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Super-Size Me: Gigabyte's G1.Assassin In An XL-ATX Monster

Super-Size Me: Gigabyte's G1.Assassin In An XL-ATX Monster
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I'll Take That Extra Large, Please

After demonstrating P67's ability to keep up with X58 in single-, dual-, and triple-card configurations (with the help of Nvidia's NF200 switch), we're pretty much "over" the idea of paying a premium for X58-based platforms. However, there will always be a market for the best of the best, regardless of how much it costs.

To that end, Gigabyte sent us its huge G1.Assassin motherboard to show off the board's unique features, not the least of which is its ability to host four dual-slot Radeon graphics cards in a CrossFire configuration (or three GeForce cards in three-way SLI). Up until now, this editor hadn’t had any experience with the XL-ATX form factor and its extra-large proportions. So, we invite you to see exactly what we saw when putting together a massive dream machine.

There aren't any benchmarks this time around. We planned a review of this beast in a configuration it'd actually be used for: with a quartet of graphics cards in four-way CrossFire. Unfortunately, the Radeon HD 5870s we were using simply wouldn't run stably in that arrangement. So, we swapped in three Radeon HD 6950s, which worked fine. The problem is that we'd still recommend a P67- or Z68-based config for three GPUs. The only way this was going to go down was with four cards. As we dig around for a fourth 6950, we thought we'd present you with this unique build as it stands (imposingly) today.

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  • 4 Hide
    jednx01 , May 23, 2011 4:09 AM
    Personally, I've never seen the point of 4 video cards... That seems like total overkill to me. Still, nice looking board. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 23, 2011 4:53 AM
    Kinda tacky with that "Ammo clip" heatsink, but it'll go nice with the Gkill's Sniper Series though.
  • 2 Hide
    AstroTC , May 23, 2011 4:59 AM
    Very appealing but overkill to see the least
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , May 23, 2011 5:01 AM
    That bottom PCI-e x16 slot is like an appendix on this board. There aren't enough lanes for it to be of any use. However, the amount of motherboards with proper configuration for the use of all 4 is a small pool.
    The thing I like about this board is no Realtek. There is a more sophisticated network adapter and a better sound chip. I don't like Sound Blaster, but I like them more then Realtek.
  • 2 Hide
    Krnt , May 23, 2011 5:01 AM
    Nice, but still think it's a pointless amount of Fire-Power.
  • 0 Hide
    Maximus_Delta , May 23, 2011 5:08 AM
    I wonder what games out there will benefit from so much shock and awe bar the forever held up Crysis. Perhaps for those apps that can data crunch on the GPU this will be worthwhile.
  • 0 Hide
    wrxchris , May 23, 2011 5:29 AM
    "After demonstrating P67's ability to keep up with X58 in single-, dual-, and triple-card configurations (with the help of Nvidia's NF200 switch), we're pretty much "over" the idea of paying a premium for X58-based platforms."

    You guys still haven't proven that the limited bandwidth of a single PCI-e lane doesn't create a bottleneck in a multi-screen environment. The few benchmarks I've ever seen that address this showed a significant difference in FPS (approx. 15%) @ 5760x1200 between x16/x16 and x8/x8 setups.
  • 1 Hide
    opmopadop , May 23, 2011 5:32 AM
    Please benchmark this rig in a 100'F (38'C) room! There is nothing I hate more than a rig that crashes and burns in summer!
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , May 23, 2011 5:34 AM
    Holy... what a board, it has everything.
  • 3 Hide
    Crashman , May 23, 2011 5:35 AM
    wrxchris"After demonstrating P67's ability to keep up with X58 in single-, dual-, and triple-card configurations (with the help of Nvidia's NF200 switch), we're pretty much "over" the idea of paying a premium for X58-based platforms."You guys still haven't proven that the limited bandwidth of a single PCI-e lane doesn't create a bottleneck in a multi-screen environment. The few benchmarks I've ever seen that address this showed a significant difference in FPS (approx. 15%) @ 5760x1200 between x16/x16 and x8/x8 setups.
    Tom's Harware does it's best to provide valid configurations for its test, unlike some other sites that gimp their systems to "prove" something else. Having said that, if you really want to see 5760x1200 you will. Just send the monitors and I'll get started right away!
  • 1 Hide
    aznguy0028 , May 23, 2011 5:36 AM
    i would rather not think of the heat produced in that 4 xfire setup. I can already feel the heat of xfire 6870 in a 600t case after a gaming session of only an hour with all fans at max.
  • 0 Hide
    barmaley , May 23, 2011 5:39 AM
    Is it me or this case really does not have enough openings for all the expansion slots on the motherboard? Look for yourself pic#2 - there is no opening if you were to install a video card in the bottom green slot. The next one up (black one) also looks like it's not lining up with any card opening either.
  • 3 Hide
    maxiim , May 23, 2011 5:43 AM
    Do you guys have folks proof read? Almost every news thread I see on here has some spelling mistakes, no big deal but they are worth a mention.

    "Three 3 GB sticks of the stuff results in a a total 12 GB" perhaps a refresh in math will do.

    On the other hand, its a nice board, but with Sandy Bridge, Intel can no longer justify those money amounts people spend on x58
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , May 23, 2011 5:43 AM
    but will anyone actually buy one? maybe only people with nothing else better to do with their money
  • 4 Hide
    rohitbaran , May 23, 2011 5:52 AM
    mayankleoboy1now how about giving it away in a contest?

    +1
  • 1 Hide
    barmaley , May 23, 2011 5:53 AM
    And one more thing... On Monday morning, I expect to see a full-fledged review on an interesting technical topic. NOT a cheesy slide show that takes 15 minutes to put together. After watching all these Ads and incredibly pesky flash-based pop-outs, I think we deserve that much. Thanks!
  • 0 Hide
    The Greater Good , May 23, 2011 6:16 AM
    LDPEKinda tacky with that "Ammo clip" heatsink, but it'll go nice with the Gkill's Sniper Series though.


    For the love of GOD, MAN!!! That's a magazine, NOT A CLIP. A clip is for something like the SKS or the M1 Garand.
  • 3 Hide
    Maximus_Delta , May 23, 2011 6:21 AM
    Hard core gamers out their will love this stacked with 4 graphics cards to show off at the local LAN party. Imagine the electricity bills tho... 600-700 watts at the wall? 4-5 hours gaming sessions each night?
  • 1 Hide
    Maximus_Delta , May 23, 2011 6:22 AM
    Btw mean't "there" not "their", these typos are infectious
  • 1 Hide
    red1776 , May 23, 2011 6:27 AM
    Quote:
    Personally, I've never seen the point of 4 video cards... That seems like total overkill to me. Still, nice looking board.


    Not if you are running multi screen resolutions.

    Quote:
    That bottom PCI-e x16 slot is like an appendix on this board. There aren't enough lanes for it to be of any use.


    That is a common misconception. You might do some reading on PCIE scaling (it can be found right here at TOM's.) I have proof of this sitting on my desk, and have built them for customers as well. The 4th slot on my Asus C4F is an x4, occupied by a 4th Asus EAH DirectCu 5850,(before you say it, I use a PCIE riser pass-thru) and it adds frames nicely to shader heavy games running at 5760 x 1080.

    Have a look at the scaling down to a single lane here:
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Express_Scaling/25.html

    From Tom's
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/pcie-geforce-gtx-480-x16-x8-x4,review-31964-4.html

    Far from an "appendix" :) 
    http://www.techspot.com/gallery/member-galleries/p4288-metro-203340-5760x1080-very-high.html

    http://www.techspot.com/gallery/member-galleries/p4287-metro-203340-5760x1080-very-high.html
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