Tuesday, October 19th 2021

ASUS' Prime Z690-P Motherboards Make an Early Appearance

The first mainstream Z690 boards have made an appearance online in the shape of ASUS' Prime Z690-P series. As with most of ASUS' Prime boards, these are fairly basic boards, but shouldn't leave the average user wanting for much, although ASUS has made a rather odd layout decision on these boards that we can't quite grasp.

The four models on display are the Prime Z690-P WiFi D4, Prime Z690-P D4, Prime Z690-P and Prime Z690M-Plus D4. The last model doesn't strictly belong to the Prime Z690-P family, but it follows a pretty similar overall design. The Prime Z690-P is obviously the only DDR5 SKU among the four boards, although from what we can tell, there are no other differences between it and the equivalent DDR4 model.
As a matter of fact, ASUS hasn't really changed too much compared to its Prime Z590-P series boards when it comes to the overall board layout, although the heatsinks have been refreshed with different logos and slightly different cutouts in them. However, the big change is the slot layout, where ASUS has gone for no less than four physical x16 PCIe slots, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, considering the slot placement. The location closest to the CPU is taken up by an M.2 22110 slot, so the regular PCIe slots start one position down, with what should be a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot.

Where it all goes a bit strange is the next slot, which is another x16 slot, although only x4 electrically and most likely PCIe 3.0. This slot would be mostly unusable if a two slot or wider graphics card is being used. Next we have another M.2 slot, but a 2280 slot, which is followed by another x16 slot, which again appears to be a x4 electrically, then a x1 slot, which is shared with another M.2 22110 slot and finally another x16 slot, which also appears to be x4 electrically.

We're by no means opposed to having slots with more bandwidth, but the layout doesn't make a whole heap of sense and considering the PCIe 4.0 lanes are likely to be used for the M.2 slots, we're not entirely sure who these boards are designed for. At least one x8 slot would've been a lot more useful for older devices, such as 10 Gbps network cards or RAID cards, which can be picked up fairly cheaply second hand these days, but alas, none of those would be able to work at full speed with this board. Hopefully this is not what all the other Z690 motherboards will end up like.

As for the Prime Z690M-Plus D4, ASUS has managed to squeeze in no less than four M.2 slots, although one is for a Wi-Fi card, while the others are all 2280 slots. Overall this looks like a fairly unimpressive mATX board, which wasn't entirely unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless. It does at least have a USB-C type front connector, which also applies to the rest of the Prime Z690-P boards.
Source: Videocardz
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10 Comments on ASUS' Prime Z690-P Motherboards Make an Early Appearance

#1
R-T-B
A silent nod to miners, maybe?

I honestly have no idea what else you'd use those for now. Multigig NIC maybe?
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#2
Hyderz
is it me or my eyes deceiving me... the box says pci-e 5.0
the m.2 slot cooler says pci-e 4.0
Posted on Reply
#3
Chaitanya
R-T-BA silent nod to miners, maybe?

I honestly have no idea what else you'd use those for now. Multigig NIC maybe?
Most probably 2.5G on some expensive Prime offerings. Also its weird to see only 4x Sata ports.
Posted on Reply
#4
TheLostSwede
Hyderzis it me or my eyes deceiving me... the box says pci-e 5.0
the m.2 slot cooler says pci-e 4.0
Only the first x16 PCIe slot is PCIe 5.0 and will be the only slot on most boards.
Some may have a muxed slot, which brings it down to x8 and then allows the other eight lanes to be used for something else, but I doubt we'll se more than a couple of boards that would do that, if any at all.
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#5
dj-electric
Hyderzis it me or my eyes deceiving me... the box says pci-e 5.0
the m.2 slot cooler says pci-e 4.0
Z690 is a 5.0 GPU, 4.0+3.0 storage platform.
Posted on Reply
#7
efikkan
agent_x007Has PS/2 = it's fine board.
These boards probably still beats the quality of boards from ASRock and Gigabyte, and should probably be go-to boards for most typical PC builders who don't need gimmicks. This class of boards is also very suitable for light "workstations" (who don't need ECC), like coding, photo editing and light video editing. The only feature I typically miss from this class of boards is BIOS flashback.

PS/2 is actually appreciated by Linux users where keyboard support over USB is flaky for NKRO. PS/2 is also superior when it comes to latency.
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#9
Why_Me
InitialisedNo ITX offering?
I'm guessing Asus will offer those in their ROG and possibly their TUF board lineup.
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