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

The Gigabyte G1 Assassin is a stunning showcase of the highest engineering standards, even to rival industry leaders Asus.

The G1 board features a new heatpipe design which was created to deal with excessive temperatures. We love the green and black colour scheme, its very distinctive. There is a lot of attention to detail, such as little ‘bullets' visible on the heatsink areas, to make it look like the clip of a machine gun.

The heatsink takes heat from critically important parts of the motherboard, such as the CPU VRM section and pushes it across the fins. Gigabyte claim that the heatpipe design utilises a ‘unique fluting technology, similar to a rifle barrel fluting, which allows for maximum heat dispersion'.

The board is also loaded with smart fan pin headers and is exactly how we like it. Regardless of case fan positions, this board allows for cables to be connected in all corners of the PCB layout.

Gigabyte are using high quality Nichicon MUSE ES series and MW Series Bi polarised audio capacitors at each channel layout. These are professional grade audio capacitors which deliver very high levels of sound resolution. there is even a built in front audio headphone amplifier which can drive high loads (up to 150ohms). The amplifier also features a wide band width, low noise, high skew rate with low distortion for great quality output. There are also 4 additional amplifiers onboard for the center/sub woofer, rear speaker and side surround and line out connectors.

The image above left shows the 16 phase power capabilities of this board. This dual power switching and Power phase boost with multi gear switching can help with overclocking and stability, when pushing processors higher. Gigabyte recommend that 1366 Extreme Edition users populate both phase power ports, so you will need a capable power supply.

The motherboard features a Killer E2100, dedicated NPU with 1GB of DDR onboard. This will take the networking load from the main processor, freeing up CPU cycles for more important tasks, such as gaming. KitGuru really loves the Bigfoot technology and we have reviewed their products in the past, but we will delve into the networking performance again later in the review.

Gigabyte populate this board with Japanese Solid Capacitors which have a 50,000 hour operation time. The 2x Copper PCBs, Ferrite core chokes offer higher energy efficiency when compared to the common iron core chokes and lower RDS(on) MOSFETs that feature lower resistance.

The board supports up to 8 SATA devices, 2x Sata 2 (3GBps – white) connectors, and 6x Sata 3 capable connectors (6GBps – black).

Rear connectivity is strong with support for older PS2 connectors. Coaxial out. 4 x USB 2.0 ports, 4x USB 3.0 ports. Gigabit Lan, optical and full surround out.

Our final system build, which is liquid cooled by the new Antec Kuhler H20 620.

It is important to point out that this board is classed as an ‘XL-ATX' board measuring 345x262mm. This is larger than the ATX standard, which is 305x244mm.

While we didn't run into fitting issues in an Antec Twelve Hundred Chassis, it proved impossible to use the secondary Molex connector ( image above). There are two of these optional molex connectors on the PCB which aid PCIE stability when fully loaded in CrossfireX or SLI configurations. We actually found that we didn't need either of them connected throughout testing, but the power supply may block the lower molex connector, depending on the length of the chassis.

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