Intel goes “state-of-the-art” with chipset for its upcoming Gaming CPUs.


The launch later this year of the Intel Alder Lake-S as a desktop CPU will bring several significant new features, including using a new type of socket and a new generation of Intel motherboards. All of them with different chipsets, including the Intel Z690.

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

What can we expect from Intel’s Z690 chipset?

While it seems that AMD will not go for PCI Express 5.0, at least for the time being, Intel has decided to implement the fifth generation of this parallel intercommunication technology between the CPU and its peripherals such as graphics cards SSDs, etc. 

Note that contemporary CPUs include a small chipset that brings several I/O interfaces. Having numerous interfaces gives us the scope to add a hell lot of peripherals, however, this will work only in the case of PCI Express 5.0. 

However, Alder Lake-S will have support for up to 20 lanes. Hence it will need to be implemented on the motherboard to which the processor is connected.

ASUS Z590-E Gaming Wi-Fi (8)

In the remaining Intel motherboards in the 600 families, we don’t know what support will be for PCI Express 5.0. It is currently said that the DDR5 memory support would be available across the range. However, the Alder Lake-S platform’s most capable chipsets might be supported. We now have the opportunity to add numerous additional PCI Express 5.0 lanes to motherboards with Z690 chipsets, which is quite good, as this means additional NVMe SSDs.

The CPU/chipset communication will continue through the DMI interface of Intel which has already been used to transmit CPUs to your chipsets. The fourth iteration of this interface is used by Intel, in this case.

PCI Express 5.0 only for Intel

PCIe 5.0 is going to become a controversial issue in a few months. The new interface is backward compatible with previous versions of the standard. Still, for the moment, despite the existence of the first flash drivers for NVMe SSDs in terms of storage in the case of GPUs, we have no evidence of the use of this interface.

Because the information on AMD Ryzen 6000, known as its Raphael code name, suggests that it will not handle PCI Express 5.0, it is evident that in its future RDNA 3 architected GPUs, AMD will not bet on this interface. Indeed, the PCI Express interface is not currently being saturated by GPUs. However, employing SSD in games using technologies like DirectStorage could cause the bus to saturate, giving Alder Lake-S under the Intel Z690 chipset a clear win in terms of performance.

Suppose there are no products on the market that take advantage of the new interface. In that case, this could be a disadvantage for Intel, as users would not see the ability to take advantage of the total capacity of the Alder Lake architecture in terms of the ability to communicate with peripherals.

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