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Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 review – bargain mobo of the year

The Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 is without a doubt the motherboard bargain of the year. For less than £85 inc vat it is an incredible deal and was rock solid throughout all our testing with an Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.6ghz and even 4.8ghz.

While the board isn’t populated with colourful, oversized heatsinks, stability is not a concern. We deliberately attempted to cause the board as many problems as possible by trying some crazy settings. It always recovered after a few failed reboots without any user intervention. It may sound like a small point, but many inexperienced users interested in a budget Z68 motherboard will find this reassuring.

Achieving 4.8ghz was straightforward, although it demanded a little knowledge of the bios, changing several processor and motherboard voltage settings. For an inexperienced user 4.6ghz is easily reachable, by moving the core turbo settings to ’46’. The bios is both intuitive and user friendly.

Kitguru has concentrated on the Intel Core i7 2600k in the last 2 or 3 months, and it was refreshing to use the Core i5 2500k again, because at £160 inc vat it really does offer incredible value for money.

The GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 makes an ideal purchase for an enthusiast who doesn’t want to spend the guts of £200 on a flagship motherboard. In reality there is little missing from the budget Gigabyte product, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps performance is first class and we recorded some of the best throughput yet with the class leading Patriot Wildfire Solid State drive.

Looking at the specifications, we were initially concerned that Crossfire performance might be compromised, after all the second slot will default to x4 bandwidth. Our results indicate solid all round performance with the leading Direct X 11 titles even when the image quality is cranked to the hilt.

If you are in the market for a new system and want to keep the costs down as low as possible, then this is one of the best motherboards on the market. If you partner it up with a Core i5 2500k and some decent, inexpensive DDR3 memory then you will be futureproofed for some time yet. Adding a single card now, then another later will ensure you will be playing the latest Direct X 11 games at 1080p without a problem.

You can buy the Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard for £85 inc vat from Scan.


  • Incredible price point.
  • Great overclocking board when paired up with a Core i5 2500k.
  • very stable.
  • good recovery system.
  • CrossfireX capable.
  • onboard Intel graphics, ideal for media duties.


  • looks rather bland.
  • bios with some ‘preconfigured’ overclocked settings would be helpful for inexperienced users.

Kitguru says: One of the bargain products of 2011.

Rating: 9.5.

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  • Orion

    Wow, that might be a ugly looking board, but great performance ! ill direct my friend to this link he was on about a new mobo and system before christmas

  • Trev

    Great bargain. I have read an analysis before on x4 and it doesnt really make much difference for a second slot card. maybe 5% lower performance.

  • Lukar

    It is a bit stripped down, but in the right places. such as not having 12 sata ports etc. who the hell needs all that anyway.

    Shame about the x4 secondary port, but ive looked at the 3dmark results and they seem pretty much on par with 2x x16 slots… very good quality board. I like gigabyte anyway.

  • Gibby

    They are selling well, most places are sold out. companies need to release more sub £100 b oards like this, huge audience.

    Look at the results for instance. a 2500k and a board like this with cheap ass memory, performs well, and for gaming a 970/980/990x is a total waste of time.

    proved many times. nice article

  • Yorkie

    Gigabyte have good bios recovery systems, always found it with my older P67 board. I moved to asus Z68 and it sometimes craps out. has surprised me to be honest as I know they get the best name overall. ill move back to gigabyte in the next cycle.

  • Ned

    We sell 10 of these a week. excellent product. Never used one in Crossfire, so this is a good resource.

  • Polo

    I got one two weeks ago, but they are hard to find now in stock

    Ebay sellers have them

  • Rupert

    Bought it, this week and am very happy. great review thanks.

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  • JudgeFudge

    Hello Zardon, thank you for the very informative review but I just wanted to ask.

    How did you overclock the Z68AP-D3 without an option to change the Vcore? Which setting do I change to change my Vcore? Right now I have a 2600k and I’m hoping to go at least 4.2Ghz. I’d be really grateful if you’d email or post the solution here.

  • Overfocused

    The maximum selectable multiplier for me with this board is 41x. Is this a limitation of revision 1.0?