The Intel Z690 Motherboard Overview (DDR5): Over 50+ New Modelsby Gavin Bonshor on November 9, 2021 9:00 AM EST
Biostar Z690 Valkyrie (DDR5)
Despite not having a large stack at the moment, Biostar has launched three Z690 models for Intel's Alder Lake desktop platform. The most premium of these and subsequently the only one of the three that has support for DDR5 memory is the Z690 Valkyrie. The Biostar Z690 Valkyrie has a sort of 'anime' look to it, with a primarily black theme and colorful elements with RGB enabled backlighting in the rear panel cover and chipset heatsink. The Z690 Valkyrie combines a decent controller set, along with all the typical Z690 and 12th gen features such as PCIe 5.0, and of course support for the latest DDR5 memory.
The Biostar Z690 Valkyrie has plenty of PCIe slot expansion slot real estate, including two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots that can operate at x16 and x8/x8, with a third full-length PCIe 4.0 x4 slot. Storage options include a total of four PCIe M.2 slots, including three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, and eight SATA ports. Biostar also includes four memory slots which can be found in the top right-hand corner, with support for DDR5-6000 and a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB.
On the rear panel is a high-speed USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C port and a total of seven USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, with plenty of options for integrated graphics. For those users, Biostar includes two DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 video outputs which shows lots of potential integrated GPU support. On the networking front, there's one Realtek RTL8125B 2.5 GbE port, and although it has the connectors for a Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, Biostar isn't clear on whether the Z690 Valkyrie actually includes the CNVi; the rear panel says yes, but the specifications say no Wi-Fi 6E card is included. Finishing off the rear panel are five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output powered by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec, as well as a PS/2 combo port.