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

Our test system today is based on creating an affordable, yet powerful gaming system – featuring the Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 board paired up with the Intel Core i5 2500k.


Processor: Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.6ghz
Cooling: Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Rev.2 CPU Cooler
Graphics: XFX HD6870 Black Edition x 2
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard
Chassis: Silverstone Raven 3.
Power Supply: Corsair 850W.
Memory: Corsair 1600mhz memory
Storage: Intel 80GB SSD (boot) / Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD.
Monitors: Dell Ultrasharp U2410 Rev A00.

Software:
Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit

Unigine Heaven Benchmark.
PCMark Vantage.
PCMark 7.
3DMark Vantage.
3DMark 11.
Fraps Professional.
Steam Client.
FurMark.
HQV 2.0 Software.

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Nikon D3X with R1C1 kit
Olympus E-PL1
Keithley Integra unit
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter

Games:

Alien V Predator
Dead Island
Just Cause 2
F1 2011
Lost Planet 2
Resident Evil 5
Total War: Shogun 2

All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform generally under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests games across five closely matched runs and then average out the results to get an accurate median figure. If we use scripted benchmarks, they are mentioned on the relevant page.

Some game descriptions and information are taken with courtesy from Wikipedia.

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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?