Question Z690 MBs - Is There A General Problem?

Mantrid-Drone

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Mar 15, 2014
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The number of threads on various forums, retail and other web site reviews about Z690 MBs are starting to make me concerned. I had planned to commit to buying one for my latest build come July but I'm now getting cold feet.

The problems reported across all manufacturers seem worryingly similar: significant BIOS issues and problems with specific GPUs.

Is there some inherent design fault in the Z690? Are there any users here who've bought and are using Z690 MBs without any of these troubles?
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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Is there some inherent design fault in the Z690?
No, none that we're aware of anyway.

Are there any users here who've bought and are using Z690 MBs without any of these troubles?
All the problems I had with my MSI Z690 board were due to immature firmware, and none prevented me from using my build. They got fixed slowly but they got fixed. Whatever is left hanging is probably outside the scope of my usage right now.

AFAIK the biggest two problems for Z690 were related to the following events:
  • motherboard makers had to launch both DDR4 and DDR5 variants, likely putting more pressure than usual on their engineering teams
  • Gigabyte dropped the ball with their Z690 launch, too many bugs at launch (like forgetting to add support for NVME drives, imagine the fun of figuring that one out)
  • ASRock put out a few cheap boards with improper VRMs that aren't really suited to run 12700K /12900K, but AFAIK their better boards were fine
Right now though you should be able to get a board with mature UEFI from all major board vendors. Maybe avoid Gigabyte in the hope they learn not to launch products in this state anymore.
 
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Mantrid-Drone

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Thanks, that sort of quells my concern.........................................except for that last comment.

After much research I've earmarked the Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4 as my Z690 MB of choice simply because of it meets all my needs, has an additional feature I want and all at a reasonable price point.

I've also had good experience or at least no major problems with my two other previous Gigabyte UD MBs a Z77 and a H87.

Perhaps I should buy the MB but also send Gigabyte a strongly worded message to up their game at launch in future or they'll lose my custom. That'll work. :)
 
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Tech Junky

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Based on what I've seen....

Avoid:
Gigabyte
Asus

Go for:
ASRock
MSI


Personally I've used ASR boards several times over the last couple of years to build / rebuild systems. Never an issue with any of them. MSI is solid as well. When it comes to ADL though both GB/Asus have had some serious issues with the BIOS or HW on the board itself. Asus got so bad they had to issue a recall because they inverted the polarity of a capacitor that shorts out / causes smoke to rise from the board. GB though just seems underwhelming and over priced beyond the issues they've had so far.

It comes down to a few different things...Do you want all the options that come along with 690's like PCIE 3/4/5 // DDR4 or 5. The options get limited when you want a full array of options to use with potential upgrades down the road. I went ASR for the option of all 3 current PCIE versions because 5 isn't producing anything right now and when they come out I have the option of moving something from that slot to a gen4 slot and retain the speed / bandwidth it's designed for.

If you're thinking about M2 gen5 there's one board I found that has a built in M2 socket - ASR Volocita

On the flip side in a couple of months there's a new 790 series coming with Raptor Lake.... I don't expect huge advancements in the chipset though similar to the placeholder 10/11th series CPUs that added PCIE4 to the mix but, nothing substantial otherwise.
 
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Mantrid-Drone

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I can certainly wait before buying the MB and CPU (i5-12600K). I still have the NVME (Firecuda) to buy and I have my mind set on a new monitor too.

Can't afford everything at once as I'm already on a now much reduced monthly budget than I anticipated when starting the project so I have to put off something and it might just as well be the CPU and MB.

Only problem I have with this is that waiting might result in having to pay more. The world's economic state so ****** ** who knows what it'll be like in a couple on month's time.
 

Tech Junky

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Yeah, I've dipped my toe into thunderbolt and the ensure I was considering jumped $50 overnight for some reason. Speculation tells me it's probably markup prior to prime days. I did however score a TB card for the server for $60 used vs the trial of $170. It's always a game of craps though on when to hit buy. I want a TB4 enclosure though which still hasn't hit the market but should soon. The flip side is I want to verify the port speeds and make sure things work within the return window.

ADL prices though are on a slow decrease as fall comes with the next generation impending release. Waiting isn't a bad thing in a system build right now.
 
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zir_blazer

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Jun 6, 2013
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If you are concerned about BIOS issues and want an alternative, you may be interesed in THIS. Works on Windows 11.
Performance is lower due to using Intel nominal power limits. There are almost no user facing BIOS configuration since improving user interface hasn't been worked on. But it works and that is no small feat.

PD: I'm involved in the project.
 

Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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Details if you don't mind, please. What broke?
Here are the details:

At the beginning of may I built a new PC: B660M-ITX from ASRock, i3-12100F, 2x4 GB OF RAM, RX 6400, 250 GB SSD.

At the beginning of June I started experiencing glitches an instability. I was watching a YT video, and suddenly computer black screened, the sound glitched, and after quite a few moments, computer naturally rebooted, and everything was fine. Next two days - everything was fine. Third day: again, same story, computer black screened, just after boot, without doing on it anything, after few moments it naturally rebooted, and worked perfectly again.

Until the same day, later...

During playing a game: same story: black screen, glitched sound, and attempt to reboot, but this time - no POST.

So I did the usual things:
1) cleared CMOS, by disconnecting the battery, and doing full power cycle. No POST.
2) single channel RAM, tried every configuration of memory kits: single channel, swapping the memory banks, swapping Memory places, etc. Every, possible configuration. No POST.
3) Took out the SSD - no POST, with or without the SSD.
4) another GPU - no POST, my GPU works in another machine.
5) The problem was narrowed down to CPU or Motherboard problem.

Yesterday I got CPU replacement from Intel. Still no post, but this time, something is different.

The fans spin, like previously, the LEDs flash, like they did previously, the keyboard and mouse light up, after quite some time, and after the USB is initialized - there are 5 beeps from system speaker.

Previously - not even USB would initialize.

Motherboard or the CPU. Since the CPU is brand new - its the motherboard.
 
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Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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its the motherboard.
The issues I mentioned were wider scale problems affecting a ton of boards. This seems more like a one off issue.

Answer: 5 long beeps mean that the system couldn't recognize the graphics. Some AMD CPUs (i.e AMD Athlon/Sempron family CPU) don't have integrated graphics processors. When these kinds of CPUs are installed, a discrete VGA card is required.

5 beepsCMOS battery failure.
5 Beeps - Processor Failure.


So, the beeps option doesn't produce uniform results as shown. There's always the possibility the board died for unknown reasons. With warranty though you should be able to get it replaced for free.
 

Glo.

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Apr 25, 2015
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The issues I mentioned were wider scale problems affecting a ton of boards. This seems more like a one off issue.

Answer: 5 long beeps mean that the system couldn't recognize the graphics. Some AMD CPUs (i.e AMD Athlon/Sempron family CPU) don't have integrated graphics processors. When these kinds of CPUs are installed, a discrete VGA card is required.

5 beepsCMOS battery failure.
5 Beeps - Processor Failure.


So, the beeps option doesn't produce uniform results as shown. There's always the possibility the board died for unknown reasons. With warranty though you should be able to get it replaced for free.
Have you read my post, with understanding?

I know what 5 beeps suggest. Its a hardware problem.

The problem is this: the problem was NARROWED down to CPU and Mobo, BEFORE i have had CPU replaced.
 
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Glo.

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Which RAM are you using? Can you test the RAM in a friend's PC? If you can, try running the Windows full RAM test. Shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.
Crucial Ballistix 2x4 GB 3200 MHz CL16. And yes, they work fine.
 
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Tech Junky

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So, the beeps option doesn't produce uniform results as shown. There's always the possibility the board died for unknown reasons. With warranty though you should be able to get it replaced for free.
Have you read my post, with understanding?
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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Yesterday I got CPU replacement from Intel.
Sorry. Just having trouble with this bit. Why would Intel replace the CPU if it wasn't the problem? Or is it possible the mobo is killing the CPU through overvolting, meaning your replacement may also now be damaged? Did you update the BIOS when the issues started?
 

Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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Sorry. Just having trouble with this bit. Why would Intel replace the CPU if it wasn't the problem? Or is it possible the mobo is killing the CPU through overvolting, meaning your replacement may also now be damaged? Did you update the BIOS when the issues started?
I guess this is the quality of Intel support.

They helped me even without me knowing whether this was CPU or MoBo, and replaced the CPU.

No, I did not update the BIOS.
 

Hotrod2go

Member
Nov 17, 2021
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I can certainly wait before buying the MB and CPU (i5-12600K). I still have the NVME (Firecuda) to buy and I have my mind set on a new monitor too.

Can't afford everything at once as I'm already on a now much reduced monthly budget than I anticipated when starting the project so I have to put off something and it might just as well be the CPU and MB.

Only problem I have with this is that waiting might result in having to pay more. The world's economic state so ****** ** who knows what it'll be like in a couple on month's time.
Like you, been tempted into getting into Alderlake's hybrid architecture more as time goes by, however are you looking at DDR4 or 5 based system?
I'm seeing some tremendous price cuts on DDR5 nowadays, when one sees prices the same as 32GB kits of DDR4, at least here in Australia anyway.
Picked up an absolute bargain last night on a DDR5 kit in anticipation of upcoming Raptor lake, AM5 or if my patience runs out sooner.. Alderlake.

Why not wait a bit more for Z790 and i5-13600K? It's even possible you might regret your purchase if Zen 4 turns out to be as great a leap as Zen 3 was over Zen 2.
Very wise advice, best to keep options open!
 

Mantrid-Drone

Senior member
Mar 15, 2014
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I've been thinking about just those ^ sorts of matters and, as I said, I probably am going to wait, mainly because of budgetary reasons. But there are two problems for me, both financial.

I've already bought the DDR4 RAM I was going to use. So, unless there are going to be Z790 MBs that support DDR4 (is that likely?) I'm going to have to get rid of the 32GB DDR4 and shell out on DDR5.

That's the danger when you have to buy the components for a PC build piecemeal over a long period of time.

My experience of selling older 'new' PC desktop components is that very few people are interested when there is something newer, more powerful available and coming down in price too.

Even if the price of DDR5 is dropping by waiting I'm still going to take a £150/$190+ hit replacing the DDR4 modules with DDR5 ones. That's going to set me back another month with this build.

The second financial consideration is the general problems worldwide with stretched supply chains and increased demand raising costs. But its all added to this time by rising fuel prices which affect the cost of everything from the raw materials, manufacturing to distribution.

Who knows where that is all going?

It could result in the prices of the current Z690s and CPU generation actually going up too. By waiting for the next new thing we might actually be missing out on what in the future will be seen as the 'bargains' that were available only a few months earlier.
 
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igor_kavinski

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Even if the price of DDR5 is dropping by waiting I'm lstill going to take a £150/$190+ hit replacing the DDR4 modules with DDR5 ones. That's going to set me back another month with this build.
You could get the i3-12100 now and enjoy a whole year with that while prices stabilize and even higher speed DDR5 becomes available. Then just upgrade the CPU first, putting the Raptor Lake SKU in the same mobo with a BIOS upgrade. If you are dissatisfied with the DDR4, time to sell it and get a Z790 with DDR5. This way, at least you get to enjoy using something new without daydreaming about it while you save up.
 
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Tech Junky

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Z790 MBs that support DDR4
It's in the specs already to support both.

stretched supply chains and increased demand raising costs.
I was talking to someone else about storage and found 20TB drives @ $400 which is a considerable drop in the past few months. I think things are trending back to normal or better when it comes to supplies driving costs down.

Best advice... if you see a deal that's highly discounted then go get it instead of waiting. If you're good at hunting components down and eyeing up "used" options it drives the price down considerably but, there might be delays in assembling the final system due to shipping / looking for reductions. Like my TB4 example above $170 vs $60 for the card. Or going barebones ($1300) on a laptop with the plan to upgrade ram/nvme/screen to make it worth $2500+ in comparison models with those upgrades in place by the OEM.
 

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