitting enter on the main BIOS menu will take you into the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) page that you can see above. This page gives brings you to all of the sub-pages that are required to adjust all of our frequencies and voltages. This page also gives you a quick status report on a few areas such as BIOS version, BCLK speed, CPU frequency, and so forth. If you want to figure out what DRAM voltage the board is running or what the BIOS version is, then this is the menu to go to.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The first setup page of the Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker is the status menu and that shows us the current statuses of the processor and memory.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Advanced Frequency Settings sup page of the Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker allows us to adjust all of the CPU settings and the multiplier for the memory.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Advanced Memory Settings page gives us access to adjust the Memory multiplier as well as additional sub-pages to change the memory timings. This is also the page where you can adjust the memory timings and DRAM voltage.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Gigabyte G1 Assassin X58 motherboard has plenty of settings that you can tinker with on the DRAM.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

Above we have the Advanced Voltage Settings page which allows you to tweak the system voltages. This board will let you go up to 1.9V on the CPU VCore and 2.6V on the DDR3 DRAM!  Plenty of voltage for 99.9% of overclockers out there!

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

Under the miscellaneous settings tab we find the Isochronous Support option that enables and disables the lanes between the Northbridge and the Southbridge controllers. Enabling this option allows for multiple data streams of equal size between the two controllers. You also have the ability to enable or disable Virtualization in this menu.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Standard CMOS features page is just that, standard. It lets you set the time and date along with seeing what devices you have plugged into which port.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Advanced BIOS Features page allows you to configure boot devices and boot order. This is a page that nearly everyone will visit.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Integrated Peripherals page allows you to configure many of the features the GIGABYTEG1 Assassin X58 motherboard offers. This board features integrated devices like the Intel ICH10R RAID controller, the GIGABYTE RAID controller, the JMicron RAID controller, the Marvell SATA 3 RAID controller, the Realtek GigE LAN controller,  the USB 2.0 ports, the USB 3.0 ports, and the Realtek HD audio subsystem. As you can see there are plenty of things to enable or disable here!

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The Power Management Setup page lets you tinker with the power settings available.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System BIOS

The PC Health Status page informs you of the temperatures and voltages of the system along with controlling the system fans and warnings. Besides monitoring the temperatures, voltages and RPM's you can also configure device warnings based on temperature and fan speed, as well as a temperature based CPU fan controller.

Legit Reviews Test System

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with all the latest updates installed. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Corsair Vengeance memory modules were run in Dual-channel mode at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24-2t timings. The XFX Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards were run with 10.12A CATALYST suite drivers. The Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb Graphics cards were running driver version 260.99. The Intel Core i7 950 processor was running at the default clock of 3.07GHz with turbo enabled. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin was running BIOS revision f3d.

Intel X58 Test Rig

 Processor  Intel Core i7 950
 Live Pricing
 Motherboard  GIGABYTE G1 Assassin
 
 Memory  6gb Corsair Dominator CMP6GX3M3A1600C8  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

Intel P67 Test Rig

 Processor  Intel Core i5 2500K  Live Pricing
 Motherboard  See Above  
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Test Bench

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin System Settings

SiSoft Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GPGPU Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU performance.

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard fell just shy of the memory performance of the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard. The Float Buff'd performance was .028 GB/s behind while the Int Buff'd was .045 GB/s behind. As expected though, the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard holds a significant lead over the Intel P67 motherboards thanks to the capabilities of the triple channel memory architecture.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin NVIDIA SLI Scaling

Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb SLI Kit

Since the release of the Intel P67 chipset, we decided to change a few things up in our testing. The next two pages are all about the scaling of multiple GPU's in our systems. First off, we are going to test how well the P67 chipset scales multiple NVIDIA cards. In order to do this we contacted our friends over at GALAXY and they were kind enough to send over a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1Gb graphics cards that are available in a two card SLI kit.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard was able to put up numbers comparable to those of our Intel P67 systems. At 1280x1024 the G1 Assassin saw a jump from 36.35 frames per second to 69 frames per second. That is an improvement of 89.8%. At 1920x1080  the Assassin jumped from 26.4 frames per second to 50.6 frames per second, that's an improvement of 91.7%.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Metro 2033

Metro 2033 doesn't scale quite as well as Aliens Vs. Predator on any of our platforms. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard is no exception. At 1280x1024 running a single Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 we were able to cruise along at 26.98 frames per second, tossing in a second card the performance jumped to 45.81 frames per second for an improvement of 69.8%. 1920x1080 the performance of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin jumped from 19.09 frames per second with a single card to 32.04 frames per second in SLI. That is a gain of 67.8%.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Stalker: Call of Pripyat shows the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin having a solid performance gain in SLI. At 1280x1024 the G1 Assassin jumped from 85.5 fps to 147.5 fps for an improvement of 72.5%. !920x1080 saw a gain of 84.4% starting at 58.3 frames per second with a single card configuration and jumping up to 107.7 frames per second in NVIDIA SLI.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin AMD CrossFireX Scaling

XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB Graphics Card

As with the previous page where we tested the NVIDIA SLI scaling between the chipsets, we want to do the same for the AMD CrossfireX. When we decided to run this series of tests, we were able to get in touch with our friends over at XFX and they kindly sent over a pair of XFX Radeon HD 6950's.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin AMD CrossFireX Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

Not only does Aliens Vs. Predator scale well in SLI, but it also scales extremely well in CrossFireX, actually even better. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin jumped from 51.4 frames per second at 1280x1024 to 102.9 frames per second in SLI! At 1920x1080 the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin jumped from 38.4 frames per second to 78.3 frames per second!

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin AMD CrossFireX Scaling Metro 2033

Metro 2033 and the Intel X58 chipset don't seem to play well together. Both of the Intel X58 systems we have tested have seen gains in the single digits. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard averaged 31.44 frames per second with a single XFX Radeon HD 6950 and saw a gain of 1.45 frames per second for an average of 32.89 frames per second. This is a whopping gain of 4.6% at 1280x1024. Our Hi-res numbers are slightly better with a gain of 2.17 frames per second for a gain of 8.4%.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin AMD CrossFireX Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin performance numbers were significantly better than they were in Metro 2033. At 1280x1024 we saw an improvement of 50.7%. In the single card configuration the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin was running along at 104.5 frames per second and in SLI we were putting up performance numbers averaging 157.43 frames per second. At 1920x1080 the G1 Assassin jumped from 73.53 frames per second with a single XFX Radeon HD 6950 up to 120.6 frames per second in CrossfireX. That's an improvement of 64%.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Synthetic Benchmark

3DMark 11 Screenshot

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

3DMark 11 Settings

Since Futuremark is releasing 3DMark11 today we decided to run the benchmark at both performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

3DMark 11 Benchamrk Results

Benchmark results: The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard was able to edge out the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard in 3DMark 11. The performance setting shows a 50 point difference while the extreme setting shows only 4 points between the two X58 systems.

Rightmark Audio Analyzer

RightMark Audio Analyzer

The RightMark Audio Analyzer suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio devices, be it a sound card, an MP3 player, a consumer CD/DVD player or an acoustic set. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. The latest version of RightMark Audio Analyzer can be found here.

RightMark Audio Analyzer Results

Rightmark Audio Analyzer Comparison Chart

(click for larger image)

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Audio Performance

The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin has an onboard Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor (20K2) with X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity and EAX AHD 5.0 Technologies. In Rightmark Audio Analyzer we can see that GIGABYTE G1 Assassin has a significant improvement in several of the tests over Realtek ALC 892 HD Audio Codec used in just about all of our boards. The noise level, dB (A) and Dynamic range , dB (A) saw an improvement of 15% and the Stereo crosstalk, dB saw an improvement of 14.5%.

Network Throughput

NTttcp Tool

The Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers vary on each board, so it will be interesting to see what the performance is on all the boards. Each of the boards uses a different Gigabit Controller. Let's take a look at what controller is on each of the boards.

To test the Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers we used the NTttcp tool to test Ethernet Throughput and the CPU utilization of the various Ethernet controllers used on the AMD Motherboards. To do this properly we set up one machine as the server: in this test an Intel Core I7 970 system with an MSI Big Bang XPower motherboard acted as our Gigabit LAN server.

On the server side, we used the following Command Line for Gigabit PCIe Ethernet Testing:

Ntttcpr -m 4,0,<Client IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

On the client side (the motherboard being tested), we used the following Command Line:

Ntttcps -m 4,0,<Server IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

At the conclusion of each test we recorded the throughput and CPU utilization figures from the client screen as that is the system being tested.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Network Throughput

Benchmark Results: The GIGABTE G1 Assassin uses a Bigfoot Networks E2100 game networking platform integrated onto the board. This particular test doesn't show the E2100 performing as well as I would have hoped. Our testing shows the total throughput of the networking components sitting at 891.104MB/s which is ~6% lower than our other boards. 

SATA 6 Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

The SATA6 Testing was done using Crucial RealSSD C300 256Gb SATA6 SSD drive.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin HD Tach SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard did a solid job in our SATA 6 performance testing. The Average read of 318MB/s was enough to surpass the performance of many of our Intel P67 motherboards which use a controller integrated in to the P67 chipset. The Average writes of 202.63MB/s, while still quite respectable, weren't quite as fast as some of the P67 boards, though it was able to edge out the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin HD Tune SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard once again shows that it is here and it means business. The Average read of 306.8MB/s was enough to push past all of our boards except for the BIOSTAR TP67XE. The Average write of 221.43MB/s was enough to edge out all of the boards!

USB 3.0 Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard had an average read of 119.87MB/s and an average write of 116.97MB/s. This was enough to edge out all of our boards USB 3.0 performance.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Our testing of the USB 3.0 performance was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin USB3 HD Tune Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin has definitely brought its A-game for the USB 3.0 Performance testing. The Average read was 114.5MB/s and the Average write was 112.17MB/s, more than enough to edge out the competition by a small margin.

System Power Consumption

CPU Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fans, video cards and hard drives. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95's in-place large FFT's were run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. Curious about real world scenarios, we decided to drop Furmark and ran 3DMark 11 on the performance preset and took the maximum power consumption during the first GPU test.

System Power Consumption

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin Overclocking

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Intel Core i7 950 CPUz

The Intel Core i7 950 utilizes a bus speed of 133MHz, though the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin is picking it up at 133.2MHz. Under full load the Intel Core i7 950 uses a multiplier of x23 to achieve the final clock speed of 3.07GHz. Our Intel Core i7 950 isn't an Extreme Processor so we will limited to increasing the Bclk to achieve our overclock on the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin.

As we saw on the Retail Packaging and Bundle page earlier in the article, GIGABYTE has included a Quick Boost button on the 5.25" front access control panel. Of course this is a feature of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard that we wanted to put through the paces.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Quick Boost Overclocked Intel Core i7 950 CPUz

I'd love to sit here and tell you that GIGABYTE's Quick Boost feature is the best thing out there since sliced bread. I'd be lying though. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin's Quick Boost simply raised the bus speed from 133MHz to 140MHz. For an on the fly overclock, it's not awful. After all, it does bring the Intel Core i7 950 in our GIGABYTE G1 Assassin up an additional 168MHz! Personally I would have like to see a bigger boost.

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Overclocked Intel Core i7 950 CPUz

The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard is definitely one of the easier motherboards I have on to hit 4.3GHz+! Unfortunately, we were limited by our cooling this time around. Our processor was getting a little on the toasty side, we were pushing 95-96 degrees Celsius at only 1.35V! If my office wasn't heating up with the warmer weather, I don't doubt that we could have squeezed more out of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin!

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Performance Review

The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard packed with features. In fact, I don't think the could pack anything else on the board than they already did. In order to fit everything that they did, GIGABYTE had to move away from the standard ATX form factor and increase the size of the board to a XL-ATX form factor. The XL-ATX form factor measures 34.5cm x 26.3cm, opposed to the Standard ATX form factor which measures 30.5cm x 24.4cm. The increase in the form factor size gave GIGABYTE an additional 163.15 square centimeters. That's a gain of 21.9% in the total real estate on the PCB for all of the added features.

Despite the increased real estate on the PCB of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard, GIGABYTE managed to fill it with features. One of the features of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin that was squeezed onto the board is the Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 NIC. The Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 NIC offers quite a few features that we didn't get test today. The Killer E2100 features a dedicated Network Processing Unit and 1Gb of DDR2 Memory. The NPU and dedicated memory are supposed to offload network traffic from the CPU. Our testing didn't seem to show that, we also weren't running a game for our testing though. In our NTTTCP testing the CPU had an average usage of 4.18%, which was in the middle of the pack of our boards.

GIGABYTE G1 Killer Assassin X58 Motherboard

Another key feature of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard that was shoe horned onto the PCB is the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor (20K2). The Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor features EAX Advanced HD 5.0, Dolby digital live encoding, and DTS Connect. Features like these aren't available on your run of the mill onboard audio chip. Testing the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor with Rightmark Audio Analyzer show's an improvement in quality over the Realtek ALC 892 chipset found on most of the boards we have tested. The software available for the Creative Soundblaster on the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin, is part of what is going to separate the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin from the rest of the pack.

Our performance testing of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard doesn't show the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin standing out from the crowd. To be fair though, there is only so much that a motherboard can do for performance when we are running at default settings. Once we got into overclocking with the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin is where things started to get fun. Unfortunately, we were limited by heat, and time in our Intel Core i7 950. Pushing 95-96 degrees Celsius is risky business, otherwise we would have been likely to hit the 4.4-4.5GHz mark with our processor.

I really like the concept behind the GIGABYTE G1 Killer series of motherboards. The issue I have though, is that it is an Intel X58 motherboard. It's still a strong system if you are already using it, but if I were to be building a new system, an Intel X58 system wouldn't be my first choice. Our Intel Core i5 2500K processor in the Intel P67 motherboards was giving the i7 950 a solid run for the money. If GIGABYTE had release the G1 Killer series of motherboards in the Intel P67 chipset I think it would have been a better move on their part. Please don't mistake this for knocking the board, the board was great, just a little late. Perhaps GIGABYTE will release another version of the G1 Killer Series motherboards for the up and coming Intel Z68 chipset, or for Socket R later this year.

Like all but GIGABYTE's Micro ITX motherboards, the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin carries a three year warranty from the date of manufacture. With all of the features that the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin carries, it's no surprise that it carries a hefty price tag as well. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin can be found online for $509.99 plus $10.60 for shipping. Currently there is a $20 mail-in rebate card available, so that brings the overall price down to $500.59. As you can see, it's on the pricey side, If you were to subtract the cost of the Killer NIC and the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi, the price would be in the realm of $300-$350. If you planned on upgrading the audio and installing a Killer E2100 NIC, you may just come out ahead since you won't be taking up space in your expansion slots. It can't do Quad-SLI, but it can do pretty much everything else!


Legit Reviews Editor's Choice

 Award

Legit Bottom Line: If you happen to be building an Intel X58 system and plan on upgrading the audio and installing a Killer E2100 NIC, the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin may just fill your needs perfectly!