Intel 12th Gen CPUs, Z690 and DDR5 Preview

Intel is set to launch their new Alder Lake 12th Gen CPUs very soon. While we fully expect these new CPUs to offer the usual gains in performance, there’s a lot more riding on this launch than usual. Firstly, these new CPUs are pretty different from the last generation, with the new big.LITTLE design that should see a more intelligent distribution of performance across the CPU. Larger more powerful cores for the heavy lifting, but separate smaller and more efficient cores for background tasks.

However, these new CPUs require a new socket, LGA1700, which isn’t uncommon for an Intel launch, but the CPUs are actually a different shape now too; more rectangular vs the previous square design. Of course, that means we need new motherboards too, which start with the upcoming Z690 chipset series.

While Z690 is the first out of the gate for these new CPUs, it is obvious that we can expect other chipsets to follow in the coming months. However, Z690 brings with it a lot of new features for Intel fans, and some market firsts too. Full support for either DDR4 or DDR5 DIMMS, XMP 3.0 Memory Support, PCIe 5.0 slots for expansion cards and GPUs, PCIe 4.0 for M.2 storage, and Thunderbolt 4, to name a few.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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