Intel Z690 chipset: Alder Lake-S brings many connections in the desktop

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A block diagram of Intel’s Alder Lake S processor and the new Z690 chipset shows the possibilities for the desktop. In doing so, Intel has tightened several screws, not only on the CPU side, but also on the chipset and the connection between the two.

The chipset can do a lot more

Four lanes via DMI3, which corresponds to PCI Express 3.0, was law at Intel until spring of this year. It was only with Rocket Lake-S that Intel doubled the connection to eight lanes for the best chipsets, but still according to the DMI3 standard. Now the next logical step follows: DMI4 will be introduced with eight lanes for the first time. Compared to any Skylake platform, the transfer rate has quadrupled.

Intel Z690 chipset block diagram Intel Z690 Chipset Block Diagram (Image: PC inquisitor)

PCI Express 4.0 is therefore also available via the new Z690 chipset, twelve lanes are shown in the diagram. In addition to a further four PCIe 4.0 lanes directly from the CPU, storage systems shouldn’t have to put a big stone in the way, theoretically four current M.2 solutions can be pushed to the maximum.

Of course, the chipset will continue to offer classic connections, such as six SATA and 16 lanes PCIe 3.0 for various additional options, there are also numerous USB ports, but the lack of Thunderbolt 4 is also striking. LAN with 5 gigabits per second can therefore optionally find its way, in addition to WiFi 6E is also already WiFi 7 supported – the standard has not even been finally approved and is actually only expected for 2023/2024. This is more likely to be a matter of theoretical support that the M.2 slot can offer via CNVi. Because an additional chip is still required for WLAN.

Alder Lake offers PCIe 5.0 and DDR5

What the new CPU Alder Lake can do, Intel recently announced officially. Of course, the support for DDR5 and 16 lanes according to the new PCI Express 5.0 standard stands out, although in both cases it is not regulated in black and white. The PCIe lanes can be divided into two slots and even mention PCIe 5.0 for future Intel SSDs. In addition to DDR5, DDR4 memory can also be used in cheaper systems.

Intel Alder Lake at a glance Overview of Intel Alder Lake (Image: Intel) Intel Alder Lake at a glance Overview of Intel Alder Lake (Image: Intel)

According to information so far, Alder Lake will be officially presented after the start of Windows 11, which will officially appear on October 5th. Because this operating system is a mandatory requirement, explained Intel last, because it is the first to offer the new hardware scheduler for the optimized allocation of small and large cores. At the end of October and the beginning of November, it should be ready on paper and subsequently also in retail.

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