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Intel Z690 chipset for Alder Lake-S CPUs, with PCIe 5.0 and DDR5

The launch of a new chipset does not have to be accompanied by the appearance of a new socket or socket, many times CPU manufacturers launch new versions of their chipsets that are designed to take advantage of improvements implemented for new CPUs under an existing socket. This is not the case with the Intel Z690, a chipset designed for Alder Lake-S architecture CPUs, with LGA-1700 socket and DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0 support.

What can we expect from Intel’s Z690 chipset?

While everything indicates that AMD is not going to bet on PCI Express 5.0, at least for the moment, Intel has decided to implement the fifth generation of this technology for intercommunication in parallel between the CPU and its peripherals such as graphics cards, SSD units , etc. Apart from the already known support for DDR5 memory, an element that it will share with its rivals from AMD.

We have to take into account that contemporary CPUs include a small chipset that brings with it a series of I / O interfaces. These interfaces increase the number of peripherals that we can connect, but in the case of PCI Express 5.0, despite the fact that Alder Lake-S will have support for up to 20 lines, it will really need its implementation on the motherboard to which the processor is connected. .

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We do not know at the moment what will be the support for PCI Express 5.0 in the rest of Intel motherboards within the 600 family, at the moment it is said that it could come from the hand of the most powerful chipsets of the Alder Lake-S platform , while support for DDR5 memory would be available across the range. At the moment we know that Z690 chipset motherboards could add several additional PCI Express 5.0 lanes, which is appreciated as this means more NVMe SSDs in the system.

The communication between the CPU and the chipset will continue to be carried out through the Intel DMI interface, already used to communicate the CPUs with their chipsets. In this case, Intel will use the fourth generation of this interface.

PCI Express 5.0 only for Intel, advantage or disadvantage?

PCI Express

The PCIe 5 is going to become a controversial issue in a few months, the new interface is backwards compatible with previous versions of the standard, but for the moment despite the existence of the first flash controllers for NVMe SSD drives in terms of storage in In the case of GPUs, we are not aware of the use of this interface.

Given that the information about the AMD Ryzen 6000, known by its code name Raphael, indicates that it will not have support for PCI Express 5.0, it is clear that AMD will not bet on this interface in its future GPUs with RDNA 3 architecture. At the moment it is true that the GPUs do not saturate the PCI Express port, but the use of the SSD in games through technologies such as DirectStorage could suppose a saturation of the bus so this would give Alder Lake-S an advantage under the expensive Intel Z690 chipset. to performance.

If there are no products on the market that take advantage of the new interface, this can be a disadvantage for Intel, since users would not see the ability to take advantage of the full capacity of the Alder Lake architecture in terms of ability to communicate with peripherals.