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Review: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 motherboard

by Tarinder Sandhu on 28 February 2012, 14:25 4.0

Tags: Gigabyte (TPE:2376)

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Final thoughts and rating

We can tell you that every motherboard manufacturer is putting considerable focus on the upcoming Z77 chipset from Intel. Designed to fully support the next-generation Ivy Bridge chips that are to supersede the current crop of mid-range Sandy Bridge CPUs, Z77 is destined to replace incumbent Z68 as Intel's performance chipset for the masses.

But Z68, while due to be pensioned off, is a decent performer in its own right. Indeed, with the addition of a new BIOS - FC for the reviewed board - and an updated Management Engine 8 driver, Z68 will also support the 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, albeit without some of the additional bells and whistles of Z77 that we can't talk about right now.

Gigabyte realises there's still merit for Z68. The firm is looking to corner the budget end of the market with the attractively-priced Z68AP-D3 model. Available for £75 and providing GPU-switching Virtu support and a gaggle of basic features, we recommend you put it on a shortlist for a (relatively) budget Intel Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge build.

The Good

Price - same as inferior H67 chipset
Virtu GPU-switching support
Decent layout
mSATA port

The Bad

No SLI support
Old-style BIOS

HEXUS Rating

Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 motherboard

HEXUS Awards

Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 motherboard

HEXUS Where2Buy

The Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 is available from and

HEXUS Right2Reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.

HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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Compared to ASUS P8Z68-V LX no DVI and VGA , outdated BIOS and a cheap looking colour scheme. Check my quick unboxing of ASUS one if interested:
The baord looks familiar. UseItNow ?????
As a purely personal preference, we prefer the fan headers to be near the edge of the board rather than the middle, per the 'D3.

I recently had the misfortune of trying to shoehorn an H60 next to a motherboard with fan headers and numerous other obstructions at the edges. The case was a decent size, with two 120mm fan spacings at the top, and a further one at the back, but the motherboard was too close to the top and in one of the top fan positions, the RAM slots were fouling the HSF; in the other, it was the CPU fan header and CPU power cables (and MOSFET heatsink); and at the back, the fan spacings didn't match up or something like that. I ended up drilling a hole through the top of the case and attaching the fan on the outside of the case :eek: it was ridiculous.