Gigabyte G1.Assassin Review

Geekspeak411 - 2011-05-06 20:22:53 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: Geekspeak411   
Reviewed on: June 16, 2011
Price: $540

Introduction:

What is your primary use for a computer? Some people hate computers, they avoid using them as much as possible. We all know those types although I highly doubt any of them ever stumble upon our home here. People of OverclockersClub seem to be a different breed of human (an arguably better breed too in my opinion of course, but that's a WHOLE other story), we are the enthusiasts, the niche consumers that represent our passion wherever we go. What some folks newer to our little society may not realize however, is that companies recognize the niche group we have here and, even beyond recognition, will occasionally take strides away from the norm to cater a product or two to excite the likes of exactly us. Gigabyte is one of those outstanding companies that has decided to do just that. They've created a group of three motherboards to address three different price levels that bring so many integrated features, peripherals and technical know-how that it's enough to make your eyes water. The Gigabyte G1.Assassin is the highest spec'd tier of boards that Gigabyte is churning out currently and is priced at $540. It boasts not only an X58 architecture but a dual 8-Phase alternating Power System that provides stable power to the board under all circumstances. It is able to switch off between the two systems intelligently when one phase group overheats. There is also built-in hardware integration of a Bigfoot Network's card and a Creative X-Fi card with all of the toppings. This board is completely smothered top to bottom in components. So much so that Gigabyte had to expand into an XL-ATX form factor that is the largest out there. So large in fact, that listing every case in the world that supports this motherboard can be done on one single sheet of paper! Without further ado, I am ready to give this board a closer look to see just what all Gigabyte has done with this board and see just how well they did it.

Closer Look:

The packaging for the Gigabyte G51.Assassin is very militaristic. This follows right with the gaming theme that the board so proudly projects. Printed like an ammo box, Gigabyte distressed the lettering on the box with a rusty tint to give the box a more rugged feel. A large gold Three Year Warranty sticker sits below the huge G1.Assassin lettering while all of the standard grade feature icons line the bottom with a large G1 Killer Gigabyte Gaming Motherboard logo dominating the lower right corner. On the back of the box, an image of the motherboard sits front and center with text blips surrounding the board proclaiming various features of the board. Opening up the packaging let me pull out the inner box which is printed with a digital woodland camouflage design. Delving further, I open up the inner box to reveal the motherboard compartment with a see-through window giving me my first real glimpse of the motherboard. Emptying the contents, Gigabyte includes the motherboard container, an accessory container and some extra bling to leetify your life (results vary greatly between age groups).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All kidding aside, the accessories included with the G1.Assassin are thoughtful inclusions and really fill out the package as a whole. Gigabyte added in a huge G1 Killer poster that has the standard magazine ad on one side and a big target on the other, the pictures below describe it better than I ever could. Also loose in the box are two sheets of sticker bling including G1 Killer logos and bullet holes. Emptying out the accessory box reveals two installation guidebooks, a full User Manual, a driver disc, four SATA cables, a standard I/O panel, a CrossFire bridge, a dual link SLI bridge, a Tri-SLI bridge and some stickers. The package also includes a 5.25 inch drive bay filler with dual USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA/USB 2.0 port and a Quick Boost button. SATA cables come in both the straight and 90 degree angle varieties.

 

 

 

 

 

The packaging and accessory bundle all looks great, let’s take a look at the motherboard itself!

Closer Look:

My first full look at the G1.Assassin left me rather speechless. First off, I really like the color scheme as it is reminiscent of an old favorite of mine, the eVGA 790i Ultra as kind of seen here. Gigabyte really went above and beyond here though as they took the military gaming theme all the way with some hilariously extravagant heatspreaders shaped like rifle heatsinks up top and one shaped like an ammo clip on the bootom. Gigabyte felt it had to put a legitimate disclaimer at the bottom reading: “Heat sink: Not a weapon. Cannot be assembled as a firearm.” That’s awesome. Beyond the heatsink, Gigabyte has successfully coupled some of the most legitimate hardware options you can find on the market today, and it shows. This is a huge motherboard considering its monstrous XL-ATX dimensions, but beyond that, it’s packed! Fitting a fully featured hardware Creative X-Fi sound card and a Killer E2100 network card on to the board itself is not an easy task but Gigabyte pulls it off with one of the most sophisticated motherboard layouts I have ever seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CPU area of the board is chock full of toys and utilities. The socket is a standard LGA 1366 LOTES socket with towering heatsinks sprouting up around it keeping the dual 8-Phase power system cooled off. Right next to the socket is the I/O panel which is packed with connections to the order of two PS/2 ports for legacy keyboards and mice, a SPDIF port, dual USB 2.0 ports, 2 dual USB 3.0 Ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port with another dual USB 2.0 port, and an audio hub containing five stereo 3.5mm plugs, and an optical port.

 

 

 

Moving down the board, another reason why this board must be XL-ATX is revealed. Four full PCI-E 2.0 slots, each double spaced, allowing for an insane amount of configurability and versatility when building a custom rig around this board. In addition, there are two more PCI-E 1x slots and a legacy PCI port to completely round out an ideal user experience. Supplanting the insane power requirements needed for a Multi-GPU graphics configuration are two 4-Pin Molex connections. Racing around the bottom corner I’ve got audio headers, a Molex port, a 4-pin fan header, two external USB 3.0 headers, two external USB 2.0 headers, front panel headers and a 4-pin fan header along the bottom edge. Continuing on up the right side of the board, the BIOS battery is mounted. Following the battery are two SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, six SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, a 4-pin fan header, a 24-Pin ATX power connector and a plethora of LED indicators showing off all kinds of information such as clock speeds, temperatures, loads and more. This board will probably look like a Christmas tree when it’s all overclocked and benchmarking. Finally, along the top edge sits a 4-pin CPU fan header as well as dual 8-pin CPU power connections, although only one is needed for less than extraordinary operating conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up under the spotlight is the crazy heatsink configuration. Consisting of large heatspreaders interlinked via heatpipes, there are three primary sinks, as well as a low profile "ammo clip resembling piece" over the southbridge. They are comprised of a completely metal construction and feel to be of very high quality. The IOH speader has five LEDs that simply act as ‘running lights’ to add to the board’s flair. Here at OCC, we void the warranty so you don’t have to! I went ahead and removed the heatsinks to get a closer look at both the heatsinks and the board itself and was very pleased to find a high quality thermal compound on the heatsinks. Even better than that was that the amount applied was just about perfect. This shows Gigabyte’s skill at producing high quality products from drawing table to retail shelf.

 

 

 

 

With the heatsinks out of the way, I want to show each of the different primary chips and features found on the board. First off, the hardware for the Creative X-Fi audio system is squeezed in right in front of the PCI-E slots with its own fully independent processor and RAM. Next up is the Killer E2100 Network card which also has its own processor and RAM to offload all network processing and optimization from the Windows stack. In between those two sits the USB 3.0 controller, fat, happy and made in Japan. The dual BIOS chips are positioned directly behind the PCI-E 2.0 slots, sandwiched between the slots and the southbridge heatsink.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful, let’s move on.

Closer Look:

CD Content:

There’s a ton of crap included on the disc with the G1.Assassin. While I believe most of us will go to the website first for drivers and utilities, the disc provides a wonderful interface that makes it incredibly easy to install all of the software and drivers you need to get up and running. Also bundled are the Creative X-Fi drivers and Network Utilities. Without further delay, the drivers and bundled programs, shown here better than I could hope to describe in sufficient detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gigabyte included a few different ways to overclock the G1.Assassin. This is a nice touch as it should allow more consumers to get into overclocking for the first time and give a few reference points when people want to take overclocking another point further. Unfortunately, the software included with Gigabyte's board is no better than any other programs on the market in terms of stability. The age long fact of BIOS Overclocks being more potent than software based overclocks still holds true although the front panel QuickBoost button successfully set the bclock to 160 with stability. However, the software had to restart the computer to apply each setting and even then rarely found stable settings. A redeeming quality of the software solution is its inclusion of memory, fan, and bclock control along with graphics card OC capability which seemed to be on par with competing alternatives.

 

 

 

 

 

A big draw of the board, the built in hardware network card, comes with the full software suite included with the PCI-E slot cards. The utility allows you to see system usage, dedicated NPU usage, as well as customize software variables and priorities across the board.

 

 

 

The other major draw, the dedicated sound card, includes the full Creative X-Fi software suite to back the full onboard sound processing unit. This is one step beyond what vendors such as ASUS provide with their better-than-average-but-not-this-good onboard X-Fi solutions. Beyond just bundling a baseline sound card with baseline X-Fi software, that enhances games and does sound better than standard onboard audio, the G1.Assassin features a fully fledged, high quality sound card with the fully fledged software bundle to boot. Featuring an Entertainment Mode, a Game Mode and even an Audio Creation Mode, this software has a feature set that few serious computing types would go without, even when it takes up an additional PCI-E slot. Excellent inclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, it's good to see Gigabyte covered all of the bases with the rest of the software as well. With the more standard-grade utilities Gigabyte enables all users to be able to take advantage of simple Windows-based BIOS updates, which otherwise can be a daunting task without prior experience. Achieve energy savings by cutting down on processor power, as well as chipset and other peripherials when not in use and you'll get hard drive management through one of Intel's own utilities.

 

 

 

This is an excellent software bundle that truly offers everything one could need in almost any type of build. With this kind of software support, this board could last through multiple builds. Very, very awesome software bundle and feature support.

Closer Look:

 

The BIOS

Now I don’t like making too many assumptions when I’m writing a review, but I would venture a guess that most readers on OverclockersClub.com are fairly familiar with what a BIOS is. If so, then feel free to window shop from these next two pages. If you don’t know what a BIOS is, then read on and I’ll take you through the basics of what the Gigabyte G1.Assassin BIOS has to offer.

 

The BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System. It is the software that defines and organizes all of the components within a device. It’s what makes everything work. On a motherboard, the BIOS defines all of the computer’s clock speeds, storage parameters, boot devices and much more. This is an overclocker’s central hub and also the first place to head if you want to break your computer when you don’t know what you’re doing! If this sounds like fun, then the first step to enjoyment is finding out which key brings you to the BIOS at boot, usually ‘Delete’ or ‘F10’. Once in the BIOS, a screen is presented with the main options offered by the BIOS. The first option is the Tweaker section, which I will save for later. Next up is the Standard CMOS option menu which offers all of the board’s general storage options and settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next down on the menu is the Advanced CMOS Features. Here controls for boot devices, hard drive priority and display driver priorities can be found. You can set the G1.Assassin to boot primarily from a DVD, any SATA hard drive, a flash drive, pretty much any storage media can be made bootable and organized into your own boot heirarchy through this interface. You can customized which drive features are enabled by device, and tell the system what devices to look for and which ports to skip over allowing you to further speed up the boot process.

 

Next up is the Integrated Peripherals tab, here you can find all of the I/O options such as SATA and USB features. This is where you can control all of the onboard USB controllers, set speeds, enable or disable I/O ports which can occasionally help with that extreme overclock and set the computer's storage interface.

 

Power Management is the next tab down and is exactly what it sounds like. It is where you go to control sleep and wake features as well as enable or disable power savings. Overclockers will likely not be spending too much time here, but those of you non-overclockers that still know your way around a BIOS and don't want to use the included software can start your energy saving stampede from here.

 

The PC Health tab is a good place to go if you don’t know too much about various system settings. It is where you can see fan speeds, voltages and temperatures of the various components on the PCB. If you don’t really know where to start, start here. Get used to the various numbers and their values so that you can have a ballpark to stay around when overclocking and tweaking.

 

 

The manual included with the board does a great job of explaining each feature in-depth. Let's delve into the tweaking section!

Closer Look:

Welcome the tweaking area of the BIOS. If you haven't read up on basic overclocking then Gigabyte has you covered with its software overclocking tools and QuickBoost button. You don't want to venture too far in here until you've read up or received a larger than normal allowance to burn up parts. With that said, here's a full-on view of every single OC setting that Gigabyte offered. Enjoy!

You begin in the M.I.T. section, short for Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker. I have not used a Gigabyte BIOS to overclock extensively prior to the G1.Assassin. I feel very at home within the ASUS BIOS so I felt a bit of a learning curve transitioning to this board. However, I feel that most of the same features are present once you can find your way around. I don't want to spoil too much before the overclocking section, but as you can see here, there are extensive options when it comes to CPU parameters, RAM timings, voltage settings, and, most importantly, extensive backup, save, and recovery features. I was disappointed in the lack of hardware controls on the motherboard, expecially considering this board won't be able to fit in to about 99% of the cases on the market today. And, there was also a lack of a convenient reset button when overclocking meaning I was stuck shorting out the headers on the motherboard to reset and power on. The Proper jumpers mind you. I don't really suggest it under any circumstances unless you have a lot of experince with motherboard hardware. It's a great way to ruin your new toy if you bridge the wrong headers. Nevertheless, I had a good time weeding my way through the tweaking section and was very happy to have features such as standard voltage previews for a reality check on your overclock settings, both numerical input and preset input, as well as dual-level vdroop control options, the most intense of which maintained stable voltages on the CPU under all levels of usage at my maximum overclock. This can go a long way towards increasing stability and maximizing the life of your products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some pretty awesome features buried in the BIOS here, but nothing not found on other boards.

Specifications:

CPU
1. Support for an Intel Core i7 series processor in the LGA 1366 package (Go to gigabyte.com for the latest support list) 2. L3 Cache varies with CPU
QPI
1. 4.8GT/s, 6.4GT/s
Chipset
1. North Bridge: Intel X58 Express Chipset 2. South Bridge: Intel ICH10R
Memory
1. 6 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory * Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB. 2. 3/Dual channel memory architecture 3. Support for DDR3 2200/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules 4. Support for non-ECC memory modules 5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules (Go to GIGABYTE's website for the latest supported memory speeds and memory modules.)
Audio
1. 1 x Creative CA20K2 chip 2. High Definition Audio 3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel 4. Support for Dolby® Digital Live/DTS Neo:PC/DTS Interactive 5. Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
1 x Bigfoot Killer E2100 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots. 2. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2) * The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated. (The PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2, PCIEX8_1, and PCIEX8_2 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.) 3. 2 x PCI Express x1 slots 4. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
Support for 3-Way/2-Way NVIDIA SLI technology and 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way ATI CrossFireXâ„¢ technology
Storage Interface
South Bridge: 1. 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0~SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices 2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 Marvell 88SE9182: 1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices 2. Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB
South Bridge: 1. 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: 1. 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) * The USB 2.0 signals of the USB 3.0/2.0 ports are from the South Bridge.
Internal I/O Connectors
1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector 2. 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors 3. 2 x 4-pin PCIe 12V power connectors 4. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors 5. 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors 6. 1 x CPU fan header 7. 1 x system fan header 8. 3 x fan headers 9. 1 x front panel header 10. 1 x front panel audio header 11. 1 x S/PDIF Out header 12. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers 13. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers 14. 1 x clearing CMOS jumper 15. 1 x Quick Boost button header 16. 1 x heatsink LED power connector
Back Panel Connectors
1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port 2. 1 x PS/2 mouse port 3. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector 4. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector 5. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports 6. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports 7. 1 x RJ-45 port 8. 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
1. System voltage detection 2. CPU/System temperature detection 3. CPU/System fan speed detection 4. CPU overheating warning 5. CPU/System fan fail warning 6. CPU/System fan speed control * Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.
BIOS
1. 2 x 16 Mbit flash 2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS 3. Support for DualBIOS â„¢ 4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
1. Support for @BIOS 2. Support for Q-Flash 3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue 4. Support for Download Center 5. Support for Xpress Install 6. Support for Xpress Recovery2 7. Support for EasyTune * Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model. 8. Support for Dynamic Energy Saver â„¢ 2 9. Support for Smart 6â„¢ 10. Support for Auto Green 11. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D) 12. Support for ON/OFF Charge 13. Support for Cloud OC 14. 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
Remark
• Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website. • Most hardware/software vendors no longer offer support for Win9X/ME/2000/XP SP1/SP2. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Gigabyte @ http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3752#ov

Testing:

To properly test the Gigabyte G1.Assassin, I will run the board through the OverclockersClub.com standard benchmark suite. This consists of a mix of synthetic and real life scenario tests run at OCC's standard 150x20 clock speeds and then again at the highest possible clock speeds achievable with the board. Once the data is collected, I put in the data from all of the other similar boards OCC has tested to get a good idea on how this board performs compared to the others. All tests are run with control panel settings at default. Is the G1.Assassin really up to the job? I certainly want to find out!

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked Settings:

Overclocking is the G1.Assassin is a little different for those coming from the ASUS side of the house. At first it was a little disconcerting and I felt I was missing features, but as time went on I slowly picked up steam and began to find the new places where features I incorrectly though were missing were actually just moved to. Some changes I felt made the BIOS more intuitive, others I liked better on the ASUS boards. I think it all boils down to personal preference though as both boards have very similar BIOS feature sets and both obtained very similar OC results within similar timeframes. I was able to get my chip to 190x22 fairly easily with 1.4v on the core.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Each CPU has been tested for its maximum stable clock speeds using Prime95. To gauge the maximum stability level, each processor had to be able to perform at least a one hour torture test without any errors.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench
  4. POV Ray 3.7
  5. PCMark Vantage Professional
  6. Sandra XII
  7. ScienceMark 2.02
  8. Cinebench 10
  9. Cinebench 11.5
  10. HD Tune 3.50
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  3. Batman Arkham Asylum
  4. 3DMark 06 Professional
  5. 3DMark Vantage

Testing:

The first part of our testing will be the system specific benchmarks.

 

Let's get started with Apophysis. This program is used primarily to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:

 

 

The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to complete.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower is Better

 

WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. We will use 100MB and 500MB files to test the time needed to compress these files. Time will be measured in seconds. Additionally, I will use the built in benchmark as a comparison.

 

ZIP:

 

 

Lower is Better

 

 

RAR:

 

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Geekbench:

 

 

These test historically have similar results across the boards, all looks well here.

Testing:

POV Ray 3.7: This program features a built-in benchmark that renders an image using Ray Tracing. The latest versions offer support for SMP (Symmetric MultiProcessing) enabling the workload to be spread across the cores for a quicker completion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Is Better

 

PCMark Vantage x64 is used to measure complete system performance. We will be running a series of tests to gauge performance of each individual motherboard to see which motherboard, if any, rises above the others.

 

 

 

Once again, results are right where they should be.

Testing:

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the motherboards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Processor Arithmetic

 

 

Multi-Core Efficiency

 

 

 

Memory Bandwidth

 

 

 

Memory Latency

 

 

Cache and Memory

 

 

 

Physical Disks

 

 

 

Power Management Efficiency

 

 

The minimal variances seen here are due to the slight clock speed differences amongst the group. Everything seems to be working just fine!

Testing:

ScienceMark tests real world performance instead of using synthetic benchmarks. For this test, we ran the benchmark suite and will use the overall score for comparison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Higher is Better!

 

 

 

CineBench is useful for testing your system, CPU, and OpenGL capabilities using the software program CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.

 

 

Higher is Better

Cinebench 11.5

 

Higher is Better

 

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

 

Higher is Better

 

 

 

 

Lower is Better

 

Here once more the scores are similar across the competing products, Gigabyte keeps up with ease.

Testing:

Far Cry 2:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built especially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real time effects and damage. This next generation First Person Shooter comes to us from Ubisoft surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main storyline of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this version of the game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50km squared of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. The settings used are just a few steps below the maximum in-game settings and offer a good blend of performance vs. visual quality.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything here is graphics limited, no motherboard bottlenecks here.

Testing:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the latest iteration of the venerable first-person shooter series, Call of Duty. Despite its long, successful pedigree, the game is not without substantial criticism and controversy, especially on the PC. Aside from the extremely short campaign and lack of innovation, the PC version's reception was also marred by its lack of support for user-run dedicated servers, which means no user-created maps, no mods, and no customized game modes. You're also limited to 18-player matches instead of the 64-player matches that were possible in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Despite all this, the game has been well received and the in-house IW 4.0 engine renders the maps in gorgeous detail, making it a perfect candidate for OCC benchmarking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same deal as seen before, no motherboard bottlenecks.

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter foes, the Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to rein the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to play your trade.

 

Video Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, same deal.

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest is started. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPU overclocks play a significantly larger role here than seen on the game benchmarks which allows for a bit more differentiation.

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. 'Entry' is 1024 x 768 progressing to 'Extreme' at 1920 x 1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar to the 3DMark 06 results, CPU increases reflect in the scores.

Conclusion: 

Well, it's easy to say that Gigabyte showed up to the fight with this board. Beyond now industry standard features and high quality reference components, the G1.Assassin heaps on two additional cards onto the PCB and ups the size to the gigantic XL-ATX form factor. This is a big deal for someone trying to build the be-all, do-all computer as it includes a network card and sound card which would otherwise take up PCI-E slots limiting your expandability. This no-tradeoffs design also allows for any variety of graphics card configurations as well as keyboards, mice and any other peripherial you can throw at it. The Front Panel USB 3.0 ports are really appreciated as most cases don't include support yet out of the box, and the QuickBoost button is great for casual gamers looking for a performance boost while the Dual-BIOS/Power System/CPU Power Connections have enthusiasts covered.

The heatsinks are big and of high quality and all the components work as advertised, but be ready to have a very limited selection when it comes to compatible cases. I have been very satisfied with the performance of this board but there is one elephant in the room that I would like to address: The price. I have listed the price as both a pro and a con, this is because first off, the board is expensive. $540 is definitely not something most people can drop easily on a computer, much less on a single part. When I rebuilt my boss' PC earlier this year I was able to replace the motherboard, RAM, CPU, graphics and power supply for the price of this one motherboard. Albiet with a lower performance regimen than this board aims for. On the other hand, however, there are those two cards that are included on the board itself. The network card and X-Fi cards when bought sperately run about $150 for both. Subtract that off of the price and you're now looking at $400, which is reasonable. Now figure in the ability to still run a four card graphics setup with these two cards still included and you've got yourself an exclusive option that is now quite a deal.

If you are trying to build a new supercomputer for gaming, parallel processing, editing, or other intensive tasks and don't want any comprimise, then the Gigabyte G1.Assassin is the board for you. Gigabyte has really hit is home on the enthusiast front with this one.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: