ASRock Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E & Z690 Extreme (DDR4)

Occupying the upper end of what ASRock is considering its mid-range is a pair of 'Extreme' branded models. ASRock has segmented its Z690 stack well between DDR5 and DDR4 support, which makes it even easier to decipher which is which. The ASRock Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E and Z690 Extreme both share the exact same PCB, same design, same core feature set, but with one subtle difference. The Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E comes with a Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, while the regular model does not. Looking at the design, both Z690 Extreme models include an all-black PCB, with black metallic heatsinks, with integrated RGB LED lighting built into the rear panel cover, the chipset heatsink, and on the right-hand side of the board.

Dominating the lower section of the motherboard are the board's PCIe and storage slots. The ASRock Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E and Z690 Extreme include one full-length PCIe 5.0 x16, one full-length PCIe 4.0 x4, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4, and one smaller PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Storage options consist of three PCIe M.2 slots, two with support for PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drives, and one with support for both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. ASRock is using the Z690 chipsets full allocation of SATA with eight SATA ports, all with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Touching on memory, both models include support for DDR4-5000, with a combined capacity of 128 GB across four memory slots.

The only difference between the rear panel of both models is that the Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E includes a Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, while the regular Extreme does not.

Everything else is the same including one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. For users looking for USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, ASRock includes a front panel header for this. Other connectivity includes two Ethernet ports, one powered by a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE controller, and the other by an Intel I219-V Gigabit controller. ASRock includes an HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 video output pairing, while five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical are powered by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. Finishing off the rear panel is a BIOS Flashback button and a PS/2 combo port.

The Intel Z690 Chipset, What's New? ASRock Z690 Steel Legend WiFI 6E & Z690 Steel Legend (DDR4)
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  • meacupla - Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - link

    Those boards are probably still stuck in the Pacific. Reply
  • Mat-mat - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    Why not include the Z690 TORPEDO, Z690 ACE, Z690 FORCE, Z690 Taichi, Z690 AORUS XTREME and Z690M DS3H DDR4 (not yet released).

    By the way, love the fact that the Phantom Gaming 4 boards look no-nonsense in style, while it has DrMOS MOSFETs for VRM power delivery.
    Reply
  • PlasticMouse - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    Small typo: Previously with 11th gen (Rocket Lake), Intel upheaved it from a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z490 to a PCIe 3.0 x4 (x8?) uplink on Z590. With Z690, the uplink is now fully-fledged PCIe 4.0 x8 lanes to interconnect things. Reply
  • GarBaGe - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    "Intel upheaved it from a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z490 to a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z590. With Z690, the uplink is now fully-fledged PCIe 4.0 x8 lanes to interconnect things."

    This is wrong. Probably just a typo, since the author uses a phrasing which suggests it is a typo.
    Z490 has 4 links PCIe 3 from CPU to chipset.
    Z590 has 8 links (not 4) PCIe 3 from CPU to chipset
    Z690 has 8 links PCIe 4 from CPU to chipset.

    My question to Intel: If Z690 is supposed to be your first PCIe 5 platform, why not use PCIe 5 from CPU to chipset instead of PCIe 4?
    Reply
  • DazFG - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    what listing motherboards with diagnostic panels for overclockers, or how many power phases. Reply
  • cgull.at - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    This has been irritating me a bit for a while: "Over 30+ new models"

    That's redundant. It's like saying "More than more than 30 new models". Pick one or the other. Please?
    Reply
  • T2daroy - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    I'm considering the MSI MPG Z690 Edge WIFI DDR4. What are your thoughts on this? Reply
  • quantumshadow44 - Thursday, November 25, 2021 - link

    }}}While Intel states that it includes an integrated 2.5 GbE MAC/PHY, this is a little nonsensical, as wired ethernet still requires a MAC/PHY as an attached PCIe controller. This means regardless of whether a vendor is using a Gigabit, 2.5 GbE, or even 10 GbE, it connects the exact same way to the PCIe interface.

    Can someone explain to me why is it "nonsensical"? Thanks.
    Reply
  • GreenReaper - Saturday, November 27, 2021 - link

    I think the assertion is that the chipset doesn't contain anything to enable this. It's like "you could buy [a motherboard with] a PCIe-based 2.5Gbps Ethernet solution, and it could be from Intel, so we'll list it as a feature".

    Conversely, for 1Gbps, the Z690 spec sheet lists: "Intel® Integrated 10/100/1000 MAC: Support for the Intel® Ethernet Connection I219-V" - https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/produc...

    If you read the datasheet for that it suggests that the I219-V basically turns one of the PCIe links to the PCH ("chipset") into a half-speed Gen1 2.5Gbps connection - but it's not actually the PCIe protocol, it sends Ethernet packets from the I219-V PHY to be handled by the PCH. It also works in SMBus mode at 10Mbps to provide functionality when the machine is a lower-power state.

    There is a lot of wake-up functionality which means it has to be able to detect bit patterns, direct-addressed IPv4/6 wakeups, etc, but it relies on chipset features to otherwise process packets.
    Reply
  • ScottSoapbox - Saturday, November 27, 2021 - link

    "Intel upheaved it from a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z490 to a PCIe 3.0 x4 uplink on Z590." Reply

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