The launch line-up of Z690 chipset motherboards for Alder Lake appeared on the EEC database. From the first published models, support for DDR5 memory will be limited to only a few motherboards, while the rest will support DDR4.
Intel's Z690 chipset will be the high-end chipset for twelfth-generation Core processors, code named Alder Lake. It will support both DDR4 and DDR5 DRAM, meaning it's up to the motherboard manufacturer to choose which memory to decide to support on the motherboard. This will result in mixed motherboard offerings from partners such as Asus, MSI and Gigabyte and ASRock. In addition to mixed memory support, the Z690 chipset will have Gear 2 or Gear 4 modes for DDR5. This allows the memory controller to run at half or a quarter of the speed, respectively, depending on the data rate, to increase overall throughput.
Alder Lake CPUs will have 16 PCIe Gen5 lines, while the chipset will provide up to 12 PCIe Gen4 lines and up to 16 PCIe Gen3 lines. This configuration allows you to use high-end SSDs, while also keeping GPUs on the latest PCIe bus standards.
The first ASUS Z690 models appeared online
The ASUS motherboard lineup will include models with DDR5 support for the high-end, while for the low-end it will still use DDR4. The type of memory supported will be easily identifiable by the model name of the motherboard, which will include the abbreviation "D4" for versions with the old memory standard. At the moment, these are the first leaked models:
- ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme (DDR5)
- ROG Maximus Z690 Formula (DDR5)
- ROG Maximus Z690 Hero (DDR5)
- ProART Z690-Creator 10G (DDR5)
- Prime Z690-A (DDR5)
- Prime Z690-P (DDR5)
- Prime Z690-V (DDR5)
- ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming D4 (DDR4)
- ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming D4 (DDR4)
- ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming D4 (DDR4)
- TUF Gaming Z690-Plus D4 (DDR4)
- Prime Z690-A D4 (DDR4)
- Prime Z690M-Plus D4 (DDR4)
- Prime Z690-P D4 (DDR4)
- Prime Z690-V D4 (DDR4)
- Prime Z690-V-SI-D4 (DDR4)
New LGA 1700 socket
The new Intel socket will have an asymmetrical design since Alder Lake CPUs are no longer square shaped but rectangular. The Alder Lake desktop CPUs will arrive in a 37.5 x 45.0 mm package and will be supported by the "V0" socket that we also know as the LGA 1700. The new socket also changes the mounting positions on a 78 x 78 mm grid instead of a 75 x 75 mm grid. The Z height has also increased to 6,529 mm compared to the 7.31 mm of the previous LGA 12**/115* sockets.
The Intel 600 series platform will include the Z690, H670, B660, and H610 chipsets.
Intel plans to launch Alder Lake this November 2021. Presumably soon retailers will start publishing the price lists of Z690 motherboards, and we can have an idea about the launch prices, which will certainly be high for models with DDR5 support.