If you have been waiting for a true budget-friendly Z690 motherboard for your next Alder Lake PC build or system upgrade, then Gigabyte might have something up your alley. Tweeted from @momomo_us, Gigabyte's website lists the world's first Z690 motherboard that lacks full PCIe Gen 5 connectivity called the Z690M DS3H DDR4.
Gigabyte Z690M DS3H DDR4 (rev. 1.0) https://t.co/Xf7r6P0gDVZ690 + PCIe 4.0 + DDR4 pic.twitter.com/71hoXJIh2mNovember 29, 2021
Getting rid of PCIe Gen 5 support means we could see our first Z690 motherboard that is priced far below $200, making it truly a budget-friendly board for Alder Lake CPUs. Currently, the cheapest Z690 motherboards you can find on the market are priced above the $200 mark, which in the past was the pricing territory of Intel's mid-range boards.
The main culprit for the eye-watering prices is the addition of PCIe Gen 5 support which is very expensive to add on motherboards. Due to Gen 5's crazy fast speeds, the motherboards equipped with with it have to be built with extra PCB layers and higher quality materials to ensure a stable connection. All of this adds more cost to the board.
We've already seen similar pricing "ssues with PCIe Gen 4 on AMD platforms. X570 and X570S chipset motherboards that pack Gen 4 across both the CPU lanes and all of the chipset lanes are significantly more expensive than AMD's B550 counterparts which only add Gen 4 support to the CPU and not the chipset.
So having just Gen 4 support alone on the new DS3H should reduce the board's price significantly. Besides the PCIe differences, the DS3H is Gigabyte's lowest end Z690 motherboard to date, featuring a smaller micro-ATX form factor and a lower end power delivery system compared to Gigabyte's more premium Z690 offerings.
To keep the board more focused on budget builders, the DS3H also comes with DDR4 support instead of DDR5. This is optimal since DDR5 is both very expensive and very difficult to find right now.
For connectivity, the DS3H DDR4 comes with a single PCIe Gen 4 x16 slot and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, along with dual Gen 4.0 M.2 slots for high-speed storage. The rear I/O consists of three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 2.0 ports, and four display outputs including VGA, HDMI and two DisplayPort connections.
Pricing for the Z690 DS3H DDR4 is unknown at this time, however, Gigabyte has already revealed a full product page for the new board so we should have pricing details and a release date very soon.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.