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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2012
I spent many late nights researching motherboards, trying to decide which was best, gave the latest options and so on.

I am building a new pc rather than just buy off the shelf which I normally do, I wanted more control over my machine as I use it for all the usual home tasks and some MMO gaming such as WoW and SWTOR.

Make no mistake, there are lots of boards out there offering similiar, more, the best, you wont get better and price tags to match. This was a cheaper option than many, however what I did establish is that this has everything I need. Socket 1155, USB3 sockets for the future, SSD slot on the motherboard if I need an SSD drive.

From what I have trawled through on the net this board is everything most people will ever need and more, unless you have very specific needs then you will know exactly what you want, but if you dont then this is perfect. The software is great the layout of the board is very good and the documentation is almost childs play when it comes to finding out where you need to plug everything into.

I installed the processor and its fan in under 10 mins from opening the box and I have never built a pc before so I am no expert, in fact my hand was shaking installing the processor thinking I would break it!

I really cant say much more than that, great price in comparison to others, far more features than I would ever require both on the board on in terms of software.

For reference my build was:

Gigabyte motherboard
Nivida GT650 Ti video
Asus sound card
I3 2100 Processor
8GB Corsair memory

It might not be the best out there but I can run games like WoW and SWTOR on full settings and it does not even flicker :)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2012
i bought this motherboard and installed it. it worked fine and then after 2 days i got stuck in a reeboot loop. i tried to fix it myself buti couldnt do it. i gave it to the local computer center and they couldn't do anything about it either (that cost me forty quid). so i did some research and it turns out this model of board has been known to have this fault. i wouldn't buy it again and i dont recommend it but it was good while it lasted. i sent it back and got a refund. all's well that ends well. :)

Chris Downie
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2013
I always build my home desktop PC and I chose this motherboard for a more up-to-date hardware with reasonable CPU power. My last motherboard was also Gigabyte (model GA-EP35-DS4, rev. 2.1) which served me nearly five years with ultimate reliability. Nothing wrong with my old motherboard but like any hardware system, features evolve and there comes a time when only the latest motherboards support new features and requirements. For this build, Quad Core and SLAT (Second Level Address Translation) are essential requirements which means a minimum of Intel i5 CPU - and for this I picked the Intel 3rd Generation Core i5-3570K CPU (4 x 3.40GHz, Ivy Bridge, Socket 1155, 6Mb L3 Cache, Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0). The choice of motherboard was then an easy one - Gigabyte brand, LGA 1155 Socket, et cetera. This motherboard provided everything I was looking for, and many more, including support for over-clocking (OC) of unlocked CPUs such as the i5-3570K (which are suffixed with the letter K).

There was also a pleasant surprise: although Amazon listed this motherboard as Rev 1.0, what I received was actually the latest Rev 2.0 motherboard. The differences between the two (as far as I can establish) are:

(i) the PCIe x16 slots for Rev 2.0 conform to the latest PCI Express Standard 3.0 (I think Standard 2.0 for Rev 1.0 motherboard); and

(ii) one of the 3Gbps SATA connectors in Rev 1.0 motherboard is now replaced by mSATA (Mini-SATA) connector, intended for the SSD.

Depending on the CPU you use, this motherboard supports an integrated graphics output via HDMI (in my case Intel HD 4000 graphics provided by the i5-3570K CPU) but cannot comment at this stage as I haven't sufficiently assessed the integrated graphics capabilities, hence not yet sure if I need to install my old but capable nVidia 9800GT 1GB GDDR3 Graphics card into this motherboard. Like most integrated graphics, this may just be a basic graphics processor and not in par with a modular graphics card with dedicated memory and cooling system, but shall update on this in due course.

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Update on Graphics [2013-02-03]: The integrated graphics (based on Intel HD 4000 core for i5-3570K and similar CPUs) is a decent GPU but far behind my old nVidia 9800 GT card. The league table at TomsHardware dot com (just google for the whole phrase "Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart") will clarify this point. On the plus side, when using integrated graphics my desktop is almost silent due to the fact that the nVidia graphics card fan (I must say very noisy) is gone. If you are not using applications that demand high performance GPU (such as gaming and video editing) the integrated graphics is quite adequate and can handle beyond full HD resolution.
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Any downsides? I have one although not a deal-breaker. My old motherboard has 8 SATA connectors and gave me the ultimate flexibility to multiplex devices (such as booting up with different OSs by selecting specific drives with a switch such as this). This motherboard has 5 SATA + 1 mSATA. Unless you are using an mSATA SDD, it means you have to get mSATA to SATA adapter which increases the cost by about £10 to £15 to make 6 standard SATA connectors, or alternatively get a SATA port multiplier such as this or this for a slightly or significantly more cost depending on additional SATA ports. If you're prepared to pay more, Gigabyte Z77X-D3H Motherboard can provide an easy solution as it has 8 SATA ports (although one port will be switched to mSATA if mSATA port is used and nothing lost). It means I have to reconfigure my system to live with the 6-SATA motherboard which I think is achievable.

For the price and performance, this is a first class motherboard. Highly Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent motherboard. Comes with lots of features and free software for overclocking, bios features, free norton. Touch Bios is great because you can control the bios features from withing windows. Easy to install CPU, Ram. PCIE Slots have little levers you press to release the graphics card which is very usefull when removing graphics cards alot. very easy to install with instructions step by step included. Comes with a booklet with everything you need to know. Only thing about it is it didnt fit in my case perfectly. The Case said it can fit Atx Motherboards, and Im assuming this is and atx motherboard. It still fits in just afew screws at the edge didnt line up. Overall great motherboard and def worth the purchase! :D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2013
Hi there. Here's my feedback for this motherboard (Z68AP-D3), which I purchased for a mere £50 here from Amazon.co.uk:
First, let's look at the cons for the board:

CONS:
-Only uses the traditional 1oz copper PCB (instead of 2oz for more expensive/newer boards).
-No onboard USB3 header - if you have a USB3 case, you will NOT be able to connect the front panel USB ports to the motherboard.

My comments for the cons:
The 1oz PCB is to be expected in this price range. What it means is effectively, that the board is less heat-resistant and less overclock-friendly. To prevent damaging the board, I do NOT recommend attempting CPU overclocks above 4.2GHz - even if the boards VRM-circuit should easily handle that. Now onto the GOOD stuff:

PROS:
- I recieved the revision 2.0 of the motherboard (and not the rev. 1.0 as advertised).
- Supports IVY Bridge Core i5 CPUs right out of the box (Even though the bundled bios version (FC) should officially not).
- Strong VRM (with efficient MOSFETs) for moderate overclocking.
- Can overclock Locked Ivy Bridge Core i5s after a BIOS update.
- Supports Crossfire.
- Good onboard Sound codec (above standard in even newer boards).
- USB3 and SATA3 capability.

My comments for the Pros:
Overclocking a Locked Ivy Bridge i5 requires updating to the latest BIOS version (UEFI) - and this proved to be tricky. I had to use an "HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool" along with bootable DOS files in order to correctly make a flash drive, that could update the BIOS. There are a couple of tutorials for this online (use google). Also, this may only have worked for me because I recieved the Revision 2.0 of this motherboard.

Overclocking a locked i5 is simple: Once you've updated to the UEFI BIOS, simply enter advanced frequency settings and increase the TURBO multipliers. They can be raised up to 4x higher than the maximum turbo for the CPU. This has allowed me to run my Core i5-3470 at 3.7GHz on all cores. It won't go above 3.7GHz, but this is due to a limitation in the BIOS, when running an Ivy Bridge CPU.
You may also need to slightly raise the allowed TDP of the chip.

Therefore, getting an unlocked Ivy Bridge CPU with this board is pointless - a Core i5 3470 can reach the maximum OC speed (and an i5 3350P might also be able to do that).

About the revision: I recieved a Rev. 2.0 of the board - and it functions like rev. 2.0 - but parts of the board layout are from the rev 1.0. The MOSFET heatsink, for instance, is still the one from the first revision - so when checking which revision you got, you'll need to check the BIOS version (can be done in the CPU-Z-application) and compare it with the BIOS versions for the two boards on Gigabyte's homepage. There may also be a sticker on the motherboard box station the revision.

All in all: An impressive and feature-rich board for the price of £50. Combined with an Alpine 11 PLUS cooler, My Core i5-3470 @ 3.7GHz stays at a perfectly stable 61 degrees celsius during stress tests.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
cant fault amazon, they delivered on time etc so top marks to them. however the board i recieved was faulty. stuck in a constant reboot loop, unable to get into bios or anything. Im a full time techie so tried it all (clear cmos, remove unneeded parts, alternative ram, etc etc) and nothing worked. i suspect its due to a BIOS problem however im using a 2500k intel which should work out of the box. I cannot update the bios as it keeps rebooting nor does it give an error of any sort. i refuse to rma a brand new board, full refund on this one and going with MSI or ASUS!! what a waste of my friday afternoon !!! :(
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2012
I was after a cheap motherboard to use over clock on a 2500k. After reading a few reviews on other cheap boards I seen a few people complaining about the MOSFET not having a heat sink and were getting very hot. I bought this board as it was within my budget and has a single heat sink on the MOSFET's.

The motherboard was a breeze to install and comes with a software cd that has lots of handy utilities, please note though this board has NO IDE connectors so you will need to make sure that all your devices are SATA.

Please see my list mania list below for a full list of items used relating to this review http://www.amazon.co.uk/lm/R1MKFBNYY1V2JK
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2012
Well the board I received was Rev2 which was working fine until I pressed the reset button, then the computer was stuck in a reboot loop which could only be stopped by turning off the PSU. A lot gigabyte Z68 boards are having these reboot loop problems (not just from pressing reset) There's a bios update that should fix the issue though, mine came with FB and the newest is FCc. Unfortunately once the reboot loop started I couldn't enter the bios to update it, so had to send the board back.
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on 2 April 2013
I usually write reviews that praise Gigabyte motherboards, because on the whole, they are very good motherboards. I don't know what happened, if it was a bad shipment or batch of boards, but I had two of these boards go wrong in less than a year and a half. The first only had one functioning RAM slot when it arrived, which is obviously no good and the second one's Ethernet port died after about 6 months of usage.

On the whole, the motherboards performance is great for the price, however, with the issues I had with this board, I cannot recommend it. If it turns out that there was a bad batch, then I would say go for it, but for now I will say spend a bit more and buy something that is more durable. I picked up the Sabertooth Z77 by ASUS instead.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2011
I was looking to build a low power consumption, good performance system and the Sandybridge cpus and Z68 chipset seemed to offer all the key features, with some nice extras. First the quality is well up to the very high standard of Gigabyte's ultra boards. It has a sensible blend of features and high performance options. My emphasis was on speed and low power consumption so I opted for a 2600k processor, 16GB RAM, and Gigabyte's 6770 silent graphics card. This combination works extremely well together being powerful and able to manage medium gaming loads in almost total silence. My 400w enermax psu has a 14cm tem controlled fan, and I have used a single low noise Noctua 12cm fan in the back of the case. Total system power draw varies between 92w (drawn at the mains plug, including overhead of APC SmartUPS 1500) rising to 150w when gaming. This is under the 100w target I was aiming at for email/browsing. One other feature on this board is the socket for an mSATA SSD. I installed a 64Gb OCZ Nocti as cache drive and reinstalled windows. There were some scary delays (up to 20 secs) when the cache was initially being filled, but once primed the system response appears instant much of the time. I'm using about 65GB of a 2Tb drive at the moment, so almost all of the HD data is resident in the ssd cache. There are the expected USB3 ports on the mboard. Highly recommended.
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