First photo and full specifications of the Z690 chipset for Alder Lake

intel z690 chip

Things are rushing around Alder Lake and before discovering the first motherboards, here is the flagship chipset of the range.

The news still have plenty of time to follow before the arrival of Alder Lake, the 12th generation of Intel processors. In all likelihood, the CPUs should tumble in November, but only one chipset would be involved, the Z690.

Dual DDR4 / DDR5 controller

And as things are well done, it is precisely this chipset which offers itself some additional indiscretions today. First, there is this photo which does not actually tell us much except that the chipset will be noticeably larger than the Z590 of the Rocket Lake generation.

More interestingly, the diagram – if of course it is not a fake – helps to clarify certain points both relating to the Alder Lake processors themselves and to the Z690 chipset. On the CPU side, it is first a question of confirming the 20 PCI Express lanes mentioned above: 16 are PCIe 5.0 and 4 remain PCIe 4.0. The latter are intended for an SSD in particular.

It’s no surprise that Intel will be using a dual controller for RAM. On the one hand, it is a question of DDR5 4800 compatibility and DDR4 3200 on the other, this of course in order to evolve smoothly.

No USB 4.0

If we look more specifically at the issue of the Z690 chipset, we see that it is first a question of upgrading the CPU / chipset interconnection: we go from 8 DMI 3.0 links to 8 links in 4.0. This will allow the chipset to be upgraded to something beefier on the PCI Express side.

The Z690 should indeed offer 12 PCIe 4.0 lanes as well as 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Remember that PCI Express 5.0 here seems to concern only the Alder Lake CPU. It is also a question of offering 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2.2 ports at 20 Gbps, WiFi 6E / 7, Ethernet 1 GbE / 5 GbE as well as Optane and Smart Sound compatibility in particular.

On the other hand, Intel does seem to have to give up on USB 4.0. To take advantage of it, it will be necessary to turn to an additional controller. Finally, remember that this information is still subject to caution, even if everything that is indicated is likely to be verified.

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