Gigabyte G1 Assassin Intel X58 Motherboard Review

Final Thoughts
When the G1 Killer motherboards were announced, I was very excited, and to me they were one of the standout things I saw at CES this year.  We really have not seen that many gaming motherboards that truly have everything a gamer needs.  The G1 Assassin in my opinion really does.  First off, gamers want the fastest system possible and with the X58 chipset you not only can run an i7 processor, but also triple channel memory, which will make a difference in games.  Besides that, there is the Bigfoot Networks E2100 processor built in to the motherboard.  The E2100 offloads CPU usage of the network connection to its own NPU.  This means your CPU will have more power to put towards the game you are are playing.  If you think Bigfoot Networks technology is all hype then check out our review of the card itself; the performance speaks for itself.  Along with the E2100, there is the Creative 20K2 audio processor, which will provide the best  on-board sound possible while gaming.  Since these two components are built in to the motherboard, that means they are not occupying PCI and PCI-E lanes, which gives you more room for video cards.

Speaking of room for video cards, this board can support four video cards in CrossfireX and three cards in SLI. That is very impressive, and for people who want to build a crazy machine like that, this is the board for you.  Another great feature of this board is USB 3.0 connectivity, this board has up to eight USB 3.0 ports, that is the most we have seen in a motherboard to date!  You also have two SATA3 ports for your SATA3 hard drives.

This is a gaming motherboard, not an overclocking motherboard, but it was quite easy to overclock this motherboard, especially with the included EasyTune6 software.  With the software I was able to get up to 3.84 GHz from the stock 3.2 Ghz.  Even more impressive is when I did my overclocking in the BIOS I was able to get the system up to 4.0 GHz stable!  If you don’t like to do overclocking at all the Quick Boost button on the included front panel will easy overclock your system, without even restarting it.  It brought our system from 3.2 GHz up to 3.36 GHz with a simple press of a button.

Gigabyte really took the “Gamer” theme all the way with the design of the cooling components of this board.  The entire heatsink is made to look like parts of a gun.  The southbridge heatsink is a clip that even have a replica bullet in it!  The northbridge heatsink has five green LED lights that illuminate the board, giving it a little flare.  The green and black design of the board also looks awesome.

I only really have two issues with this motherboard.  The first is its size. I know that in order to fit everything on this board they needed to make it bigger, but the XL-ATX form factor can only fit in a number of cases, the most popular of which are the Cooler Master HAF X, Lian Li PC-P80 and Thermaltake Xaser VI.  So, if you are going to upgrade to this board, you may have to buy a new case as well.  Also something I thought was missing was a Clear CMOS button either on the board itself or on the I/O panel.  I know many gamers who overclock their systems and a Clear CMOS button just makes things easier.

Obviously, a motherboard with all of these features is not going to be priced the same as your typical X58 motherboard.  Currently, the G1 Assassin is selling at my favorite online retailer for $529.99, making it one of the most expensive motherboards available.  You have to consider that you are getting the Bigfoot Networks E2100 and the Creative sound card as well, not to mention all the other features of this motherboard.  So, keep all of that in mind.
Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte G1 Assassin Intel X58 Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award!

Pros:
– One of the coolest looking motherboards we have seen
– Bigfoot Networks E2100 chip built in
– Creative 20K2 audio processor built in
– SATA3 and USB 3.0 connectivity
– Quad CrossFireX and Triple SLI support
– 16 Phase Power design
– Easy Overclocking and Quick Boost button

Cons:
– Price
– XL-ATX form factor
– No clear CMOS button

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