The G1 Assassin is a fairly decent looking board (as we have already told you). It has what is supposed to be a military look to it. Even the board level cooling is made to look like the weaver combat system that is in use by the US military. It is also built on the E-ATX form factor similar to the X58A-UD9, so if you are looking to use this make sure you have a case that it will fit into.
Kicking things off, up by the RAM slots we find a green and black color scheme; again we suppose in keeping with the military theme. We were a little surprised to find out that GIGABYTE left off any board level power and reset buttons. Although this is not a big deal really, we were still a little surprised at this omission.
The CPU socket is clean, but nothing to write home about. Looking around, we do find two 8-pin Aux ATX power connectors. These are probably needed with the extra components on the board (like the Killer NIC and the full Creative audio card). These are a little awkward to work with once the board is mounted in a case. Still, they are not that bad to get to.
Talking about power, the G1.Assassin looks like it needs quite a bit of it. Not only do you have the two 8-pin aux power connectors, but there are two additional 4-pin Molex connectors. The manual does not say they are required, but if you are looking to load this board up I would suggest making sure these are connected. As we mentioned before, there is a reason for this power need. One of them is visible in the last picture just above; this is the Killer Networks E2100 Network Processor.
Moving down towards the bottom of the board, we find the appropriate number of slots needed for three-way SLI and Quad Crossfire. Although there are four x16 mechanical slots, there are only two that will operate in full x16 mode; these are slots one and three. The other two (slots two and four) are x8 only. There are two additional x1 slots and a "throw back" PCI 2.0 slot just to keep things interesting.
To the left of the peripheral slots we find the space on the board that GIGABYTE has set aside for the full Creative X-Fi card. This includes the OpAMPs, the Creative CA20K2-2AG audio processor and memory buffer. This is a vast improvement over the typical Realtek, SoundMax or other audio CODEC that relies on the CPU for its audio processing. Of course, there is a possibility that the Creative audio processor could impact PCIe performance, as Creative has had a problem with excessive PCI polling in the past.
Flipping the board around, we find a bank of eight SATA ports. Six of these are the typical SATA 2 (the black ones), while the two remaining ports are SATA 3 and controlled by a Marvell controller and fall under the heading of GSATA. You also can see the stylized cooling we (and everyone else) have told you about. I do find it funny that they actually put a label saying this could not be assembled into a real weapon, though.
The I/O ports on the G1.Assassin are typical for a motherboard in its class. In all the G1.Assassin is a well layed out and planned board. Now, let's see if it performs!