Home / Component / CPU / Gigabyte G1 Assassin and Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Review – 5ghz

Gigabyte G1 Assassin and Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Review – 5ghz

Rating: 9.5.

Enthusiast customers are spoilt for choice when buying a new motherboard. Asus, MSI and Gigabyte are all going head to head to create the most eye catching, feature packed, overclocking friendly boards to suit those with deeper than average pockets.

One such product which caught our eye recently was the G1 Assassin from Gigabyte, which on paper is one of the most impressive motherboards they have ever produced. The G1 Assassin is based around the X58 chipset, Intel’s high end LGA1366 socket which is due to be replaced near the end of this year.

There are three products in this G1 range. The Guerilla, The Sniper and the Assassin – all of which have received ‘characterisation’ from the Gigabyte team (see image below), almost as if you were picking a person for a computer game. The G1 Assassin we are looking at today will make a considerable dent in your bank balance, costing in excess of £400. You need to be a serious, wealthy enthusiast to be contemplating a purchase of this board.

As you can see from the image above, this board can support up to 24GB of DDR3 at timings to 2200mhz. It can also accept four graphics cards (2×16 and 2×8). There is also a Creative HW Audio 20K2 sound card on board and a Killer E2100 Nic for all your networking demands. It even has support for 16 power phase and delivers USB 3.0 and Sata 6GBps connectivity. It also supports Quad CrossfireX and three way SLI, out of the box.

Today KitGuru will find out if this board is worth your time and money, and thanks to Intel we have their latest Core i7 990x Extreme Edition to partner up Gigabyte’s latest and greatest X58 board. Our goal is to hit 5.0ghz on modest liquid cooling, a rather tall order for the hot running 12 core flagship processor. Getting 4.8ghz stable with a 980x was a challenge, outside the realms of exotic watercooling or phase change anyway, so we hope the 990x allows us a little more headroom today.

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  • Luke

    Dear god, I need a cold shower, shall read it more in depth later today! awesome

  • KoRn

    That motherboard is just insanely well designed. the heatsinks are incredible. the bullet showing through etc? wow asus might need to be worried!

  • Colin Anderson

    I have been thinking of upgrading to this board now for a week, I have a 980x and want to ditch my current intel board as I can’t get past 4.2, even with a D14. its a lot of money, but hey we all need perks, right? 🙂

  • Francis

    that is a crazy board design. crazy good, not crazy bad.

    The cost is incredible however. I can under maybe £350, but £450? that would get a nice SLI setup.

  • Ned

    Gigabyte just shot up in my books due to this. the other products in the range look slightly better value for money however :p

    5ghz, thats a mega achievement for a standard cheap watercooler. look forward to the kuhler review zardon

  • Roger

    good read, and what a great design from gigabyte. I wonder how much of hte heatsink design is just for show however.

    990x is great, but not that exciting, just a clock bumped 980x. still nice oc too.

  • John

    The audio side looks stunningly well done for a reference onboard option. did it sound good?

  • Garry

    The last gigabyte board I had was alright, the bios was dodgy, but it might just have been an early revision. I sold it after a few weeks as I couldnt return it and I wanted something more stable.

  • hannisk

    Between asus, msi and gigabyte, they produce mega motherboards.

    This product is really a showcase of their engineering skill, its hardly practical for 99% of the enthusiast market. Still I wouldnt mind it, if you are giving it away.

  • gilliam

    crank the nuts off it ! 5ghz is good, it should go higher but you are right, over 1.5volts is risky business.

  • Hakuren

    Additional power connectors on the motherboard are of no importance if you are going with classic cooling (air or water) – excluding here some extreme experiments. Additional power is primarily designed to ensure stability with LN2 (just like with Asus R3E).

    There is plenty of things which I like, but it is more interesting what I don’t like.

    Price utterly prohibitive. With LGA 2011 around the corner, I simply don’t get it. Also they stuck with heat-pipe between NB and SB. It’s bloody mad to transport heat from red-hot north-bridge to south-bridge (OC!). For that kind of money I would expect at least 2 NICs, at least 10 SATA ports, 4 electrically x16 slots and some form of active cooling on north-bridge. Passive cooling of X58 that is pure madness. With big coolers you can run into problems because of that massive heatsink.

  • Thomas

    Hi Hakuren. some interesting points, but im not sure I agree with them all. Why would you need a dual Killer Nic configuration. Is this for a specific demand you need? Gamers will never need a dual setup. Also I dont follow your cooling theories on the NB and SB heatpipes. they shouldnt be transferring heat between components, more ‘evenly’ removing them across the whole area.

  • Nester

    Absolutely brilliant, what a setup. I can only dream…

  • Benny

    If anyone wants to donate this to someone, I can send my address? 🙂

  • Josepg

    450 quid for a motherboard. I thought they were taking the piss until I saw what it can do. Im sold, now I just need a new job!

  • Dave

    My friend bought this and it’s brilliant. He is loaded, and now i guess he will be selling his 980x for an ‘upgrade’ 🙂

  • Av8tortoo

    I have that set up now, I bought it a week ago. I am waiting on the watercooling get to arrive before I OC the board.

    BUT as of fight now I am in shock at how good this computer set up is and works out of the box.

    G1. Assassin
    12 GB 1600 DDR3
    2 P128 Corsair SSD
    Coolermaster HAF X

  • 7Timesaten

    Was thinking of buying this board myself, and once I get the funds sorted im ordering one for my 980x. not sure what case to get. the HAF x looks good. might opt for a lian li.

  • NeatenTer

    Excellent review, loads of info. the ocing is great. im sick of crap x58 boards so i might bite the bullet and order this.

  • Siliconimage

    I dont know what some dude was saying earlier in this discussion, this gigabyte board is one of the best on the market, bar none. its an overclocking force.

  • Alby

    Got no idea why you recommend this board over eg an UD5/7…

    Are those gimmicks really worth the extra cash ?

    Would loved to have seen the Killer NIC test and sound test. That’ is what makes this board special … Or a Bclock test… as 143 Bclock my grandma can do that…

  • Brian

    There is a Killer nic test in the review Alby. Sound testing can be rather subjective. I think the board looks great. people who dont want the extras will buy a cheaper board, thats pretty obvious, right? Some people love all the high end capacitors and extras. I know I do, but not sure id pay for it.

  • Alby

    My bad , overlooked that part :p