Intel's Z790 motherboards will be launching as the flagship 700-series platform designed for 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs. These motherboards are expected to carry some new I/O features that will give some reason to get them over the existing 600-series products but we can assure you that if you are on a Z690 motherboard, you're good to go.
Intel's Raptor Lake-Ready Z790 Flagship Motherboards To Be Revealed In Q3 2022 With PCIe Gen 5 M.2 Support
The Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU lineup is coming later this fall and the blue team will be ready to support it not only on the existing 600-series motherboards but also on the next-gen 700-series boards. Now, these boards have already been revealed and will come in three flavors, Z790, H770 & B760. The H710 motherboards are seemingly canceled as the H610 boards will take their place and continue to be offered in the entry-level segment.
According to Moore's Law is Dead, Intel's Z790 motherboards will add support for PCIe Gen 5 M.2 SSDs but just like AMD's AM5 platform, not all motherboards will have it. It looks like only the top-tier motherboards (premium offerings) will carry Gen 5 M.2 support whereas the mainstream line will not utilize PCIe Gen 5.0 due to the higher costs that come from adding more PCB layers and redrivers for Gen 5 hardware.
All of AMD's X670E class boards will carry PCIe Gen 5 M.2 support but as we have seen there too, only the top-end spectrum utilize the X670E design whereas the rest of the lineup (X670 / B650) is a mix of Gen 5 and Gen 4 PCIe/SSD solutions. It is stated that Intel plans to show off its first Z790 products by the end of July or Late August which means a Q3 2022 unveiling. This won't be a retail launch of any sort but would be a reveal similar to what AMD did with its 600-series AM5 lineup.
Motherboard makers will show off their designs and list down specifications for their next-gen Z790 boards. We may even get to hear pricing from some manufacturers but the possibility of it happening is slim. The motherboards are said to begin validation by August prior to their mass production so that means we could really be looking at a late October or November launch for Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs. We have seen countless engineering samples of Raptor Lake chips now being tested and benchmarked though Intel wants its board partners to be ready prior to the official launch.
HWiNFO also recently added preliminary support for ASUS's Z790 motherboards which will be featured in the upcoming version.
With that said, Intel's existing 600-series motherboards that were launched with 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs will retain support for 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPUs since they use the same LGA 1700 and 1800 socket layout. The Z690 motherboards are very capable still and come in both DDR4 & DDR5 flavors. Currently, there are no PCIe Gen 5.0 SSDs out there to take advantage of the Gen 5 slots but they are indeed coming out and AMD is working hard with Phison to usher in the era of Gen 5 storage which will do wonders with their Smart Access Storage technology.
Intel also has a new AI M.2 Module feature coming with Raptor Lake CPUs but the details on that have not been revealed yet. So in the end, if you are really interested in Gen 5 SSDs, then Z790 is the way to go otherwise, your current motherboards will be more than good for Raptor Lake chips. Plus, some board makers have already released BIOS for their motherboards to support the upcoming chips.
Intel Raptor Lake vs AMD Raphael Desktop CPUs Comparison 'Expected'
|CPU Family||AMD Raphael (RPL-X)||Intel Raptor Lake (RPL-S)|
|Process Node||TSMC 5nm||Intel 7|
|Architecture||Zen 4 (Chiplet)||Raptor Cove (P-Core)
|Flagship SKU||Ryzen 9 7950X||Core i9-13900K|
|Cores / Threads||Up To 16/32||Up To 24/32|
|Total L3 Cache||64 MB (+3D V-Cache)||36 MB|
|Total L2 Cache||16 MB||32 MB|
|Total Cache||80 MB||68 MB|
|Max Clocks (1T)||5.7 GHz||5.8 GHz|
|Memory Channels||2 Channel (2DPC)||2 Channel (2DPC)|
|Platform Support||600-Series (X670E/X670/B650/A620)||600-Series (Z690/H670/B650/H610)
|PCIe Gen 5.0||Both GPU & M.2 (Extreme chipsets only)||Both GPU & M.2 (700-Series only but split)|
|Integrated Graphics||AMD RDNA 2||Intel Iris Xe|
|Socket||AM5 (LGA 1718)||LGA 1700/1800|
|TDP (Max)||170W (TDP)|
|Launch||September 2022||October 2022|