Kitguru often focuses on the ultra high end hardware, but today we are building a system around the Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 motherboard, a new product which aims to deliver the best price point possible. At a shade under £85 we wanted to test this new mobo with the award winning Intel 2500K processor. Can we upgrade your older system to a new, kick ass CrossfireX gaming system for around £600?
As this is an upgrade scenario, you will already have a chassis, hard drive, power supply, monitor, keyboard/mouse and we will focus on upgrading the core components including processor, graphics, motherboard, memory and cooler.
Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard - £85 inc vat from Scan.
Intel Core i5 2500k – £160 inc vat from Scan.
XFX HD6870 Black Edition x 2 – £146 inc vat each from Scan. (£290 total)
Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Rev.2 CPU Cooler - £26.50 inc vat from Amazon.
Corsair Memory XMS3 Classic 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 Dual Channel Desktop – £23 inc vat from Scan.
Total: £584 inc vat.
The system above is well balanced with some of the best priced components on the market. Obviously if you also need a power supply upgrade you could run initially with a single graphics card, then upgrade with another at a later date, when funds permit.
On paper the Gigabyte -Z68AP-D3 Z68 seems almost too good to be true, especially at this budget price point. It is fully loaded and even comes equipped with Intel Smart Response Technology, the first ever mSATA drive connectors on a standard desktop PC motherboard. It has CrossfireX support, USB 3.0 connectors and SATA 6Gbps connectors.