Question Which Gigabyte Z690?

Mantrid-Drone

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I'm confused by the range of Z690 Gigabyte MBs. I've settled on using either a i5 12600K or plain 12600 CPU as I can't afford a separate graphic card at this point. That is for the future probably not for months.

However when it comes to the MB ........ I'm not so certain what I need or what might be useful to have.

I want to stick to what I know from my previous builds: Gigabyte (Z77 and H87) but the price range I'm looking at is £190/$232 to £250/$305 and they have over a dozen different ATX MBs here with, seemingly, little obvious differences except whether they support DDR5 or DDR4 RAM and the Wi-Fi options.

BTW I'm not bothered about the latter as I use an all wired set up.

So why should I spend more on any of the higher price GA Z690 iterations rather than go for the GA Z690 UD either DDR5 or DDR4 version?

About the only ones I'm not too keen on are the Gaming X series simply because they have slightly reduced back plate connectivity with the assumption the user is going to be using a GPU too.

Enlightenment appreciated.
 

igor_kavinski

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Only four to five months left now till Raptor Lake might be available. I would wait. Why buy an expensive mobo only to have it become old a few months later?
 
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Tech Junky

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ADL vs RL isn't going to be a big difference. Z690 vs Z790 won't be much difference either and RL will probably fit into a Z690 anyway. LGA1700 should cover both options.

The bigger issue is choosing the right board that matches your specs / expectations / needs.

When building ADL I went through a ton of different options and the happy medium is ASRock. Features vs $$$. I went with the Steel Legend for ~$240 on the DDR4 model.

1652448524897.png
Gains:
4 E
24MB Cache
Higher power draw potential

This is incremental IMO like 10/11th gen updates that were a waste of time for most considering the small leaps in changes in the tech being deployed. The significance of going from older gens was bumping PCI from 3 >> 5 / DMI 3 >> 4 / adding multiple NVME slots.

DDR5 is still at least double the price of DDR4 for the same performance at this point. DDR5 tax on MOBO's is significant. There's an adapter you could add to the mix to use DDR4 until DDR5 matures more.
 
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Mantrid-Drone

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So you're recommending that whatever make and type of Z690 I get DDR4 is still the way to go. That is helpful because the DDR5 supporting MBs are, generally, more expensive and I'm likely to be buying the RAM before I buy the MB due to monthly financial limits.

Five months plus is a long time to wait for Raptor Lake being available and I think there is a good chance it will be later rather than sooner anyway. You always pay more for new stuff too and if there's limited supply it will remain more expensive for longer I'm thinking.

The cost/performance bargains will be Alder Lake probably well into next year.

As the current 600 series MBs are said to support both AL and RL using the same LGA 1700 I think, as has to happen, again, due to my limited monthly budget, I can leave the CPU choice/purchase until last.

That will be at least three months from the end of this month. Maybe RL will be available by then but even if I've bought the MB , whatever it is, and it proves worthwhile going for one of those rather than the i5 12600(K) the RL should still be compatible.
 

Tech Junky

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It all has to make sense for what you want to use it for as well.

When ADL launched I was eyeing all the new stuff and had a plan but reality set in when digging into official specs of said new stuff and availability. I was eyeing DDR5 16GB for ~$130 and then it couldn't be found anywhere as scalpers snatched it all up and repriced it at $500+. Digging deeper into the performance comparison between DDR4 / 5 though revealed similar performance when comparing timings. DDR5 has some interesting new tech behind it but, the performance isn't there for 2-3X the price. Prices have fallen though based on the DDR5 price tracker to reasonable levels but, you still pay the tax on it when looking at the MOBO's.

Most MOBO's have the new PCIE Gen 5 slot for your choice of GPU / Storage.

1 MOBO has a gen 5 M2 slot where most don't or will require using a PCIE adapter to use it when they come to market.

Most of the other tech bumps for ADL+ come baked into the chipset / board anyway.

I've seen issues with Asus / Gigabyte issuing recalls for defective production issues already.

Finding the middle ground for price vs features will take some time doing research depending on what you're looking for. If you want decent number of slots with Gen 3/4/5 options ASRock meets that more than others. Others will skimp on the number of slots and which gen they are to do whatever the company's goal is. Seeing as though I'm on a fairly frequent upgrade cycle to keep current hitting a price point around $250 makes more sense to me. There's both extremes though from ~$150 - $600+ and when you get into the higher end it's most about I/O ports like TB4/USB4 which you can just add a card for $100 to get that option vs paying $200 more for the board to have them built into the back panel.

One thing that I was looking for was USB 3.2 2x2 to add 20gbps USB-C to the mix. You find either a header for the front panel or the port in the back panel. It's kind of a niche option but, you can also go with a card and take up a slot for it relatively cheap as well.

Adding WIFI to the MOBO usually has a tax associated with it when you can buy the M2 for ~$25 and some antennas for $8 and do it yourself.

As with everything tech though it's possible to have a 1000 different configurations based on needs / wants.
 
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Shmee

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If you are ok with using MSI, I would look at the Tomahawk or MPG Edge wifi, both get good reviews and use DDR4. Also, what are you using the computer for? If for gaming, I would highly recommend at least some form of video card.

Also, what are you looking for in a board? As in what ports and features.
 
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Tech Junky

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I've used them in the past and they're alright. I don't have any complaints or seen much about them having issues in the past / current.

Not exactly sure why I keep coming back to ASRock as I've used 3 of them in the past couple of years w/ upgrades / builds. I don't have a loyalty to them but, they keep hitting the check list for what I'm looking for at the time at the right prices.
 

Mantrid-Drone

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If you are ok with using MSI, I would look at the Tomahawk or MPG Edge wifi, both get good reviews and use DDR4. Also, what are you using the computer for? If for gaming, I would highly recommend at least some form of video card.

Also, what are you looking for in a board? As in what ports and features.
It'll be general use to begin with but I do eventually want it to be capable of running some recent games at 60+fps/1080p minimum and if I get a 4K TV/monitor it would be rude (and pretty pointless) not to have a GPU capable of making best use of it.

However I had a look at the on board i5-12600 UHD 770 graphics and its going to be more than good enough for the 'retro' gaming I'm most interested in.

I've been using an i3 3rd gen with HD 4600 and that's been great for most PC games up to about 2003, roughly the 5th games console '32/64 bit generation' (PS/N64/).

I'm happy with a baseline gaming capability which extends that sort of performance 10 -15 years onwards. UHD 770 graphics, from what I've seen, are pretty much ideal for this sort of and other more general use.

It is why I decided to save my money in that area rather than anywhere else. I'm happy to wait until I can afford a GPU worthy of the rest of the PC and not just make do with an entry level one.
 
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Tech Junky

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One thing I've noticed since you're talking UHD is the newer XE performs much better.

For the mundane day to day stuff like browsing / web games it handles things much more efficiently than the prior UHD setup.

Whether or not the desktop side gets XE vs UHD on Raptor Lake is up in the air since Intel is pushing our XE PCIE cards at this point. Even the basic XE cards should outperform UHD series.


They're no RTX but, they get the job done. The higher end cards released later this year should put up a fight though with RTX level cards. Intel's off to a bit of a slow roll right now aiming for lower end / tablet / thin options but, making a quick run by the end of the year to get IIRC 4 Million XE based GPUs out the door and into the market.

For the laptop though it's a huge improvement. Things are handled well and no need to set the dGPU to handle dumb web games for smoothness. With the added EU's it seems to also run cooler and the fans kick up less. On the desktop side ADL is UHD 770.

In Rocket Lake though it looks like it might be a toned down 32EU whereas the laptop side is 96EU. The option to add a card though on the desktop side will provide the option to bump things up and pairing Intel on intel should open some additional horsepower through backplane synergies.
 
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Mantrid-Drone

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Thanks for the info on XE graphics - not read anything about it until now. I''l look into it.

I've been further confusing myself looking at comparison YT video: UHD 770 versus Ryzen 5 5600G

www.youtube.com › watch › v=FfIJCuDvdaY

the latter beats the i5-12600K + UHD 770 graphics performance in almost every respect and its £100/$123 cheaper. The nearest currently price matched Ryzen is actually the R7 5700X whose graphics performance is, presumably, considerably better than the R5 5700G.

I probably will stick with my original i5 decision but its made me think - which may or may not be a good thing. :D
 

Shmee

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The 5700X does not have integrated graphics. But the 5700G would be a fine choice.
 

Tech Junky

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Well, you should be happy in either case though think of Intel now and AMD later as AM5 comes this fall which means a ground up rebuild like ADL. If things follow traditions, AMD new LGA socket should last years or they might follow Intel and swap every two years as well as CPUs advance.
 

Mantrid-Drone

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The 5700X does not have integrated graphics. But the 5700G would be a fine choice.
Ah, so the G indicates it has integrated graphics; should have realised that but I've not taken much notice of AMD CPUs up until now.

Makes more obvious sense than Intel using 'F' in the CPU ID to indicate it does not include integrated graphics.

The agony of so much choice. :)

Edit

Also realised that no ID letter does not mean Intel UHD 770 either. It indicates it only has basic integrated graphics. The 'K' ID = UHD 770 so my idea to consider getting the cheaper i5-126000 instead of the i5-126000K is definitely a non-starter.
 
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Tech Junky

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It's a PITA keeping up with the naming conventions as they seem to change with new editions. About the only thing that stays static is the generation at the beginning.

The next step would be build it in pcpartpicker save it as Intel and then edit and save as AMD and compare the specs / price.
 

Mantrid-Drone

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I'm rapidly going off my original Gigabyte Z690 choice due to too many reports of BIOS issues and not just connected with the now well known XMP settings and DDR4 boards either. User posts on Amazon etc about Gigabyte MBs both DDR4 and 5 not booting with the stock BIOS - that's a red flag for me.

I just don't want that sort of hassle. So it looks like I'll have to do some research on the ASRock options suggested here and maybe Asus too.
 

Tech Junky

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One hitch I ran into switching to ADL is needing to convert to gpt from mbr as CSM didn't quite work. I was able to port over my drive though in mbr format and convert it with a few commands from a livecd image.

The server was a quick change compared to the laptop. The laptop ADL had some issues but, I think it was more due to cloning the drive and having both drives internal.
 

Mantrid-Drone

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Do you mean HDDs/SSDs etc have to be formatted to GPT before they'll work pre-OS install? Or are you assuming I'd be doing a upgrade to Win 11 rather than a full new clean install?

I knew that GPT was required but I assumed that would be taken care of during the OS-install when using an unformatted HDD/SSD. That's what I intend to use.

Looking at the Asus MB options and their annoying web site for detailed info on specific MBs all the ones in my price range £150 - £250-ish only have 4 SATA ports. So they can be benched.

But the ASRock Steel Legend, you ^ suggested earlier, is much more like it. I've put it on my 'to consider' list ahead of the Gigabyte one I had my eye on.

I've read reports that there can be problems with the ASRock not being able to turn off the RGB LEDs. Is this still an issue? I don't want LEDs on at all.
 

Tech Junky

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You don't need to format it.

You need to change the table from MBR to GPT and you can do it w/o losing data.


RGB - I disabled the RGB in the BIOS immediately upon powering it on. This was with the initial BIOS from the factory which has already jumped to rev 6.x and still not farting rainbows.

If you need a ton of SATA ports there's HBA's that are ~$50 for 5-6 additional ports

The board itself though has 3x NVME slots ( 2 @ gen4 / 1 @ gen3 )

I've been using it now for ~6 months as a server w/ 5 drives + dual NVME drives and it's been rock solid from a HW perspective.

Of course on the OS/SW side things have been changing as new features get added and using Linux on it has its own issues at times. These issues though are self inflicted when upgrading / swapping software. Leaving it alone the uptime would be 6 months but, I upgrade the kernel weekly for the additional patches / features rolled into them. Sometimes they mess things up and zap a module that makes my 5GE 4-port NIC work and I end up having to rollback until the next week.
 
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Mantrid-Drone

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Thanks for the info
.
I have other HDD management tools which can do the GPT conversion job without losing data but I'm going to be using new HDD/SSD/NMVE for this build so there should be no trouble in that respect.

An initialized or used MBR drive can always be 'factory' reset using CMD DISKPART > Clean and converted to GPT at the same time too under any Windows OS. Its three years since I last bothered thinking about such matters and I'd forgotten I'd actually used GPT rather than MBR on my last PC build. So I'm not new to it.


I've not used a NMVE M2 primary drive before but I do intend to this time - I've been looking at the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB and the Seagate Firecuda 530 equivalent. Similar prices if you hunt around a bit, the latter being slightly cheaper in most cases. Any thoughts?

I have a SATA x4 HBA not so long ago destined for my parallel PC re-casing project because that MB only has 4 SATA ports. But I thought it made more sense to get a Z690 MB with six by default. I was surprised that so many at the lower end of the price range I'm looking at only have four.
 

igor_kavinski

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- I've been looking at the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB and the Seagate Firecuda 530 equivalent. Similar prices if you hunt around a bit, the latter being slightly cheaper in most cases. Any thoughts?

1653576305973.png

4TB model gives more consistent performance than the 2 TB one. Smaller capacity could be worse. Other than that, it does seem to perform better than 980 Pro. Just hope Seagate doesn't do bait and switch of NAND quality/controllers like WD has sometimes been caught doing.

1653576565774.png

The 2TB model tanks pretty hard once the SLC runs out.
 
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Tech Junky

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I went SN850 over the options you mentioned due to price and refusal to use Seagate after failures in the past.

The issue with SATA ports on new Z690 boards is most MFG's are limiting them due to the lanes for NVME needing to be reserved for the higher speed IO. Some though use ASM chips to enable more to be used. The ASRock though has 6 ports to use and if you add more than X amount of NVME drives 2 ports get disabled but, I had 2 SN850's installed with 3 SATA ports in use w/o any issue.

ASR tends to be for us hoarders when it comes to ports / drives.
 
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Mantrid-Drone

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I'm going round the houses trying to make a decision on this - I've now looked at Asus (more expensive and six SATA ports only in the even more expensive model), ASRock and MSI and there always seems to be something that puts me off. I've even been looking at H670 MBs but in the UK they seem to be in short supply at present.

Either its the spec, the price or bad reviews for particular models from some users; that's across all the manufacturers. Its those bad reviews of some of the Gigabyte boards that set me off on this trail.

That has now come full circle as I'm back to Gigabyte again. Their Z690 UD DDR4 ATX does everything I need, has everything I think I want including 6 SATA ports even if with a NVME fitted a couple may be disabled. More is therefore better surely?

OCing is of no interest to me - I'm not going to risk the long term life of my PC getting a few fps more in some game. So the limited options this MB provides in that respect are irrelevant.

It also has a legacy PS/2 port which I have found useful because unlike a USB it can be used with a keyboard to cold boot a PC. With the good pricing this MB has it is difficult to ignore.

Unless somebody here can persuade me otherwise .......................I'll just have to take the gamble that the reported BIOS and other problems with some Gigabyte Z690 MBs are particular and not widespread across all models.
 
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igor_kavinski

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My current mobo (Z97 chipset) is my 3rd Gigabyte mobo and first one that doesn't have any show stopping issue (this is only after I paired it with Kingston RAM).

First one was a Core 2 Quad supporting mobo that wouldn't turn on sometimes unless I took out the RAM sticks and put them back in again.

Second one (Z77) was would work fine as long as I was doing something on it. If it spent a few minutes being idle, that's when it would decide to just bluescreen or restart. Wasn't frequent but very annoying when it happened.
 
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