It has become customary at Intel to launch a new peripheral at routine intervals. Over the years, the company has become well-known for delivering some of the most powerful peripherals known to us.
Similarly, Intel unveiled its brand-new 12th Generation Alder Lake processors earlier this year. Taking over the legacy from the Rocket Lake and Comet Lake Processors, the Alder Lake processors come loaded with dozens of features that make it hard to miss.However, what’s more, intriguing is the all-new Intel Z690 chipset which is launched to support Intel’s newly launched Alder Lake processors. Following the immense success of the previous Z490 and Z590 motherboards.
Intel has promised that the new Z690 will be nothing short of features and will offer the best of performances on all fronts. There is more to Intel’s z690 chipset than what meets the eye. In this article, we will walk you through everything Intel’s latest z690 chipset has to offer.
Intel Z690 Chipset Review
In this 21st century, it is vital to have peripherals that are well-equipped to handle the paradigm-changing technology and Intel has done just that. Following the launch of the Alder Lake CPUs, Intel wasted no time in releasing the Intel Z690 chipset to support Intel’s 12th-generation CPUs. The Intel Z690 chipset comes loaded with Intel’s latest 1700 LGA socket which makes it fully compatible with Alder Lake Processors.
When you compare Z690 with Z590 and Z490, you’ll see that the Intel Z690 chipset offers sizeable benefits over the rest. For example, if you remember correctly, Intel’s Z490 and Z590 motherboards used to operate on DMI version 3.0.
Meanwhile, the Intel Z690 proceeds to operate on the DMI version 4.0 offering twice the speeds as its predecessor. To make you further understand what the Intel Z690 chipset has to offer, we have broken down the Intel Z690 chipset into different features.
As we mentioned earlier, it is vital to have peripherals that can easily adapt to the paradigm-changing technology. Banking on this, the Intel Z690 marks Intel’s first chipset that offers complete support to PCIe 5.0. To further facilitate this move, this chipset introduces the latest XMP 3.0 technology followed by Intel’s brand-new memory speed technology called the Dynamic Memory Boost.
Unlike the earlier chipsets, Intel’s Z690 chipset is likely to offer memory support between the range of DDR5 5200-5600 range. Here, you get 20 dedicated PCIe 5.0 lanes of which 16 are used solely for the dedicated graphics card. Meanwhile, the rest can be configured according to the work that can be done.
LGA 1700 Socket
One of the most prominent changes you will get to see is the change in the CPU socket. Intel’s Z690 chipset comes with the latest Intel LGA 1700 socket. 1700 refers to the total number of pins which is 500 more as compared to Intel’s earlier LGA 1200.
Although this CPU socket tends to sport sizeable changes from the last one, it is guaranteed to offer the best performance on all fronts. It comes with a new cooler mounting online meaning there is space for both LGA 1200 and 1700 coolers.
Unlike the Z490 and the Z590, the Z690 works on the DMI version 4.0 which means double the bandwidth. These DMI lanes are somewhat similar to the PCIe lanes except these DMI lanes allow the CPU to connect to other devices as well. This includes all USB, audio, Internet, and storage devices to run directly through the DMI 4.0 connection.
As per Intel, the peak theoretical bandwidth of all Alder Lake CPUs running on DMI 4.0 is said to be at 15 Gbps. This is precisely the same as the PCIe 4.0 x8 interface but is a two-fold increase over the DMI 3.0 connection offered by Intel’s 11th generation Rocket Lake CPUs. This will ensure that every ounce of data passing through these devices will have the adequate amount of bandwidth required.
As mentioned earlier, the Z690 chipset is Intel’s first chipset to support PCIe 5.0. There is a separate set of lanes dedicated to performance and memory. With the PCIe 5.0 support, you can transmit data four times per block cycle, unlike the earlier builds that allowed you to send data through only twice per clock cycle. This is precisely what Intel believes will help generate maximum bandwidth between the system RAM and the CPU.
Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs support DDR5 RAM with an estimated clock speed of up to 4800 Mhz. At the same time, these 12th generation CPUs also support DDR4 RAM with an estimated clock speed of up to 3200 MHz. If you are looking for reasons to go for the Intel Z690 chipset, this is it. A higher-clocking DDR5 RAM followed by added support to DDR4 RAM is all that takes for you to buy the Z690 chipset.
XMP 3.0 and Dynamic Boost Technology
Along with support to the DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, the Intel Z690 chipset also banks heavily on the Extreme Memory Profile (XMP). To pair with its 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs, Intel has now launched the XMP 3.0 technology that can contain up to 5 user profiles at once including 2 rewriteable profiles. While one of these profiles will clock up to 4800 MHz, the rest are likely to have higher-clocking profiles.
The Dynamic Memory Boost offers brand-new tools designed explicitly to handle overclocking and Intel’s unusual multi-core design. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that Intel’s Dynamic Boost Technology is just as interesting as the DDR 5 RAM Support. This Memory Boost is configured and auto-trained to boot using the XMP 3.0 profiles that are built either into DDR 4 or DDR 5. It will automatically cycle through these profiles based on the workload.
Overclocking And Other Changes
Just like the earlier Intel chipsets, the Z690 offers overlocking support. In fact, the Intel Z690 chipset comes with the Dynamic Memory Boost which comprises tools designed explicitly to handle your overclocking needs. As always, you get options for overclocking the CPU, the system RAM, and also the cache.
Meanwhile, you can disable the hyper-threading if you wish to opt for the individual-core basis. This chipset offers its clock settings for overclocking. However, you can always disable them in case there is any instability. In terms of the PCH, the Intel Z690 chipset offers support to up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports followed by an upgraded Wifi 6E controller.
Also, it comes equipped with a faster 2.5 GB MAC as an optional add-on. Other notable features include Intel’s Smart Sound Technology, Optane Memory Support, and Rapid Storage Technology (RST). As we mentioned several times during the article, you need to have the right peripherals in place to match with the paradigm-changing technology. Similarly, if you are looking for next-generation computing, you need to take a closer look at Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs.