• Pros:
  • Good performance
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Cons:
  • Only four memory banks

New Chipset, New Gun

Following last month’s announcement of the Intel X79 Express chipset, as well as the Intel Core i7 3960X processor, we’re getting more motherboards based on this chipset from motherboard manufacturers and this month we have the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 with us.

The very first thing we noticed on the G1.Assassin 2 is that instead of a machine gun magazine like the earlier G1 series products as the heat sink, the G1.Assassin 2 uses a gun shaped one. It looks really nice and it is adequately enough to cool the chipset down.

The G1.Assassin 2 has four memory banks, two on each side of the LGA 2011 socket. Like the X79A-UD7 we had last month, we’re not too sure why GIGABYTE went with only four slots, instead of eight. Nevertheless, the four slots on this motherboard will still run at quad channel.

There are three PCIe x16 slots on the motherboard and two of them run at x16 speeds. There is a pair of PCIe x1 slots and a single PCI slot. The motherboard also bundles together with a PCIe Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi card. The expansion card also comes with two antennas and can transfer at speeds of up to 150Mbps.

There are also enough SATA ports for all your storage needs. A total of 8 SATA ports are available onboard with four of them SATA3 capable. If that’s not enough, there is a pair of eSATA ports that are capable of speeds up to 6Gb/s at the back panel. These eSATA ports doubles as USB 2.0 ports as well.

We installed the Intel Core i7 3960X processor on the motherboard, along with 16GB of DDR3 memory, running at 1600MHz running at Intel XMP profile and quad channel, a GeFroce GTX580 based graphics card and an SSD with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit installed. Benchmark results were good, just as expected. It scored about 200 points lower than the X79A-UD7 but in real world performance, the difference is not much.

CHIP CONCLUDE : While we understand that not many people will make full use of the eight memory banks but we don’t know why GIGABYTE is using only four. Both the X79A-UD7 and the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 are their top of the line boards and it should come with the full Intel X79 Express specifications.

(published previously on issue February 2012)