Intel's Alder Lake should be right around the corner. Motherboard manufacturers are starting to send their products out to retailers in preparation for the processor launch. Hardware detective HXL (opens in new tab) has shared the specification sheet for Gigabyte's Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4, giving us a small taste of what the motherboard offers.
Judging by the image, the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4 will come in a standard ATX form factor. Obviously, the motherboard is based on Intel's flagship Z690 chipset so it'll come with all the bells and whistles. As expected, it features the larger LGA1700 socket to house the new hybrid chips.
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4 should be very good at overclocking and compete with the best motherboards on the market. Gigabyte equipped it with a 16+1+2-phased power delivery subsystem with 70A power stages. According to the marketing material, 16 stages are for the V-Core, while one phase is destined for the VCCDT and the remaining two phases for the VCCAUX.
As its name says, the motherboard comes with DDR4 support instead of DDR5. Cutting-edge technology is always more expensive so the Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4 gives consumers a chance to use existing DDR4 memory. A Gigabyte EEC listing revealed that there should be a DDR5 variant of this same motherboard. While Alder Lake natively supports both DDR5-4800 and DDR4-3200 memory, it remains to be seen whether there is a perceptible benefit to using the first as opposed to the latter.
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4 comes with PCIe 5.0 support, which is one of the more exciting features for Alder Lake. However, it appears that only the primary PCIe expansion slot conforms to the PCIe 5.0 x16 standard. The other two PCIe expansion slots probably stick to PCIe 4.0.
For storage, there are up to four M.2 PCIe slots that are passively cooled under the large heatsink. The nature of the slots is unknown for the moment. The other storage interfaces consist of six SATA III ports.
The Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4 delivers both Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. The motherboard supplies up to nine USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port for connectivity. The display outputs include one HDMI port and one DisplayPort output whereas audio options come down to two 3.5mm audio connectors and a S/PDIF interface.
The last rumor on Alder Lake's launch points to November 4. If legit, motherboard and memory vendors will launch their products on the same date.