After a long time, the 12th generation of Intel’s Core I series should once again become the ultimate in the consumer sector. After AMD’s dominance with the Ryzen CPUs, Intel now wants to set the tone again and offer maximum performance in games.
A suitable base for this is mainboards with a Z690 chipset. If you want to be there right at the start of the new Alder Lake series, you must buy a new mainboard.
The new chipset, together with the 12th Core I generation, supports DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 for the first time. This means that in addition to a new mainboard and CPU, new RAM and a new cooler may also be necessary.
However, there are also some “hybrid variants” that still support DDR4 instead of DDR5. As usual, Intel will also launch the new K(F) CPUs with the designations Core i9 12900K, i7 12700K, and i5-12600K for the release of the new Z690 chipset.
These CPUs are also suitable for overclocking thanks to a free multiplier. All further information about the new processors, mainboards, CPU coolers, and RAM can be found in our Intel Alder Lake article.
our team has compiled a clear comparison of the currently best Z690 mainboards and displays the recommendations directly with the current best price.
What RAM do I need for a Z690 motherboard?
That depends entirely on the particular model because all board partners have models with DDR4 or DDR5 support. With DDR4 RAM we recommend bars with at least 3200 MHz, with DDR5 with at least 4800 MHz. DDR4 RAM in price comparison DDR5 RAM in price comparison
What CPUs fit on a Z690 motherboard?
Due to the socket 1700, the new Z690 chipset only supports the new CPUs of the Alder Lake series. Whether future CPU generations will also fit on the board cannot be said at this point in time.
Are there performance differences between the different Z690 motherboards?
No. If you compare the performance of cheap Z690 mainboards with that of expensive ones, the performance is usually almost the same. However, longevity under full load can be better with more expensive, higher-quality models since they offer a better power supply for the CPU, and the voltage converters, chipset, and M. 2 slots are additionally cooled. In addition, the more expensive ones usually offer more OC potential.
Do older Intel CPUs also fit on Z690 mainboards?
No. Only the 12th Intel Core generation is compatible with the Z690 chipset.
B660 or Z690, which is better?
The Z690 chipset is clearly better if you look at the technical data. More lanes, PCIe 5.0 support, OC functions for the CPU, and more connectors. If you want the full range, you should use a mainboard with a Z690 chipset for socket 1700.
What about the phases on a mainboard?
The phases of a mainboard are responsible for the power supply of the CPU. The more phases there are, the more stable the supply in the load area. This is of course particularly interesting when overclocking.
Is a Z690 motherboard with DDR5 worth it?
No, if you look at the whole thing in terms of price. Because DDR5 is almost twice as expensive as DDR4 and currently offers hardly any advantages. However, if you want to be prepared for the future, you are better off with a Z690 mainboard for DDR5.
Because here new RAM modules with higher clocks and faster timings are constantly coming onto the market, which are also significantly faster than DDR4 RAM – with the disadvantage that you have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Can I continue to use my old CPU cooler on the Z690 motherboard?
This also depends on the manufacturer of the mainboard. For example, all Asus Z690 mainboards have holes from the old socket 1200. This means that older CPU coolers that are intended for sockets 115x and 1200 can also be installed.
In addition, some cooler manufacturers such as Enermax, be quiet, Arctic, Noctua, Scythe, and SilentiumPC offer conversion kits for their current CPU coolers. Or straight to all CPU coolers for Socket 1700 in a price comparison All new CPU cooler models released after the Socket 1700 launch will come with a mounting kit by default.
Is DDR5 faster than DDR4 on the Z690 chipset?
As of now, it’s kind of a stalemate when you compare the fastest DDR5 RAM to the fastest DDR4 RAM. However, DDR5 technology is still in its infancy. Faster and faster modules with higher clocks and sharper timings will come onto the market, so DDR4 will then too will be left behind.
Do the new 13th Gen Intel Core processors also run on a Z690 motherboard?
Yes, but a bios update is required for this. Can’t find the right Z690 mainboard? All Z690 mainboards in a price comparison.