Z790 vs Z690 – Which motherboard is better ?

If you’re looking to build a new high-end PC using Intel’s latest 12th or 13th gen processors, you’ll need to pick out a compatible motherboard. And that means deciding between Z790 and Z690 chipsets.

As someone who recently went through the tricky decision making process, I’ll share everything you need to know about Z790 vs Z690.

By the end, you’ll have all the facts to choose which chipset is right for YOUR next PC build. 

This in-depth comparison has will clear up the lots of differences between Z790 and Z690 chipsets. While Z790 is newer and more advanced, Z690 still packs a punch for less.

Read Samsung 980 pro vs 990 pro

Z790 Overview

The Z790 chipset released in October 2022 alongside Intel’s new 13th gen Raptor Lake CPUs. It represents the latest generation mainstream flagship chipset from Intel.

Z790 motherboards boast full support for both 13th gen and last-gen 12th gen Intel processors.

I knew I wanted a future-proof platform that could push my new 13th gen CPU to its limits. After researching, the advanced features of Z790 sounded perfect on paper.

Z690 Overview

The Z690 hit the market about a year earlier in November 2021 for Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake chips. It was the premium chipset for the latest CPUs at the time.

A year later, Z690 is now considered the last-gen flagship chipset. It still offers full support for 12th gen processors along with some high-end features like DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0.

However, Z690 tops out at DDR5-6400 RAM versus the blistering DDR5-6800 speeds of Z790.

Still, Z690 motherboards can save you money compared to the shiny new Z790.

I seriously weighed the cheaper price and still-capable specs of Z690 against the latest tech of Z790.

Z790 vs Z690

Z790 vs Z690 Features Comparison

Lets compare the key features of the Z790 and Z690 chipsets: See the table below how the Z790 and Z690 chipsets compare across various key features. Both are almost same, with the Z790 offering some incremental updates in areas like RAM speed support and additional USB ports.

FeatureIntel Z790Intel Z690
CPU Socket CompatibilityLGA 1700LGA 1700
12th Gen Intel Core SupportYesYes
13th Gen Intel Core SupportYesYes (with BIOS update)
Max RAM Speed Support6800 MHz6400 MHz
Max RAM Capacity128GB128GB
PCIe Lanes2828
PCIe Gen 5 Lanes2020
PCIe Configurations1×16+1×4 or 2×8+1×41×16+1×4 or 2×8+1×4
USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Ports54
USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 Ports1010
USB 3.2 Gen 1×1 Ports1010
USB 2.0 Ports1414
DDR Memory CompatibilityDDR5-5600B, DDR4-3200DDR5-4800B, DDR4-3200
Overclocking SupportYesYes
DMI 4.0 Lanes88
RAID Modes0, 1, 5, 100, 1, 5, 10
Number of Supported Displays44
Integrated WiFiIntel WiFi 6E AX211 (Gig+)Intel WiFi 6E AX211 (Gig+)
Thermal Design Power (TDP)6 Watts6 Watts

Z790 vs Z690 Price Comparison

How much more does Z790 cost over Z690? Here’s a quick pricing breakdown:

  • Budget Z790 boards – 0-0
  • Budget Z690 boards – 0-0
  • High-end Z790 boards – 0-0
  • High-end Z690 boards – 0-0

As you can see, the Z790 pricing premium is around -0+ depending on if you’re going budget or high-end.

For budget buyers like myself, this price gap is not easy to afford. But I realized quality Z790 boards better hold their value long-term compared to outgoing Z690..

A Common Foundation: LGA 1700 Socket

Both the Z790 and Z690 chipsets share the same LGA 1700 socket, making them a perfect fit for Intel’s 12th and 13th Gen processors.

Overclocking: Pushing the Limits

Are you looking to squeeze every bit of performance out of your CPU? Both chipsets support overclocking, will ramp up the processor’s speed beyond its base specifications.

PCIe Lanes and Configurations: 

Both chipsets boast 28 PCIe lanes with similar configurations. Will help you in  crucial works of adding graphics cards, storage, and other PCIe devices, ensuring smooth data transfer and excellent performance.

RAM and Storage: The Need for Speed

The Z790 nudges ahead with support for faster RAM speeds (up to 6800 MHz), compared to the Z690’s 6400 MHz. Both can handle up to 128GB of RAM.

Connectivity: More Ports, More Possibilities

The Z790 adds an extra USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port to its arsenal, enhancing your connectivity options. More ports mean more devices and peripherals you can connect simultaneously.

Future-Proofing with PCIe 5.0

The Z790 shines with better support for PCIe 5.0, especially beneficial for mainstream board designs.

DDR Memory Compatibility: 

Both chipsets handle DDR4 and DDR5 memory, but the Z790 offers higher speeds for DDR5, making it a slightly more future-proof choice.

Integrated Graphics and WiFi: 

Both chipsets come equipped with integrated graphics support, suitable for general gaming and computing tasks.

Overclocking Potential:

For those who love to tinker and push their systems to the limit, the Z790 might have a slight edge in overclocking, especially with 13th Gen processors, thanks to more VRMs.

The Final Verdict: Which One Should You Choose?

  • For Tech Enthusiasts and Power Users: The Z790 is the way to go if you want the latest features, faster RAM support, and better PCIe 5.0 compatibility. It’s ideal for those who don’t mind spending a bit extra for the newest tech on the block.
  • For Budget-Conscious Builders and Practical Users: The Z690 remains a strong choice, offering excellent value and performance, without the bells and whistles of the Z790. It’s perfect for those who want a reliable, high-performing system without stretching their budget.


Whichever motherboard you choose, both chipsets are capable performers that won’t let you down.

So, which will you buy Z790 or Z690?

Also read AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D vs 7800X3D and Google fit vs Samsung health app

About Author
Arun is a tech enthusiast who loves to navigating the latest gadgets. He likes to write comprehensive buying guides and finding tech solutions. His passion for tech, you can see on craze for gadgets via reviews, where he helps others make informed decisions in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Leave a Comment