Z690 vs Z790 – Which to Choose?

With the launch of 13th Gen Core processors, Intel additionally launched a brand new prime finish chipset – the Z790. However how do these new motherboards evaluate to the earlier Gen Z690 and which must you use in your subsequent gaming laptop or workstation construct? Learn on to be taught extra on Z690 vs Z790.

What’s Z790 (…and what’s a chipset)?

Z690 vs Z790

A chipset is a part on a motherboard that’s designed by Intel or AMD to work completely with their particular processors and primarily facilitates communication between the CPU, storage, RAM, GPU, and I/O. Sure chipsets solely help sure options comparable to PCIe Gen 5, DDR5 RAM, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and so on. Particular chipsets additionally solely help particular processors, so when selecting a motherboard, ensure that the included chipset helps your processor of alternative.

Z790 is the Intel chipset that helps 12th and 13th Gen Intel Core processors (ie. Core i5-12600k, i9-13900k, and so on). It makes use of the identical LGA 1700 socket because the previous gen Z690, however features a few further options that chipset doesn’t. However are these further options value it?

Z690 vs Z790 – How do Options Evaluate?

Z690 Z790
Intel Socket LGA 1700 LGA 1700
twelfth Gen Help Sure Sure
thirteenth Gen Help Sure (with BIOS replace) Sure
Help Overclocking Sure Sure
Max RAM velocity 6400 6800
Max RAM Capability 128GB 128GB
Whole PCIe Lanes 28 28
PCIe Gen 5 Lanes 20 20
PCIe Configurations 1×16+1×4 or 2×8+1×4 1×16+1×4 or 2×8+1×4
Max USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Ports 4 5
Max USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 Ports 10 10
Max USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 Ports 10 10
Max USB 2.0 Ports 14 14

As you’ll be able to see, with a number of minor exceptions, the 2 chipsets are extraordinarily related when it comes to options. One further notable distinction is that due to the extra obtainable I/O throughput of Z790, these boards usually tend to have Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports, although each chipsets technically help them.


We’ve examined and retested each 12th Gen and 13th Gen processors on Z690 and Z790 chipset boards. However did we discover any notable efficiency distinction?


It’s more likely you’ll see greater variations processor to processor than you’ll between two equivalent motherboard fashions with differing chipsets. Don’t make this alternative based mostly on efficiency.

Which to decide on?

Given the practically equivalent characteristic set and the truly equivalent efficiency, it’s onerous to justify paying a premium for Z790 over Z690 in all however the absolute highest finish builds. Until you are feeling the necessity for Thunderbolt 4 (and may’t discover a Z690 board that helps it) or have some DDR5-6800 RAM that wants a house, Z690 is probably going your best option in your subsequent construct.

Configure a customized gaming PC or workstation PC with Z690 motherboard right here!

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Josh has been with Velocity Micro since 2007 in numerous Advertising and marketing, PR, and Gross sales associated roles. Because the Director of Gross sales & Advertising and marketing, he’s accountable for all Direct and Retail gross sales in addition to Advertising and marketing actions. He enjoys Seinfeld reruns, the Atlanta Braves, and Beatles songs written by John, Paul, or George. Sorry, Ringo.