Gigabyte recently unleashed their new G1.Killer series of motherboards into the market. They're billed as high-performance gaming motherboards with lots of customizations. The three G1.Killer models are the Assassin, Sniper and Guerrilla. Today we'll be looking at the bottom-end of the lineup, the G1.Guerrilla. Read on for the details!
The G1.Killer Guerrilla is geared towards the serious gamer and overclocker. The board features a black solder mask with military-themed heatsinks for the MOSFETs, NB and SB. The 4 key points to the G1.Killer series are Super Sight, Super Hearing, Super Speed and Super Shield. Lets take a closer look at the G1.Guerrilla.
3-way CrossFireX™ and 3-way SLI™ Support - The ability to see clearly through the fog of war can often tip the balance between the winning or losing force. That is why GIGABYTE has equipped the G1.Guerrilla motherboard to offer utmost graphics flexibility and upgrade-ability. With multiple GPU support, GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla motherboard delivers maximum FPS (Frames Per Second), allowing gamers to see more clearly, aim faster, and move more quickly.
X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity™ and EAX® AHD 5.0™ Technologies - Being able to hear where your enemy is located before you see them can put you at a distinct advantage in most gaming situations. That is why GIGABYTE has rigged the G1.Guerrilla motherboard with the industry’s most advanced audio solutions all on-board; giving you the highest caliber audio experience. GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla features X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies, allowing you to experience sound in your gaming world exactly as you would in real life.
108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio playback - G1.Guerrilla motherboard features higher capability audio solution with 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback quality to deliver high-performance, multi-channel HD audio. SNR is a comparison of the amount of signal to the amount of noise such as hiss present in the signal (expressed in Decibels). A higher SNR equals a better audio experience. For example, 108dB, is a high audio specification, as this means the audio signal is 108dB higher than the level of the noise.
Built-in Front Audio Headphone Amplifier - Specially designed for gamers, GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla utilize a high capacity amplifier which is able to drive 150Ω loads, allowing gamers to enjoy a fuller range of dynamic sound with crisper details and less distortion when using high quality professional headphones. The amplifier also features wide band-width, low noise, high slew rate and low distortion, making it ideal for professional audio usage. In addition, GIGABYTE has equipped G1.Guerrilla motherboard with 4 additional amplifiers on-board for the center/sub woofer, rear speaker, side surround and line out.
USB 3.0 - The Gigabyte G1.Killer series motherboards support the latest generation SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology made possible through an on-board NEC uPD720200 host controller. With super fast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps, users are able to experience an almost a 10x improvement over USB 2.0. Additionally, backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 assures users of long term use of their legacy USB 2.0 devices. The on-board NEC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology also provides new power management features that include increased maximum bus power and device current draw to better accommodate power-hungry devices.
Nichicon High-end Audio Capacitors - GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla motherboard utilizes the highest quality Nichicon MUSE ES series and MW series Bi-Polarized audio capacitors at each channel layout. These professional audio capacitors deliver the highest quality sound resolution and sound expansion to create the most realistic sound effects for professional gamers.
On-board Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 Game Networking Platform - GIGABYTE is the only motherboard manufacturer to seriously address online gaming network lag issues by implementing the Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 Game Networking Platform directly on-board the G1-Killer series motherboards. Utilizing a unique combination of dedicated Network Processing Unit (NPU) and exclusive Game Networking DNA™ technology, the Bigfoot Networks Killer™ E2100 Game Networking Platform was designed to give the best online gaming experience possible.
Front Access Control Panel - As part of its box kit, the G1.Guerrilla motherboard features a convenient Front Access Control Panel that allows quick and easy access to 2 USB 3.0 ports
SATA 3.0 (6Gbps) and USB 3.0 - When you're behind enemy lines, intelligence data latency can get you killed. That is why GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla motherboard provides ultra fast data transfer performance with on-board integration of the latest SuperSpeed USB 3.0 for up to 8 ports (4 front panel, 4 back panel), SATA Revision 3.0 (6Gbps) technologies from Marvell, and an unprecedented 3x USB power boost on all USB ports for the most power hungry USB devices.
Locked and Loaded Heatpipe Design - The GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla features a brand new heatpipe that was designed to be as deadly to heat as it looks. By effectively spreading the heat from the critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU VRM zone and quickly dissipating it, GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla motherboard remains cool, even when the battle heats up. Modeled after the common firearms issued to soldiers deployed to a warzone including pistol, rifle and ammo clip, the Locked and Loaded heatpipe design utilizes a unique fluting technology similar to a rifle barrel fluting, which allows for maximum heat dispersion.
5 Smart Fan Connectors - Further helping to eliminate heat are the 5 strategically placed Smart Fan pin headers which allow for more precise control of system and CPU fans. Equipped with their own individual thermal sensors, the Smart Fans can be easily controlled via GIGABYTE's EasyTune™ 6 utility as well as in the BIOS.
Ultra Durable 3 - The GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 3 design features twice the copper for both the power and ground layers of the PCB, dramatically lowering system temperature by efficiently spreading heat from critical areas of the motherboard (such as the CPU power zone) throughout the entire PCB. GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable™ 3 also lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, which helps to reduce electrical waste and further lowers component temperatures. A 2x Copper layer design also provides improved signal quality and lower EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), providing better system stability and allowing for greater margins for overclocking. (more info)
Maximum CPU Power Delivery - Like the pistons and cylinders of a car engine, the design of the motherboard Voltage Regulator Module (VRM), component quality and number of power phases greatly affects motherboard performance. GIGABYTE engineers were first to realize not only the importance of using the best quality components for this critical area, but also that with more power phases, there can be more power available to your CPU. With 8 phase power design, Dual CPU Power and Driver MOSFETs, GIGABYTE G1.Guerrilla motherboard delivers the best-in-class system performance and power stability required for elite gaming systems.
Dual CPU Power - GIGABYTE's proprietary Dual CPU Power Technology allows CPU VRM power phases to split evenly into 2 sets of power engines that operate in tandem. This allows 1 set of power phases to rest while the other is active as opposed to a traditional power design where all the power phases are always active. As such, GIGABYTE Dual CPU Power effectively halves the amount of work done by each set of power phases to significantly increase motherboard durability and reliability.
Driver MOSFETs - By incorporating the MOSFETs and driver IC in accordance with the Intel® Driver MOSFET specification, GIGABYTE G1-Killer series motherboards allows higher power transfer and increased efficiency at higher switching frequencies to satisfy the power requirements of modern processors. Driver MOSFETs also help to reduce VRM real estate requirements for a cleaner, less cluttered CPU zone.
DualBIOS™ 3TB+ HDD Support (Hybrid EFI Technology) - Hybrid EFI Technology combines the benefits of GIGABYTE's mature BIOS platform including stability and compatibility with 3rd party products with 3TB+ HDD support from EFI technology, allowing GIGABYTE to offer the best of both worlds through a quick and easy BIOS update using GIGABYTE's @BIOS utility that is freely available from the GIGABYTE website. GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ is a patented technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when the main BIOS has crashed or failed. Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated on-board, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating. In addition, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ now supports 3TB+ (terabyte) hard drive booting without the need for partitioning, and enables more data storage on a single hard drive.
* The entire materials provided herein are for reference only. GIGABYTE reserves the right to modify or revise the content at anytime without prior notice.
* Advertised performance is based on maximum theoretical interface values from respective Chipset vendors or organization who defined the interface specification. Actual performance may vary by system configuration.
* All trademarks and logos are the properties of their respective holders.
* Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.
Ultra Durable 3
Copper Cooled Quality
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 3 series motherboards once again lead the motherboard industry for the highest quality and most innovative motherboard design. Featuring the industry's first consumer desktop motherboard design to introduce 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers, GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 3 motherboards deliver dramatically lower system temperature, improved energy efficiency and enhanced stability for overclocking.
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 3 motherboards also feature Japanese Solid Capacitors boasting 50,000 hours of operation, Ferrite core chokes with higher energy efficiency compared to the commonly used iron core chokes and Lower RDS(on) MOSFET's that features a lower resistance, which reduces power consumption and heat generation. The GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 3 series motherboards promises to provide the stability, reliability and longevity essential to meet the power needs of high-end processors and other components running today's most demanding applications and games.
The motherboard comes in a full-colored glossy box who's graphics make it resemble an ammo container, which is fitting given the "G1.Killer Guerrilla" name and "Locked and Loaded Heatpipe" design.
The rear of the box has a glossy and embossed picture of the motherboard, along with all of it's key features.
One end of the box shows the specs in different languages.
Once you pull the inner box out of it's shell (made easy by the included handle) you immediately notice it's covered in a digital camo pattern, which adds a nice touch to the overall theme of the board.
Once you flip open the outer lid, the first thing you see is the board in all it's glory looking through a clear window in the box. Once you pull out the tray that the motherboard is in out, you get access to the included accessories.
The accessories included with the board are as follows (from top left to bottom right):
Let's take a closer look at the included accessories.
The two included sticker sheets include the G1.Killer logos, a large G1.Killer logo as well as various bullet shell and bullet hole stickers.
The Manuals include a generic installation manual (white), the G1.Guerrilla specific manual (full-color), and the added software DVD.
One side of the poster shows the G1.Killer logo and lists all the features of the G1.Killer series of motherboards.
The other side of the poster shows a target along with the G1.Killer logo.
The included USB 3.0 panel is a great feature for those who will be installing this board into a case that doesn't have front-panel USB 3.0 ports. This will install into any available 3.5" external bay and connect internally via the now-standard USB 3.0 connector on the motherboard.
A closer shot of the included SATA cables. The fact that Gigabyte gives you both straight and 90º connectors is a HUGE plus and shows they were thinking of all possible needs for installation.
The Gigabyte case badge is a solid and colorful logo to dress up your case if you so choose.
The rear I/O panel even comes with the G1.Killer logo and labels for all the various ports.
The two included SLI™ and Crossfire™ bridges.
A Closer Look
The motherboard layout is your standard ATX form-factor, with an Intel socket 1366 for core i7 processors and 6 DDR3 memory slots for use in triple-channel OR dual-channels modes.
Here you can see several internal USB 2.0 headers and the front panel I/O connectors. The USB 2.0 header to the right with the red background is for Gigabyte's [URL="http://www.gigabyte.us/MicroSite/185/on-off-charge.htm"]ON/OFF Charge[/URL] mode. With ON/OFF charge, when any USB port connected to this header will be powered even when the computer is in S4 (suspend to disk) or S5 (shutdown) modes. This allows items like cell phones or MP3 players to charge even while the computer is off.
Here you can see the now-standard USB 3.0 internal header. This is becoming more commonplace for case manufacturers to incorporate ([URL="http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/frontpage/?q=node/657"]like the CM Storm Enforcer I previously reviewed[/URL]).
Here you can see the Northbridge cooler. It's a standard heatpipe cooler with the addition of 5 green LED's (which you can turn off by unplugging the small 2-pin connector if you choose) and coloring to fit the theme of the board.
The MOSFET cooler is shaped like the barrel of a gun and sports the same coloring as the Northbridge cooler.
The rear I/O ports include the following:
Visual Motherboard Monitoring
The Gigabyte G1.Killer series of motherboards include tools for visually monitoring key system setting and functions just by looking at the board. They include LED's for CPU voltage, DDR Voltage, NB voltage, SB voltage, CPU temp, Phase, NB Phase, DDR phase and LAN connection.
Here you can see the LED's for CPU voltage and CPU temp.
The CPU voltage LED's light up from bottom to top as per the following:
The CPU temp LED's light up as follows:
Here you can see the LED's for CPU Phase and Frequency (overclock). They work as follows:
The Phase LED's indicate CPU load. The higher the CPU load, the more LED's are lit up. The enable the Phase LED function, you need to enable the Dynamic Energy Saver 2 function.
Here you can see the NB and DDR Phase LED's. They work the same as the CPU Phase LED's above, but indicate NB and DDR loading rather than CPU loading.
Here you can see the NB Voltage LED's. The only downside to these is that they're somewhat covered by the NB heatsink. If you're going to have this board in a case it'll be hard to see them. If you'll be OC'ing the board and using it on an open-air test bench it'll be easier to see them. These work as follows:
Here you can see the LED for the LAN connection. This tells you whether the LAN chips are working properly.
All the LED's except for the LAN indicator can be enabled or disabled in the BIOS to suit your needs.
The G1.Guerrilla utilizes a modified version of the popular Phoenix Award BIOS which is split up into several categories:
Now most of this is familiar to anyone who's done any kind of BIOS tweaking, but one new thing you may have not seen before is the M.I.T menu. The M.I.T. allows simple and easy to use controls for overclocking every part of your system from CPU speed/voltage to RAM speed/voltage to NB/SB speed/voltage.
Inside the M.I.T. menu you will find several sub-menus:
Gigabyte includes a utility DVD full of software to use with the G1.Guerrilla motherboard that includes all necessary drivers, manuals and some nice power-saving and system tweaking programs.
Dynamic Energy Saver™ 2
Click any image for a bigger version
Bigfoot Networks Killer Network Manager
All tests are performed on a fresh install of Windows 7 Home x64, with all current windows updates installed. Each test was ran once and the data was recorded.
SiSoft Sandra software benchmarks all aspects of your system, from CPU performance to memory performance to data bandwidth. Funny thing I noticed is that at 4GHz it was actually slower in some areas than at the stock clock. The only reason I can see is that it may have throttled the CPU due to heat issues at that speed in conjunction with the stock Intel cooler.
Cinebench is a benchmark program that tests your CPU and GFX separately with 3D renderings. I was unable to run Cinebench at 4GHz due to the stock Intel cooler not being able to handle the heat.
Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 x64
The Crystal Disk Mark 3.0 software measures data transfer rates between the MB and HDD, or the Kingston V+100 SSD in this case.
Overclocking this board was done with the EasyTune6TM software. I was easily able to hit 4GHz on air with the stock Intel cooler. I can easily go father, but I would need a better CPU cooler first.
The Gigabyte G1.Guerrilla motherboard combines speed, monitoring, power saving and customization features into one easy-to-use and good-looking platform. Being the lowest model of the G1.Killer series, It's not as expensive or feature-packed as the high-end G1.Killer boards like the Sniper and Assassain, but don't let it fool you. The G1.Guerrilla performed well in our benchmarking tests and overclocks easily from the BIOS or with the EasyTune6TM utility. It's got support for 3-Way Crossfire AND 3-Way SLI, and with both USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/S this board is pretty well future-proofed for the time being.
Editors Note: After seeing several of these boards in person and talking to Will in detail about the G1. Guerrilla I am awarding it with my Editors Choice Award. If you are looking for extreme 1366 performance at a very reasonable price, the Gigabyte G1. Guerrilla cant be beat!
You can purchase the G1.Guerrilla from Newegg for around $300 at the time of this writing.
This product was provided free of charge by it's manufacturer for the purpose of review.