Monday, September 13th 2021

Intel Z690 Alder Lake Chipset Pictured

Today, we got ahold of the first picture showing Intel's upcoming Z690 chipset, the highest-end chipset offering for the Alder Lake lineup of processors. From previous leaks, we have concluded that Intel has enabled the Z690 chipset to be a very powerful offering. Featuring support for running either DDR4 or DDR5 memory, the Z690 chipset will allow motherboard AIBs to offer motherboards with both the new and current DDR standards, easing the transition to the new DDR5 memory. As far as PCIe connectivity, this high-end chipset produces 12 PCIe Gen5 lanes, along with 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes. This is, of course, just an addition to the 16 PCIe Gen5 lanes that the Alder Lake processor provides, enabling a wide portfolio of PCIe lanes for connecting SSDs and graphics cards.

Below, you can see the Z690 chipset image (热心市民描边怪 image), compared to the Z590 (AnandTech image) chipset, where there is a clear difference in size. The new Z690 chipset seems quite a lot bigger, and that is really not a surprise given the new technology stack that it brings.
Sources: 热心市民描边怪 (Chiphell), via VideoCardz
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17 Comments on Intel Z690 Alder Lake Chipset Pictured

#1
londiste
Featuring support for running either DDR4 or DDR5 memory, the Z690 chipset will allow motherboard AIBs to offer motherboards with both the new and current DDR standards, easing the transition to the new DDR5 memory. As far as PCIe connectivity, this high-end chipset produces 12 PCIe Gen5 lanes, along with 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes. This is, of course, just an addition to the 16 PCIe Gen5 lanes that the Alder Lake processor provides, enabling a wide portfolio of PCIe lanes for connecting SSDs and graphics cards.
- DDR4/DDR5 controller is in CPU and has nothing to do with chipset in this case.
- Z690 does not produce 12 PCIe Gen5 lanes but 12 PCIe Gen4 lanes, along with 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes.

Compared to Z590:
- PCIe lanes - Z590: 24 PCIe 3.0 - Z690: 12 PCIe 4.0 and 16 PCIe Gen3.
- CPU link - Z590: DMI 3.0 (8 lanes, 8GT/s each) - Z690: DMI 4.0 (8 lanes, 16GT/s each).
- USB ports - Z690 provides up to 2 more USB 3.2 2x2 ports and up to 2 more USB 2.0 ports.
- Slightly newer WiFi capabilities.
- Notably, TB4/USB4 is no longer there on the chart.
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#2
excessiveobserver
Can't believe AMD has nothing but price drops to counter this.
Posted on Reply
#3
The Quim Reaper
I thought DDR4 support will only be offered on the lower end motherboards, for the lower end Alder-Lake CPU's?

I think anyone hoping to get a high end 'K' chip and not have to buy some new DDR5 memory is in for a disappointment.

Of course, unless their is some physical difference on the high end Z690 boards which prevents DDR4 modules from fitting in the RAM slots, then I suppose the motherboard OEM's could offer DDR4 support unofficially via the BIOS.

I'm thinking of moving from my 9900K to a 12900K and would love to make use of my 32GB DDR4 RAM, but not really expecting to be able to do so.
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#4
TheLostSwede
The Quim ReaperI thought DDR4 support will only be offered on the lower end motherboards, for the lower end Alder-Lake CPU's?

I think anyone hoping to get a high end 'K' chip and not have to buy some new DDR5 memory is in for a disappointment.

Of course, unless their is some physical difference on the high end Z690 boards which prevents DDR4 modules from fitting in the RAM slots, then I suppose the motherboard OEM's could offer DDR4 support unofficially via the BIOS.

I'm thinking of moving from my 9900K to a 12900K and would love to make use of my 32GB DDR4 RAM, but not really expecting to be able to do so.
All the CPUs have dual memory controllers for DDR4/DDR5, this is very common for the "transition" CPU family.
Expect more DDR4 than DDR5 boards initially.
I guess you're not aware that DDR4 and DDR5 memory won't fit in the same slots? You have to buy a motherboard that takes one or the other.
It is possible we'll see some boards with two slots of each, it's been something of an ASRock special in the past.
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#5
Chaitanya
TheLostSwedeAll the CPUs have dual memory controllers for DDR4/DDR5, this is very common for the "transition" CPU family.
Expect more DDR4 than DDR5 boards initially.
I guess you're not aware that DDR4 and DDR5 memory won't fit in the same slots? You have to buy a motherboard that takes one or the other.
It is possible we'll see some boards with two slots of each, it's been something of an ASRock special in the past.
I remember Asus, MSI and Gigabyte also made dual Slot motherboards but with more slots for outgoing DDR and just a pair of Dual Channel slots for new Generation in many cases.
Few examples from past with ugly transitional frankenstein boards:
www.techpowerup.com/87587/msi-unveils-ddr2-ddr3-combo-motherboards
www.anandtech.com/show/1345/6
Posted on Reply
#6
TheLostSwede
ChaitanyaI remember Asus, MSI and Gigabyte also made dual Slot motherboards but with more slots for outgoing DDR and just a pair of Dual Channel slots for new Generation in many cases.
Few examples from past with ugly transitional frankenstein boards:
www.techpowerup.com/87587/msi-unveils-ddr2-ddr3-combo-motherboards
www.anandtech.com/show/1345/6
Yeah, you can't do that anymore though, as you're going to run into CRC issues due to the traces being too long relative to the speed of modern memory.
If you look at a bit more modern motherboards, you'll see the DDR3/DDR4 boards only have two slots of each.
Posted on Reply
#7
erocker
*
excessiveobserverCan't believe AMD has nothing but price drops to counter this.
3D Vcache CPU's and it seems most manufacturer's are holding off on x570s until they arrive. Not to mention we really don't know Alder Lake's performance yet.
Posted on Reply
#8
Chaitanya
TheLostSwedeYeah, you can't do that anymore though, as you're going to run into CRC issues due to the traces being too long relative to the speed of modern memory.
If you look at a bit more modern motherboards, you'll see the DDR3/DDR4 boards only have two slots of each.
We might see someone being creative and putting RAM slots on eitherside of socket similar to HEDT boards to offer DDR4-DDR5 compatibility on same board. Still it would be a wierd and niche offering.
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#9
ZoneDymo
excessiveobserverCan't believe AMD has nothing but price drops to counter this.
To counter what? a chipset? yeah...better get on that asap....
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#10
looniam
ZoneDymoTo counter what? a chipset? yeah...better get on that asap....
pssst i bought intel because more boards had wifi/bluetooth . . .
Posted on Reply
#11
aQi
Well the image shows 12 PCIe Gen4 lanes instead of PCIe Gen5 lanes. One thing surprises me that the PCIe 5 lanes coming from the processor can be opt for "Intel SSD" ? sounds like Intel is already cooking some SSDies for PCIe Gen5
Posted on Reply
#12
asdkj1740
londiste- DDR4/DDR5 controller is in CPU and has nothing to do with chipset in this case.
- Z690 does not produce 12 PCIe Gen5 lanes but 12 PCIe Gen4 lanes, along with 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes.

Compared to Z590:
- PCIe lanes - Z590: 24 PCIe 3.0 - Z690: 12 PCIe 4.0 and 16 PCIe Gen3.
- CPU link - Z590: DMI 3.0 (8 lanes, 8GT/s each) - Z690: DMI 4.0 (8 lanes, 16GT/s each).
- USB ports - Z690 provides up to 2 more USB 3.2 2x2 ports and up to 2 more USB 2.0 ports.
- Slightly newer WiFi capabilities.
- Notably, TB4/USB4 is no longer there on the chart.
i highly doubt usb ports would be increased from 14 to 16 on z690, but sata should be really increased from 6 to 8 this time.
the pc Inquisitor's block diagram is kind of old/outdated.
Posted on Reply
#14
bonehead123
TardianDDR4 is cheap and fast.
Which is EXACTLY what Intel does NOT want to continue..... cheap is NOT, and never has been, in their vocabulary, at least not until everything has been played out in the market for every milkin penny they can possibly get from the consumer... ONLY then have they ever lowered the prices for an outgoing gen of tech....

By then of course, capitalism101 takes over, as the reduced-supply-but-still-in-demand situation kicks in, and we get screwed out of moar of our moolah all over again....
Posted on Reply
#16
ZoneDymo
looniampssst i bought intel because more boards had wifi/bluetooth . . .
But you only need 1 board to have it, namely the one you would buy.
Posted on Reply
#17
londiste
bonehead123Which is EXACTLY what Intel does NOT want to continue..... cheap is NOT, and never has been, in their vocabulary, at least not until everything has been played out in the market for every milkin penny they can possibly get from the consumer... ONLY then have they ever lowered the prices for an outgoing gen of tech....
What does Intel have to do with anything here?
DDR is an area where Intel is not a player.
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