Hardware detective Komachi (opens in new tab) has dug up an Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) submission that gives us a peep of Asus' forthcoming Z690 motherboards. There are up to 16 potential models for Intel's looming 12th Generation Alder Lake processors, though not all of them may make it to the market.
DDR5 support is just one of many features that Alder Lake will offer. According to the information from submission, Asus may only adopt DDR5 memory for its ROG Maximus Z690 motherboards and a few select Prime and ProART models. Like any new cutting-edge technology, DDR5 will likely cost a small fortune, so it make sense to reserve the standard for the brand's high-end motherboards. But it's a double-edged sword since enthusiasts will have to pony up for DDR5 on a ROG Maximus motherboard.
With this generation of Intel motherboard, Asus appears to have revamped the nomenclature for the ROG Maximus motherboard. The brand seemingly dropped the roman numerals and sticked to the Z690 branding instead. The EEC submission only lists the Extreme, Formula and Hero models. However, the Apex and Impact usually come after.
Asus Z690 Motherboards
|Motherboard||DDR5 Support||DDR4 Support|
|ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme||x||Row 0 - Cell 2|
|ROG Maximus Z690 Formula||x||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|ROG Maximus Z690 Hero||x||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|ProART Z690-Creator 10G||x||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|Prime Z690-A||x||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|Prime Z690-P||x||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|Prime Z690-V||x||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming D4||Row 7 - Cell 1||x|
|ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming D4||Row 8 - Cell 1||x|
|ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming D4||Row 9 - Cell 1||x|
|TUF Gaming Z690-Plus D4||Row 10 - Cell 1||x|
|Prime Z690-A D4||Row 11 - Cell 1||x|
|Prime Z690M-Plus D4||Row 12 - Cell 1||x|
|Prime Z690-P D4||Row 13 - Cell 1||x|
|Prime Z690-V D4||Row 14 - Cell 1||x|
|Prime Z690-V-SI-D4||Row 15 - Cell 1||x|
The ProArt Z690-Creator 10G, which is tailored to professionals, will leverage DDR5 memory. As the "D4" designation suggests, the ROG Strix Z690 motherboards are limited to DDR4 DRAM as well as the only TUF Gaming model on the list.
Asus is a bit more flexible with the Prime series as the submission revealed motherboards with DDR4 or DDR5 support. In fact, the company will offer both DDR4 and DDR5 variants for the Prime Z690-A, Z690-P and Z690-V.
Alder Lake offers DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support, however, the necessary hardware to get support up for the features isn't cheap. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume Z690 motherboard to arrive with a small premium. We can expect a similar price increase like when AMD transitioned to PCIe 4.0 on the X570 chipset. Even the lower-end X570 motherboards were more expensive in comparison to the previous X470 models.
Intel has already commited to launch Alder Lake this Fall 2021. It shouldn't be long before retailers start listing Z690 motherboards then which we will get a fair idea on the pricing.