HWiNFO, which is increasingly becoming a source of new hardware information, has added support of 'some Asus Z690 and Maximus XIV,' according to blogger @Komachi_Ensaka. Interestingly, the mention of the Z690 has been removed since he wrote his post.
Since Intel has confirmed that it is developing an Alder Lake-based desktop platform, it's not exactly a secret that its motherboard partners are working on appropriate mainboards. But Asus seems to be the first company to confirm these works, albeit unofficially.
Much is still up in the air about what exactly the Intel Z690 chipset will bring with it. Yet we do know that it is set to support Intel's Alder Lake-S platform, which means DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 interconnections. We also know that the platform (not the CPU or chipset specifically) is set to support Thunderbolt 4.
While there's still much to learn about Intel's Z690 chipset, what is important in this story is timing. We know from Intel that Alder Lake-S is due in the second half of the year -- which technically starts in July. And apparently Asus is pretty far along with at least one Z690 motherboard. Does this mean that the CPU will be out rather sooner than later? Who knows?
Being a top-of-the-range product, the ASRock Z590 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 naturally has support for addressable RGB lighting (using the ASRock Polychrome Sync/Polychrome RGB software) and has a very sophisticated input/output department that has a number of unique features, such as three display outputs and multi-gig networking.
With chipsets apparently still being a thing on 600-series motherboard if this leak is accurate, I wonder how many of those 500 extra pins are for additional CPU-based IOs to relieve pressure on the DMI link. I bet that from a PCB layout standpoint, board manufacturers would very much like all rear panel IO to come directly from the CPU to avoid having to route all of that stuff all the way across the board from the chipset.
What's this blob on the bottom all about... copy/paste error?