It's becoming more difficult to justify the purchase of Intel's X58 Express chipset with all the new technology looming on the horizon. This chipset came out almost three years ago. Time sure flies, especially in the hardware industry. We still like the fact that the X58 offers support for the six core processors in Intel's lineup, along with triple channel memory. However, after the success of Sandy Bridge processors and their associated chipsets, one has to wonder how much longer the major manufacturers will be willing to pick from this tree.
One thing is certain. Gigabyte will not be the first to move away from the X58. Their latest G1 Killer series of X58 motherboards are specially designed for gamers that accept no compromises. There are three products in this particular line up: the G1 Assassin, G1 Sniper, and G1 Guerrilla. In a military motif, all three come with a black and green color scheme, along with heat sink designs that resemble gun barrels and magazine clips. Today, we're looking at the big brother of the group, the G1 Assassin. It supports Core i7 LGA 1366 processors, offers six memory slots with support for a max capacity of 24 GB, four PCI Express x16 slots, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi digital audio processor, Bigfoot Network's Killer E2100, SATA 6Gbps, USB 3.0, 16 phase power, and Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 3 specifications.
Gigabyte G1.Assassin X58 Motherboard
Specifications & Features
||Intel Core i7 LGA1366
||Intel X58 Express
||Six 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets
Up to 24 GB
||Creative CA20K2 chip
7.1 channel HD audio
||Bigfoot Killer E2100 chip
Marvell 88E1118R phy
||Two PCIe x16 @ x16 slots
Two PCIe x16 @ x8 slots
Two PCIe x1 slots
One PCI slot
||Supports up to 3-way SLI and 4-way CrossFireX
||South Bridge supports six SATA 3Gb/s connectors
Marvell 88SE9182 supports two SATA 6Gb/s connectors
||XL-ATX / 13.6” x 10.4
||3 Year Limited Warranty
At $459, the G1 Assassin is not cheap. But of course, flagship products never are. It's not the most expensive X58 board you can buy either. The dual socket SR-2 from EVGA currently holds that title, with a street price of $579, although that board requires Xeon processors. Asus also offers an ultra high end mobo, the Rampage III Black Edition, which costs $559. That's definitely a budget buster no matter how you slice it. Compared to those two, Gigabyte's G1 Assassin is a bit more affordable, but still a lot more expensive than the majority of X58 options currently available.
Since the demand for no-holds-barred motherboards is strong enough, big name companies like Gigabyte will continue to manufacture over the top hardware to fill the need. So what exactly do you get for $459? Before we get to the performance numbers, let's take a closer look at the features of G1 Assassin on the following page.