Intel Z790 vs. Z690; which would be best? I have been thinking about the same question for some time. And here I am with an in-detail comparison to help you out.
The 13th-gen CPUs are here finally tagged by Raptor Lake. And like all the times before, new CPUs have come with a new chipset for motherboards, the Z790. And surprisingly, the new chipset also runs with the LGA1700 socket, which was present in the Z690 motherboards.
So now the question is, should you upgrade to a Z790 motherboard or go for a Z690? Since both the chipsets are compatible with intel 13th and 12th gen processors, the pick would be quite troublesome.
But there’s nothing to worry about. In this blog, I’ll cover every aspect of the two motherboard chipsets. So, let’s see which one is right for you, Z790 or Z690.
Z790 vs. Z690 – What’s new in the new chipset?
Before you get into the new upgrades in Z790 motherboards, you should understand the importance of the Intel ‘Z’ chipset. The Z series motherboards are designed for high-end tasks, which other chipsets like ‘B’ or ‘H’ doesn’t offer. In addition, Z series motherboards are compatible with overclocking for top-notch gaming.
Okay, now let’s get back to the point. Comparing the two chipset motherboards side by side, you can clearly notice that the brand has not made any major upgrades. However, there are, sarcastically, some minor upgrades.
What’s new in Z790 chipset motherboards
- an additional USB 3.2 Gen2 port
- Better performance with PCIe 5.0
- More availability of DDR5
Point to be noted:
Since both Z790 and Z690 use LGA1700 sockets, you can use a 13th gen intel CPU in a Z690 motherboard. But you will have to update the BIOS.
Intel Z790 vs. Z690- Differences
Even though there are no massive changes in the recent Z790 motherboards, I’ve highlighted some key points that got improvements. This article may help you how to select a motherboard. Let’s take a look.
PCIe Express (GPU and SSD slots)
If you remember, it was very hard to get a Z690 motherboard with the same feature at an affordable price. Compared with the previous Z690, you can easily find the PCI-E 5.0 slots in new Z790 motherboards for next-gen graphics card upgradability. However, both chipsets have the same number of PCI-E lanes.
Hence, it’s clear that the Z790 motherboards are ahead in terms of GPU and SSD speed and future upgradability.
RAM Compatibility (DDR4 & DDR5)
Both the Z790 and Z690 motherboards support DDR4 and DDR5 RAMs. But there is a slight difference in terms of data transfer speed. You’ll get the same transfer rate of 3200 MT/s with DDR4 RAMs in both motherboards.
While on the other hand, in terms of DDR5, the Z690 can go up to 4800 MT/s while the Z790 supports up to 5600 MT/s. And this can undoubtedly impact your gaming and high-end taskings.
Overclocking & VRMs
Technically, overclocking is not a huge upgrade with the new Z790 chipset motherboards. And practically, it depends on the power phase which you need to choose while purchasing a motherboard for gaming or other overclock-related tasks. The more power phase you have, the better performance you’ll get.
In terms of VRMs, high-cost motherboards from both Z690 and Z790 chipsets offer more VRMs while lower priced give less. It depends on your budget.
Rear and Internal IO
I think this is where you can see the major difference in the Z790 vs. Z690 chipset comparison. You will notice an extra USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port in the rear IO part, which is an advantage. Apart from that, the Thunderbolt 4 ports support is another huge upgrade.
Previously with the Z690 motherboards, you could hardly see the Thunderbolt 4 port, even in high-end motherboards. But now, it’s available in almost every Z790 motherboard.
Z790 or Z690- if I have to pick one for high-end gaming and premium usage, I will go for the Z790 motherboards. Asus Rog Strix Z790-E Gaming is the best Z790 motherboard for gaming as well as overclocking. But if your budget is low and you still want to use a 13th-gen Intel CPU, you can pick a Z690 motherboard. Well, personally, I’d recommend selecting the Asus Z690-E gaming or GIGABYTE Z690 Gaming X.
However, if you want to build a high-end gaming PC, I’d prefer you go with some of the best motherboards for i9 13900k.
Q. Is it worth upgrading from z690 to z790?
If you want to use a 13th-gen intel CPU at its full potential, you should upgrade to Z790. Otherwise, there’s no such huge upgrade in the Z790 chipset motherboards.
Q. Can I use an i7 13700K with a Z690 motherboard?
Yes, you can use an intel core i7 13700k with a Z690 chipset motherboard. But you have to update the BIOS of your Z690 motherboard.
Q. Z790 vs. Z690, which one is more budget-friendly?
Obviously, the z690 motherboards are more budget-friendly since they are quite older hence reducing the price. But in terms of performance, you’ll not notice any significant difference compared with the Z790 motherboards.