To abutment the barrage of Intel’s latest 12th bearing ‘Alder Lake’ processors, Intel has additionally pulled the activate on its latest Z690 motherboard chipset. Application a new LGA1700 socket, some of the best cogent advancements with Alder Lake and Z690 accommodate PCIe 5.0 abutment from the processor, as able-bodied as a PCIe 4.0 x8 articulation from the processor to the chipset. In this article, we’re demography a afterpiece attending at over 50 different DDR5 enabled motherboards advised to not alone use the processing ability of Alder Lake but action users a countless of chic and exceptional features.
As we about do with a new belvedere launch, we accomplished out to every motherboard bell-ringer for all the advice on its Z690 models, including images, specifications, ability commitment information, and features. With new chipset launches, vendors usually accept its ‘launch day’ models and models that appear after on – for archetype ASRock’s Aqua series, which we’re still cat-and-mouse to apprehend aback the Aqua is activity to hit the market.
In this overview, we’ve aggregate all the advice we accept into a distinct commodity with advice we’ve accustomed at the time of writing.
With the addition of Intel’s 12th bearing Amount processors, one of the best cogent advancements from the antecedent bearing is that Alder Lake congenital on the ‘Intel 7’ accomplishment process, includes a amalgam PCIe lane layout. This consists of a absolute of x16 PCIe 5.0 lanes from the CPU set abreast for cartoon in either an x16 or x8/x8 configuration, and 4x PCIe 4.0 lanes committed to accumulator devices. Addition cogent advance over the antecedent bearing is a new PCIe 4.0 x8 DMI articulation amid the CPU and the Z690 chipset. Previously with 11th gen (Rocket Lake), Intel aerial 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 things.
One of the best agitative and conceivably specific improvements is Intel’s aboriginal DDR5 accurate desktop platform. Intel’s Alder Lake and Z690 accumulated absolutely action abutment for both DDR5 and DDR4 memory. This agency that those motherboard vendors either accept to body their motherboards for one or the other, so it’s Z690 with DDR5 or Z690 with DDR4, and no in-between. This commodity focuses absolutely on the DDR5 motherboards.
Other features with Z690 include native abutment for USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 Gbps) Type-C connectivity, with the all-inclusive majority of Z690 models now opting to accommodate this abutment at a abject level. Intel has additionally upgraded its networking abutment at the chipset level, with an chip Wi-Fi 6E PHY and RF for vendors. However, the majority of the amount and accomplishing still await on vendors application Intel solutions through the proprietary CNVi connection. This is why some models accommodate capricious levels of Wi-Fi 6/6E CNVi at its auctioning as either a feature-boosting move or cost-cutting admeasurement to abate it.
Compared with antecedent ancestors of Intel’s chipsets, the Intel Z690 is based on its 14nm accomplishment process, so it’s agnate to antecedent designs such as Z590 and Z490. Intel retains the aforementioned dual-channel anamnesis abutment as antecedent and added brand’s desktop platforms. In contrast, built-in SATA abutment has been upped to eight SATA slots instead of six of the above-mentioned generation.
Focusing on networking, Intel has upgraded to an integrated Wi-Fi 6E MAC over Wi-Fi 6 in the aftermost two antecedent generations. While Intel states that it includes an chip 2.5 GbE MAC/PHY, this is a little nonsensical, as active ethernet still requires a MAC/PHY as an absorbed PCIe controller. This agency behindhand of whether a bell-ringer is application a Gigabit, 2.5 GbE, or alike 10 GbE, it connects the exact aforementioned way to the PCIe interface.
Looking at the aloft Intel Z690 chipset block diagram, we can see the PCIe 4.0 x8 DMI abutting the processor with the chipset, with 16 x PCIe 5.0 lanes to either one affection aperture (x16) or two affection slots (x8/x8), with 4 x PCIe 4.0 lanes appointed to accumulator accessories such as NVMe M.2 slots. (Ian has accepted that accumulator on the capital x16 aperture is accessible if desired.)
From aural the Z690 chipset, it offers assorted avenues of configurations accessible to motherboard vendors to use. New for Z690 includes 12 x PCIe 4.0 lanes, with addition 16 x PCIe 3.0 lanes as allotment of the accelerated IO (HSIO). The onus is on motherboard vendors to use these new built-in PCIe 4.0 lanes as they wish, including through the use of either storage, added PCIe 4.0 slots, or a admixture of both. Focusing on connectivity, Z690 allows vendors to use up to and include four USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C (20 Gbps) ports, with up to 10 x USB 3.2 G2, 10 x USB 3.2 G1, and up to 14 x USB 2.0 ports.
Intel is additionally alms an added overclocking archetypal accessible with Alder Lake, which takes Processor Abject Ability (Base) and Best Turbo Ability (Turbo) into account. The Abject is the affirmed aiguille ability at abject abundance which for the Intel Amount i9-12900K is set at 125 W, admitting the best accessible Turbo Ability is 241 W. Users with a basal compassionate of Intel’s above PL1 and PL2 alignment will agenda that it still abide beneath the hood – the abject ability is PL1, admitting Turbo is PL2. Tau, the time for turbo, is about absolute for the apart K processors.
When it comes to overclocking in the accepted day and age, the capital factors in comedy are still the same: cooling, capability, and power. As we saw with overclocking on abundant Z590 motherboards throughout the year, it was possible to cull about 500 W from the bank from the arrangement aback testing them. Application abstracts from our MSI MEG Z590 Ace motherboard assay as an example, we were affairs 321 W aiguille ability from the bank at absence with CPU amount only. In contrast, at 5.2 GHz all-cores with 1.425 V on the CPU VCore, we pulled 485 W. Overclocking with any platform, Intel or alike AMD, able cooling needs to be advised for the advised amount abundance and CPU VCore voltage combination, as able-bodied as appropriately acceptable ability allowance from the ability supply.
Through our acquaintance with vendors, added than 50 models are available Z690 application the new DDR5 memory. Best of these accept currently been appear and detailed, with a baby cardinal cat-and-mouse to be appear or after blueprint to date. Simply put, there will be no curtailment of models to baddest from. It’s no abstruse that motherboard appraisement has been on the up, with the cheapest Z690 lath accepting an official amount of $190.
As with Z590, there are not that abounding micro-ATX options for Z690, with availability attractive afresh to be limited. We are with alone one micro-ATX sized archetypal at launch, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming WIFI. It charcoal to be apparent if we will see any added micro-ATX Z690 with abutment for DDR5, but watch this space.
Let’s booty a attending at the accepted Z690 artefact assemblage with abutment for DDR5 (at the time of writing):
ASRock’s artefact assemblage for DDR5 on Z690 is the aboriginal of all of the ‘major’ vendors at launch, with aloof seven models. At the top of the stack, admitting the capacity of which are unannounced, is the altered ASRock Z690 Aqua. For now, the ASRock Z690 Taichi is the arch model, and it is one of the best big-ticket Taichi models to accept anytime existed. That’s a bit odd for what acclimated to be an access akin brand.
While we apprehend there to be added ASRock Z690 and DDR5 models shortly, added models in the assemblage are from its Phantom Gaming alternation of models. This includes the ASRock Z690 PG Velocita, which is added exceptional than mid-range than compared to last-gen, and the Z690 Phantom Gaming 4/D5 acting as the mid-range archetypal this time around. There’s additionally the mini-ITX Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4, which, as the archetypal name suggests, allotment with Thunderbolt 4, and its mini-ITX alternation has been a solid advantage for baby anatomy agency users over the years.
Looking at the ASUS Z690 models with abutment for DDR5 memory, it has a about ample assemblage from top to bottom. It should be acicular out that ASUS has started to accomplish its Republic of Gamers Maximus alternation added apparent and now opts to use the chipset name instead of Roman numerals for the college end Maximus parts. As it stands, its flagship models accommodate the ROG Maximus Z690 Acute Glacial with a anew designed EKWB ‘Ultrablock’ for aqueous cooling. At the aforementioned time, it shares the aforementioned exceptional and absorbing affection set as the approved ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme. Added ROG Maximus models in the calendar accommodate Z690 Formula with dual-cooled VRMs, and the aboriginal time it’s been done aback Z490.
Other mainstays acknowledgment for ASUS accommodate the Hero and the acute overclocking able Apex. Attractive bottomward the assemblage is the ROG Strix series, with all the alphabet models returning, including the exceptional E, the added wallet-efficient F, and the mini-ITX I series. The Prime alternation sits added appear the mid-range than the entry-level with best of its models, and the access point for its Z690 models is the $230 ASUS Prime Z690-P.
GIGABYTE has the better DDR5 Motherboard stack, with 14 new models apparent at present. Attractive from the top is the GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce with a custom baptize block, while the approved Z690 Aorus Extreme caters to the accustomed enthusiast market. Both models allotment the aforementioned high-end affection set. Moving bottomward the assemblage is the exceptional Z690 Aorus Master with an absorbing affection set for the price, while the Ultra, Pro, Elite AX, and mini-ITX Ultra all accomplish up the mid-range options with archetypal Aorus appearance and affection sets to boot.
Moving bottomward the assemblage and the GIGABYTE Z690 Gaming X offers a solid arch amid the Aorus alternation and the non-gaming branded Z690 UD AX and UD models. The GIGABYTE Z690 Aero D offers an absorbing affection set with a focus on agreeable creation, which is spearheaded by an Intel Thunderbolt 4 ambassador and a categorical aesthetic. In contrast, the Z690 Aero G offers a abundant added wallet-friendly affection set with a agnate design.
Focusing on the DDR5 accurate models, the flagship will be the MEG Z690 Godlike, but we’re still cat-and-mouse for capacity on that at the time of writing. Bottomward a footfall in the assemblage is the MSI MEG Z690 Ace, with a actual exceptional affection set including bristles M.2 slots and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, while the Unify and Unify-X baby to those attractive for an aesthetically adorable system, but still with exceptional appearance and solid connectivity options.
Occupying the mid-range is its Performance Gaming (MPG) series, with the MPG Z690 Carbon WIFI and MPG Z690 Force alms agnate appearance but with a altered artful choice. MSI additionally intends to barrage an MPG Z690 Carbon EK X archetypal with custom EKWB monoblock included to accumulate the processor and VRM cool. For gamers on a budget, the MAG alternation is additionally aback with mainstay models such as the Z690 Tomahawk WIFI and MAG Z690 Torpedo; both accept agnate affection sets, a appropriate arrangement of connectivity. The Pro alternation occupies the entry-level, with beneath advancing aesthetics and key and analytical basic choices based on account and user experience.
There are additionally a few Z690 models to accede alfresco of the above players.
Biostar has appear one DDR5 enabled Z690 motherboard for the barrage of Alder Lake with the Z690 Valkyrie. It has affluence of exceptional appearance and a altered artful from those alfresco of the above vendors. EVGA has additionally appear it will absolution two Z690 models, the EVGA Z690 Dark K|NGP|N copy for acute overclockers, as able-bodied as a added gaming-centric Z690 Classified model. Colorful to date has additionally appear one Z690 archetypal for those attractive to use DDR5 memory, the Colorful iGame Z690 Ultra D5, which targets entry-level users.
Each consecutive folio is a abrupt assay and briefing of anniversary archetypal announced, culminating with a cessation of lath appearance against added models.
We will additionally be publishing a DDR4 adaptation of this commodity shortly.
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