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

Gigabyte are using an AWARD bios which is fully featured and allows for a wide array of overclocking settings.

A wide array of settings allowing for control over all aspects of processor speeds, ram timings and overclocking settings.

Overclocking is extremely easy, although there are no ‘pre configured’ settings like we have seen recently on many of the ASROCK boards. These are ideal for inexperienced users and for those who really can’t get to grips with a plethora of bios settings.

The board has an excellent recovery system, and it will automatically rescue itself from an unstable situation, with a warning. We never had to interact with this board by resetting the CMOS when settings didn’t work.

We managed to get the board stable to 4.85ghz with the Core i5 2500K, but this required a little work with voltages and a few other settings. We want to keep it simple for the target audience who will buy this budget board, so we backed down a little. We are using older Corsair 1600mhz memory, but the specifications are similar to the memory listed on the first page via UK retailer Scan.

Achieving 4.6ghz was as simple as changing the 2500k Core Turbo ratios to 46. Even an inexperienced user with weak to modest air cooling could get this board to 4.6ghz, therefore this is the speed we will use for our review results. Validation for 4.6ghz is available over here. A 1.3ghz overclock is really impressive, by just simply changing a few bios parameters.

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