Many manufacturers have announced their first motherboards with the Z690 chipset. These provide support for the Intel Alder Lake desktop processors revealed on Wednesday. The first Z690 motherboards will appear on November 4, along with the first Alder Lake chips. No prices have been announced yet.
Z690 platform: DDR5 and PCIe 5.0
The upcoming motherboards are based on the new Intel Z690 platform, which includes PCIe 5.0 support. The Intel Alder Lake CPUs themselves contain sixteen PCIe 5.0 lanes and four PCIe 4.0 lanes. Processors also officially support dual-channel DDR4-3200 or DDR5-4800 memory. Many manufacturers release Z690 motherboards with DDR4 or DDR5 support. No motherboards have been announced yet that can handle both memory standards.
The Z690 chipset contains a maximum of twelve additional PCIe 4.0 lanes, which can be used, for example, for SSDs. The Z690 chipset also supports up to four USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports with up to 20Gb/s transfer capacity and ten USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports with speeds up to 10Gb/s. The chipset also supports up to eight SATA 3 ports.
The Z690 also has integrated support for Wi-Fi 6E support, although that doesn’t mean that all Z690 motherboards offer Wi-Fi. Manufacturers also have to integrate an additional chip on the motherboard for this. The same goes for Thunderbolt 4; This standard is supported by the Z690 chipset, but not all Z690 motherboards have Thunderbolt ports.
ASRock: Thirteen Z690 . motherboard
ASRock comes with thirteen motherboards in the Z690 lineup. The highest model set for this is again Taichi. The Z690 variant in this series features two x16 slots that can use PCIe 5.0, as well as one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Z690 Taichi also supports DDR5 memory with overclocked up to 6400MT/s. The ATX motherboard also features two USB 4.0 Type-C connectors with Thunderbolt 4 support, as well as Wi-Fi 6E.
Z690 Taichi, PG Velocita and Steel Legend from ASRock
In the lower segments, ASRock comes with the Z690 Steel Legend, Z690 Extreme, PG Riptide, Velocita, Z690 Pro RS, Z690M-ITX, and several Phantom Gaming models, including Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX models. All of these motherboards support DDR4 memory, although a DDR5 variant is available from the Z690 Phantom Gaming 4. Steel Legend and Extreme also come with Wi-Fi 6E models.
Of all the Z690 motherboards released by ASRock, only the Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 does not support PCIe 5.0. The same motherboard only supports Gigabit Ethernet. The rest of ASRock’s offerings offer PCIe 5.0 x16 and 2.5 Gbit/s Ethernet slots. With some gaming motherboards, ASRock also offers a GPU mount that can be installed on the right side of the motherboard and provides support for large and heavy video cards.
De Z690 Xtreme, Phantom Gaming-ITX / TB4 and PG Riptide
Asus: ROG Maximus, Strix, TUF, Prime, ProArt
ASUS also offers Various Z690 motherboards, which are divided into different series. ASUS no longer uses Roman numerals in its ROG Maximum series this year. Normally, this generation of Maximus motherboards are known as ROG Maximus XIV, but ASUS has chosen to refer to these motherboards only as “Maximus Z690.”
The company offers five motherboards in the same series, including two variants of the Maximus Z690 Extreme. All Maximus Z690 motherboards support DDR5 memory and feature a PCIe 5.0 slot. Notably, the Extreme Edition and Extreme Glacial waterblock have an integrated M.2 slot with a PCIe 5.0 interface; Z690 does not officially support it. Other ROG Maximus Z690 motherboards only support PCIe 5.0 SSDs via an external expansion card.
ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme Glacial motherboard, Extreme, in the Game of Hero
In the slightly lower-rated ROG Strix series for gamers, ASUS also releases five motherboards. The company comes with the Strix Z690-A D4 with DDR4 support, among other things. Strix Z690-E, -F, -G, and -I come with standard DDR5 slots. The latter, the Z690-I, has a mini-ITX form factor and surprisingly offers two integrated M.2 slots, which sit on top of each other with a sort of double-deck cooler. At the same time, the SATA headers and the front panel are located on a small expansion card.
ASUS also supplies some ROG Maximus and Strix motherboards with a “PCIe Q-Release” button. This should make it easier to remove the video cards from the motherboard when a large air cooler is installed.
ASUS releases the Z690-Plus and Z690-Plus Wi-Fi in the TUF Gaming Series. These motherboards support DDR4 and get 2.5Gbit/s Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6. ASUS offers no fewer than four variants of the Prime Z690-P, which vary in terms of DDR4 or DDR5 memory and Wi-Fi support. Finally, the manufacturer offers a dedicated ProArt motherboard for creators It supports 10Gb/s Ethernet and Thunderbolt 4 among others.
De Strix Z690-E, Strix Z690-I, TUF Gaming Z690-Plus, Prime Z690-A
Gigabyte: Aorus, UD, Gaming X
the majority Gigabyte Z690 series Consists of Aorus motherboards destined for gamers. The top-rated Z690 Aorus Xtreme and Aorus Master offer support for DDR5, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6E, as well as 10 Gb/s Ethernet over an Aquantia network card and 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet with Intel nic. The same motherboards support four M.2 SSDs with PCIe 4.0 interface. Xtreme has a more detailed design of the Voltage Regulatory Module (VRM).
Gigabyte Aorus Z690 Xtreme, Master, Elite DDR4
The manufacturer also offers the Z690 Aorus Ultra, Aorus Pro and Aorus Pro DDR4. They all provide four M.2, 2.5 Gbit/s Ethernet slots, and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports. GIGABYTE also offers four low-end Aorus Elite motherboards, offering varying degrees of DDR4 or DDR5 support and Wi-Fi 6 support, and the Z690I Aorus Ultra DDR4 motherboard with a mini-ITX form factor.
Gigabyte also mentions the Gaming X motherboard with DDR4 memory and several ultra-durable motherboards, with DDR4 or DDR5 slots and optional Wi-Fi support. All GIGABYTE motherboards support Q-Flash Plus, which allows updating the BIOS without having to install a CPU, memory or video card.
Finally, for the creators, Gigabyte introduces the Z690 Aero series. The Z690 Aero D also gets DDR5, 10 Gbit/s Ethernet, 2.5 Gbit/s Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, and four M.2 slots with a PCIe 4.0 interface. This motherboard will have a white design and a relatively large heat dissipation. The company is also releasing two Aero G models, with DDR5 and DDR4 respectively. Aero G variants support four M.2-PCIe 4.0 hard drives and Wi-Fi 6.
De Gigabyte Gaming X, Aero D en Aero G
MSI: MEG, MPG, MAG en Pro
MSI also distributes files are Z690 . motherboards in four different series. The company offers, among other things, several MEG Unify motherboards, which feature a black design without RGBs. According to MSI, these motherboards are intended for overclocking. MSI also comes with a mini-ITX variant of the Z690 Unify. These unified motherboards get Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connectors, and DDR5-6666 support. In the same MEG series, the company is showing off the Z690 ACE, which also supports DDR5 at 6666MT/s and provides two Thunderbolt 4 connectors. MSI also reports that this model has five M.2 slots, four of which support PCIe 4.0.
MSI MEG and MPG series
In the MPG series, MSI offers the Carbon, Force and Edge motherboards. The DDR4 variant will come from Edge, and the rest will only be available with DDR5 slots. The MPG Carbon and MPG Force, in turn, will receive five M.2 slots and two x16 x16 slots that support PCIe 5.0, while the Edge variants have room for four M.2 SSDs and one PCIe x16 slot. There will also be an EK X carbon variant, with an integrated EKWB water block.
The MAG series consists of Tomahawk Wifi, Tomahawk Wifi DDR4, and Z690 Torpedo, all featuring two USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports and four M.2 slots. Notably, the Tomahawk variant with DDR5 supports Wi-Fi 6E, while the DDR4 model supports Wi-Fi 6 only. The company also mentions several models in the lower-position Pro series, which also have four M.2 slots. All MSI motherboards support 2.5 Gbit/s Ethernet via the Intel I225-V nic processor, except for the Z690-P, which provides 2.5 Gbit/s LAN with Realtek 8125B nic.
From the MSI Z690 MAG- in the Pro . series
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