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To assist the launch of Intel’s newest twelfth technology ‘Alder Lake’ processors, Intel has additionally pulled the set off on its newest Z690 motherboard chipset. Utilizing a brand new LGA1700 socket, some of probably the most important developments with Alder Lake and Z690 embody PCIe 5.0 assist from the processor, in addition to a PCIe 4.0 x8 hyperlink from the processor to the chipset. On this article, we’re taking a better take a look at over 30+ totally different DDR4 enabled motherboards designed to not solely use the processing energy of Alder Lake however supply customers a myriad of high-class and premium options.

As we usually do with a brand new platform launch, we reached out to each motherboard vendor for all the data on its Z690 fashions, together with pictures, specs, energy supply data, and options. With new chipset launches, distributors often have its ‘launch day’ fashions and fashions that come in a while. On this overview, we have compiled all the data we have now right into a single article with data we have acquired on the time of writing.

For customers in search of our overview of DDR5 supported Z690 fashions, the hyperlink will be discovered under:

The Intel Z690 Motherboard Overview (DDR5): Over 50+ New Fashions

Intel Z690 Chipset: Like Z590, However Now With Native PCIe 4.0

With the introduction of Intel’s twelfth technology Core processors, one of the vital important developments from the earlier technology is that Alder Lake constructed on the ‘Intel 7’ manufacturing course of, features a hybrid PCIe lane format. This consists of a complete of x16 PCIe 5.0 lanes from the CPU put aside for graphics in both an x16 or x8/x8 configuration, and 4x PCIe 4.0 lanes devoted to storage gadgets. One other important enchancment over the earlier technology is a brand new PCIe 4.0 x8 DMI hyperlink between the CPU and the Z690 chipset. Beforehand with eleventh gen (Rocket Lake), Intel upheaved it from a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z490 to a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z590. With Z690, the uplink is now fully-fledged PCIe 4.0 x8 lanes to interconnect issues.

One of the crucial thrilling and maybe particular enhancements is Intel’s first DDR5 supported desktop platform. Intel’s Alder Lake and Z690 mixed truly supply assist for each DDR5 and DDR4 reminiscence. Because of this these motherboard distributors both should construct their motherboards for one or the opposite, so it is Z690 with DDR5 or Z690 with DDR4, and no in-between. This text focuses purely on the DDR4 motherboards.

DDR5 versus DDR4 on Intel Alder Lake & Z690

Different options with Z690 embody native assist for USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 Gbps) Sort-C connectivity, with the overwhelming majority of Z690 fashions now opting to incorporate this assist at a base stage. Intel has additionally upgraded its networking assist on the chipset stage, with an built-in Wi-Fi 6E PHY and RF for distributors. Nonetheless, the vast majority of the associated fee and implementation nonetheless depend on distributors utilizing Intel options by means of the proprietary CNVi connection. For this reason some fashions embody various ranges of Wi-Fi 6/6E CNVi at its disposal as both a feature-boosting transfer or cost-cutting measure to cut back it.























Intel Z690, Z590, and Z490 Chipset Comparability
Characteristic Z690 Z590 Z490
Socket LGA1700 LGA1200 LGA1200
PCIe Lanes (CPU) 16 x 5.0

4 x 4.0
20 x 4.0 16 x 3.0
PCIe Lanes (Chipset) 12 x 4.0

16 x 3.0
24 x 3.0 24 x 3.0
PCIe Specification (CPU) 5.0/4.0 4.0 3.0
Reminiscence Assist DDR5-4800B

DDR4-3200
DDR4-3200 DDR4-2933
PCIe Config x16

x8/x8

x8/x8/x4
x16

x8/x8

x8/x8/x4
x16

x8/x8

x8/x8+x4
DMI Lanes x8 4.0 x8 3.0 x4 3.0
Max USB 3.2 (Gen2/Gen1) 10/10 6/10 6/10
USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps) Y Y ASMedia
Whole USB 14 14 14
Max SATA Ports 8 6 6
Reminiscence Channels (Twin) 2/2 2/2 2/2
Intel Optane Reminiscence Assist Y Y Y
Intel Fast Storage Tech (RST) Y Y Y
Built-in Wi-Fi MAC Wi-Fi 6E Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6
Intel Good Sound Y Y Y
Overclocking Assist Y Y Y
Intel vPro N N N
ME Firmware 16 15 14
TDP (W) ? 6 6

In contrast with earlier generations of Intel’s chipsets, the Intel Z690 is predicated on its 14nm manufacturing course of, so it is just like earlier designs akin to Z590 and Z490. Intel retains the identical dual-channel reminiscence assist as earlier and different model’s desktop platforms. In distinction, native SATA assist has been upped to eight SATA slots as a substitute of six of the prior technology.

Specializing in networking, Intel has upgraded to an built-in Wi-Fi 6E MAC over Wi-Fi 6 within the final two earlier generations. Whereas Intel states that it contains an built-in 2.5 GbE MAC/PHY, this can be a little nonsensical, as wired ethernet nonetheless requires a MAC/PHY as an connected PCIe controller. This implies no matter whether or not a vendor is utilizing a Gigabit, 2.5 GbE, and even 10 GbE, it connects the very same strategy to the PCIe interface. 

Trying on the above Intel Z690 chipset block diagram, we will see the PCIe 4.0 x8 DMI interconnecting the processor with the chipset, with 16 x PCIe 5.0 lanes to both one full-length slot (x16) or two full-length slots (x8/x8), with 4 x PCIe 4.0 lanes designated to storage gadgets akin to NVMe M.2 slots. (Ian has confirmed that storage on the primary x16 slot is feasible if desired.) 

From throughout the Z690 chipset, it provides numerous avenues of configurations accessible to motherboard distributors to make use of. New for Z690 contains 12 x PCIe 4.0 lanes, with one other 16 x PCIe 3.0 lanes as a part of the high-speed IO (HSIO). The onus is on motherboard distributors to make use of these new native PCIe 4.0 lanes as they need, together with by means of using both storage, further PCIe 4.0 slots, or a combination of each. Specializing in connectivity, Z690 permits distributors to make use of as much as and embody 4 USB 3.2 G2x2 Sort-C (20 Gbps) ports, with as much as 10 x USB 3.2 G2, 10 x USB 3.2 G1, and as much as 14 x USB 2.0 ports. 

Alder Lake & Z690 Overclocking: Base Frequency Versus Turbo Energy

Intel can also be providing an enhanced overclocking mannequin accessible with Alder Lake, which takes Processor Base Energy (Base) and Most Turbo Energy (Turbo) under consideration. The Base is the assured peak energy at base frequency which for the Intel Core i9-12900K is about at 125 W, whereas the utmost accessible Turbo Energy is 241 W. Customers with a fundamental understanding of Intel’s former PL1 and PL2 methodology will word that it nonetheless exist underneath the hood – the bottom energy is PL1, whereas Turbo is PL2. Tau, the time for turbo, is virtually infinite for the unlocked Ok processors.

Relating to overclocking within the present day and age, the primary components in play are nonetheless the identical: cooling, functionality, and energy. As we noticed with overclocking on quite a few Z590 motherboards all year long, it was potential to tug almost 500 W from the wall from the system when testing them. Utilizing figures from our MSI MEG Z590 Ace motherboard evaluate for instance, we had been pulling 321 W peak energy from the wall at default with CPU load solely. In distinction, at 5.2 GHz all-cores with 1.425 V on the CPU VCore, we pulled 485 W. Overclocking with any platform, Intel and even AMD, enough cooling must be thought-about for the designed core frequency and CPU VCore voltage mixture, in addition to equally enough energy headroom from the ability provide.

The Present Z690 For DDR4 Product Stack

Motherboards Confirmed So Far 

Via our contact with distributors, greater than 30+ fashions can be found Z690 utilizing the prevailing DDR4 kind reminiscence. Most of those have at present been introduced and detailed, with a small quantity ready to be revealed or with out specs to this point. Whereas there are extra DDR5 enabled fashions on Z690 at current, there’s nonetheless all kinds of DDR4 enabled fashions accessible to pick out from. The principle benefit that DDR4 has over DDR5 at current is pricing, with DDR4 seemingly extra reasonably priced at current.

At current, there are not any E-ATX sized Z690 fashions with assist for DDR4 reminiscence, and we do not anticipate this to alter both. We do nonetheless anticipate there to be extra bulletins on different sized fashions, however we are going to hold this overview (DDR4), and the DDR5 model which we are going to replace not less than weekly with new fashions and data.

Let’s check out the present Z690 product stack with assist for DDR4 (on the time of writing):

ASRock

ASRock’s product stack for DDR4 on Z690 is likely one of the largest of the ‘main’ distributors at launch, with a complete of 9. That is greater than ASRock’s DDR5 providing, surprisingly. Selection is an enormous issue right here although with ASRock providing ATX, mATX, and mini-ITX fashions . Probably the most premium of the DDR4 choices is probably the ASRock Z690 Excessive WIFI 6E and Z690 Metal Legend WIFI 6E fashions with the most recent Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2, and eight SATA ports.












ASRock Z690 Motherboard Product Stack (DDR4)
Mannequin Measurement Overview

Hyperlink
Evaluate

Hyperlink
Value
ASRock Z690 Excessive WIFI 6E ATX Hyperlink   $290
ASRock Z690 Excessive ATX Hyperlink   $270
ASRock Z690 Metal Legend WIFI 6E ATX Hyperlink   TBC
ASRock Z690 Metal Legend ATX Hyperlink   $250
ASRock Z690 PG Riptide ATX Hyperlink   TBC
ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX Hyperlink   $180
ASRock Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 mATX Hyperlink   TBC
ASRock Z690M-ITX/ax ITX Hyperlink   TBC
ASRock Z690 Professional RS ATX Hyperlink   $190

Whereas it stays to be seen if ASRock releases extra Z690 fashions with DDR4 assist, there’s loads of entry-level fashions to select from. One which catches our curiosity is the ASRock Z690M-ITX/ax which is a mini-ITX sized choice, however with a Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, and even features a BIOS Flashback button for customers in search of a straightforward strategy to flash the board to the most recent BIOS model. The ASRock Z690 PG Riptide is on the same stage to the Excessive and Metal Legend fashions, with eight SATA ports, however with none wi-fi connectivity. The ASRock Phantom Gaming 4 (ATX) and Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 (mATX) supply a stable and reasonably priced entry level to the Alder Lake platform.

ASUS

It is clear that ASUS has put many of the give attention to customers planning to purchase DDR5 reminiscence for Alder Lake, however it does have a small collection of DDR4 supported Z690 fashions. Probably the most premium of those is the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WIFI D4 with a Wi-Fi 6 CNVi, USB 3.2 G2x2 Sort-C assist, 4 PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, in addition to a premium SupremeFX ALC4080 HD audio codec and Savitech amplifier pairing for the onboard audio. Its TUF Gaming sequence occupies the mid-range with a mannequin with WIFI and with out, however with 4 PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2, and twin Sort-C connectivity on the rear panel (3.2 G2x2 & G2).









ASUS Z690 Motherboard Product Stack (DDR4)
Mannequin Measurement Overview

Hyperlink
Evaluate

Hyperlink
Value
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WIFI D4 ATX Hyperlink   $350
ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WIFI D4 ATX Hyperlink   $290
ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus D4 ATX Hyperlink   TBC
ASUS Prime Z690-P WIFI D4 ATX Hyperlink   TBC
ASUS Prime Z690-P D4 ATX Hyperlink   $220
ASUS Prime Z690M Plus D4 mATX Hyperlink   $190

Working as mid-range and entry-level fashions is the Prime sequence, with the Z690-P WIFI D4 providing Wi-Fi 6, or with out this for a barely cheaper value. ASUS does not have any DDR4 enabled Z690 fashions in mini-ITX, however for customers seeking to construct a smaller system with Alder Lake and DDR4, the ASUS Prime Z690M Plus D4 provides three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, 4 SATA, and assist for DDR4-5333 reminiscence out of the field.

GIGABYTE:

Like in our DDR5 primarily based Z690 overview, GIGABYTE additionally has the biggest stack of DDR4 fashions with a complete of 11 current on the launch of Alder Lake. A number of GIGABYTE’s DDR4 choices are basically duplicates of its DDR5 fashions, with exception of the GIGABYTE Z690M Elite AX and Elite DDR4 fashions that are bespoke to DDR4. The AX mannequin has a Wi-Fi 6 CNVi, whereas the non-WIFI model is somewhat bit cheaper. GIGABYTE has additionally made one mini-ITX mannequin accessible, the GIGABYTE Z690I Aorus Extremely DDR4, with Wi-Fi 6, twin PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 ports, and an marketed 13-phase energy supply.














GIGABYTE Z690 Motherboard Product Stack (DDR4)
Mannequin Measurement Overview

Hyperlink
Evaluate

Hyperlink
Value
GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $270
GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   TBC
GIGABYTE Z690M Elite AX DDR4 mATX Hyperlink   TBC
GIGABYTE Z690M Elite DDR4 mATX Hyperlink   TBC
GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Professional DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   TBC
GIGABYTE Z690I Aorus Extremely DDR4 ITX Hyperlink   $290
GIGABYTE Z690 Aero G DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $290
GIGABYTE Z690 Gaming X DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $230
GIGABYTE Z690 UD AX DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $220
GIGABYTE Z690 UD AC DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   TBC
GIGABYTE Z690 UD DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $200

Trying on the mid-range of GIGABYTE’s DDR4 choices for Alder Lake, the Z690 Aorus Professional DDR4 and the Z690 Aero G DDR4 supply aggressive and comparable options, however the latter is extra focused in direction of content material creators over avid gamers. Occupying the entry-level section of its fashions is the Extremely Sturdy (UD) sequence. Providing three fashions however with totally different ranges of wi-fi CNVi assist, or with out, all of them function three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, USB 3.2 G2x2 Sort-C connectivity, and a Realtek RTL8125 GbE controller.

MSI

Regardless of providing a reasonably complete stack for DDR5 reminiscence, its DDR4 vary of Z690 fashions is proscribed to simply 5 on the time of writing. Probably the most premium of those represents its ‘Efficiency Gaming’ sequence – the MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 with an marketed 18-phase energy supply, 4 PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, in addition to eight SATA ports and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 CNVi. One other mainstay that’s accessible in each DDR5 and DDR4 codecs is the Z690 Tomahawk WIFI, which truly drops built-in RGB LEDs in favor of a svelte all-black aesthetic. It is a solid-looking mannequin with Wi-Fi 6, three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2, and 6 SATA which provides an reasonably priced mid-range platform for these upgrading to Alder Lake.








MSI Z690 Motherboard Product Stack (DDR4)
Mannequin Measurement Overview

Hyperlink
Evaluate

Hyperlink
Value
MSI MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $320
MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WIFI DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $300
MSI Professional Z690-A WIFI DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $240
MSI Professional Z690-A DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   $220
MSI Professional Z690-P DDR4 ATX Hyperlink   TBC

Trying additional down the stack is the MSI Professional Z690-A WIFI which provides each Wi-Fi 6E and a pair of.5 gigabit Ethernet, in addition to three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 and 6 SATA ports. All of MSI’s choices embody rear-panel USB 3.2 G2x2 Sort-C connectivity, from the highest to the underside on its DDR4 fashions, and is an enormous advantage of the Z690 chipset. The entry-level MSI Professional Z690-P DDR4 provides an reasonably priced entry level onto Alder Lake for these wanting to make use of DDR4 reminiscence, with a stable function set for a delegated value of $220.

Different Z690 Product Stack Choices

There are additionally a small variety of Z690 fashions to contemplate outdoors of the key gamers.

Biostar has two DDR4 enabled Z690 motherboards for the launch of Alder Lake with the Z690A Valkyrie. It has loads of premium options and a special aesthetic from these outdoors of the key distributors. Colourful to this point has additionally introduced one Z690 mannequin for these wanting to make use of DDR4 reminiscence, the Colourful iGame Z690 Extremely, which targets entry-level customers.






Different Z590 Motherboards (DDR4)
Mannequin Measurement Overview

Hyperlink
Evaluate

Hyperlink
Value
Biostar Z690A Valkyrie ATX Hyperlink   TBC
Biostar Z690GTA ATX Hyperlink   TBC
Colourful iGame Z690 Extremely ATX Hyperlink   TBC

 

Every subsequent web page is a short evaluation and rundown of every mannequin introduced, culminating with a conclusion of board options versus different fashions.





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