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MSI Z690-A Pro DDR4 Motherboard Already On Sale At Newegg

MSI Z690-A Pro Motherboard
(Image credit: Newegg)

Intel’s highly anticipated 12th generation Alder Lake launch is happening this week, and the chip giant is hoping to make a big splash in the desktop processor market. However, it appears that Newegg didn’t get the memo to keep Alder Lake-related products under wraps until launch. The company’s Canadian subsidiary is already listing the MSI Pro Z690-A DDR4 motherboard for sale, pre-announcement, priced at $279.99.

This early listing by Newegg Canada doesn’t come as too much of a surprise considering that one unnamed U.S. retailer has been shipping flagship Core i9-12900K processors to customers ahead of schedule. The Z690-A Pro DDR4 is an entry-level ATX motherboard that we first covered last week, so it likely won’t provide the performance or features that would be worthy of a Core i9-12900K. For starters, it supports legacy dual-channel DDR4 memory (up to 128GB) instead of the new DDR5 spec that Alder Lake is ushering in for the desktop PC market.

Also onboard are three PCIe x16 slots, one PCIe x1 slot, four M.2 slots, one USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, and six SATA III ports. Unfortunately, you won’t find onboard Wi-Fi given its entry-level positioning, but you receive integrated 2.5 GbE courtesy of an Intel I225-V chipset.

MSI Z690-A Pro Motherboard

(Image credit: Newegg)

The Z690-A Pro DDR4 motherboard is on sale and in stock at Newegg Canada right now for $279.99 plus $7.99 shipping. To put that in comparison, the current generation Z590-A Pro is just slightly cheaper at $234.99 with free shipping (shipped by Newegg Canada). For comparison, the Z590-A Pro is priced at $179.99 from Newegg’s U.S. website, which could translate into U.S. pricing of just over $200 upon launch for the Z690-A Pro DDR4. We should also mention that the Z690-A Pro is available in both DDR4 and DDR5 versions with or without Wi-Fi. 

The Z690-A Pro DDR4 will launch alongside no fewer than 16 other MSI Z690 motherboards, all of which are listed below:

MSI Z690 Motherboard Specifications
MotherboardMemory SlotsM.2 SlotsSATA III PortsPCIe x16 SlotsPCIe x1 SlotsUSB 3.2 Gen 2x2 PortsUSB 3.2 Gen 2 PortsWiFiForm Factor
MEG Z690 Ace4 x DDR55?3?27?ATX
MEG Z690 Unify4 x DDR5562127?ATX
MEG Z690 Unify-X2 x DDR5562127?ATX
MEG Z690I Unify2 x DDR5341012?Mini-ATX
MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi4 x DDR55?3026YesATX
MPG Z690 Edge WiFi4 x DDR5463005YesATX
MPG Z690 Edge WiFi DDR44 x DDR4463005YesATX
MPG Z690 Force WiFi4 x DDR55?3116YesATX
MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi4 x DDR546311?YesATX
MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR44 x DDR446311?YesATX
MAG Z690 Torpedo4 x DDR4463113?ATX
Pro Z690-A4 x DDR546
3116NoATX
Pro Z690-A DDR44 x DDR446
3116NoATX
Pro Z690-A WiFi4 x DDR546
3116YesATX
Pro Z690-A WiFi DDR44 x DDR446
3116YesATX
Pro Z690-P4 x DDR5342300NoATX
Pro Z690-P DDR44 x DDR4342300NoATX

Intel will hold its virtual “Innovation” event this week from October 27th through October 28th. It is expected to formally announce its Core i9-12900K, Core i7-12700K, and Core i5-12600K processors, along with their supporting motherboard chipsets. The processors and motherboards from Intel’s various hardware partners (along with pre-built systems) are rumored to go on sale from November 4th.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • BX4096
    My biggest problem is that I have 8 sticks of 16GB RAM (I needed an insane amount of it for work), and none of these new DDR4 boards are providing more than 4 slots for it. I still might be willing to upgrade, but obviously not if I'd have to cut my RAM capacity in half. Hopefully some other manufacturer will step in to fill the void.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    BX4096 said:
    My biggest problem is that I have 8 sticks of 16GB RAM (I needed an insane amount of it for work), and none of these new DDR4 boards are providing more than 4 slots for it. I still might be willing to upgrade, but obviously not if I'd have to cut my RAM capacity in half. Hopefully some other manufacturer will step in to fill the void.
    Do mainstream boards with 8 dimm slots exist any more? If you need that many slots, you should be using an HEDT platform.
    Reply
  • JamesJones44
    For the love of all that is goodness, can we please start replacing those USB-A ports? I haven't bought a product in 2 years that needs USB-A.

    Also, why do we need so many of them? What percentage of users use more than two of the ports? Let alone 7 of them.
    Reply
  • BX4096
    spongiemaster said:
    Do mainstream boards with 8 dimm slots exist any more?
    I just checked and looks like they don't. Seeing as a lot of popular media editors and other programs like UE4 require tons of RAM and how many people use extra memory for convenient RAM disks , I haven't even realized that it was such a problem. I guess I'll have to wait, either for 32GB DDR5 sticks to become affordable or for Intel's next year's HEDT lineup. Thanks for pointing it out.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    Did maintsream CPUs/motherboards ever support >4 DIMMs?

    As an aside, AMD's threadripper lineup supports also supports 8 DIMMs. It hasn't been updated for ~2 years, similar to Intel's HEDT lineup, but there are some rumours/leaks suggesting it won't be too much longer for Zen 3-based threadripper chips to come out.
    Reply
  • deadsmiley
    JamesJones44 said:
    For the love of all that is goodness, can we please start replacing those USB-A ports? I haven't bought a product in 2 years that needs USB-A.

    Also, why do we need so many of them? What percentage of users use more than two of the ports? Let alone 7 of them.

    I use a lot of them. I even use add-in cards to get more.

    Mouse - USB-A
    Keyboard - USB-A
    Webcam - USB-A
    HOTAS - USB-A
    VR System - up to 4 USB-A (yes, I am looking at YOU Oculus Rift
    Scanner - USB-A
    External SATA HDD/SSD dock - USB-A
    External DVD R/W (rarely) - USB-A
    Reply
  • cbdeakin
    The idea of any Z690 boards being entry level is a joke (especially given the top tier prices). DDR4 has been shown to outperform DDR5 in gaming, even when running at lower RAM frequency, because of the poor memory controller support on Alder Lake CPUs, which requires the 'Gear' to be set above 1, which will reduce memory controller speed by half at best.

    Sorry, but poorly researched article. We've already seen the negative effects of increasing gear ratios with Rocket Lake CPUs.

    Edit- what we don't know yet is the gear ratios possible on DDR4 with Alder Lake, at different RAM speeds, but I doubt it would be lower than Comet Lake CPUs.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    cbdeakin said:
    DDR4 has been shown to outperform DDR5 in gaming, even when running at lower RAM frequency,
    Source?
    Reply
  • Viking2121
    BX4096 said:
    My biggest problem is that I have 8 sticks of 16GB RAM (I needed an insane amount of it for work), and none of these new DDR4 boards are providing more than 4 slots for it. I still might be willing to upgrade, but obviously not if I'd have to cut my RAM capacity in half. Hopefully some other manufacturer will step in to fill the void.

    Well DDR5 will have higher capacity sticks anyway, But then again Main stream never have more than 4 slots, you'd have to wait for the extreme platforms or Threadripper stuff if 8 slots are that important. Or continue to use what you have for a while longer.
    Reply