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.

ASUS Prime Z690-P WIFI (DDR5) & Prime Z690-P (DDR5) Colorful iGame Z690 Ultra D5
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  • mode_13h - Friday, November 12, 2021 - link

    I was really disappointed not to see more discussion of costs and why the price distribution of these boards tends to skew so high.

    However, I was most surprised to see how much lower some of the entry-level models are priced. Do we think these will be produced in sufficient volume, or are they primarily there as a means of upselling would-be buyers who, out of frustration at seeing them always out-of-stock eventually end up buying one of the more expensive models?
    Reply
  • mikk - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    MSI Pro Z690-A WIFI, MSI Pro Z690-A and many more have the cheaper Realtek ALC897 Codec, the audio table is not accurate and it says Z490 instead of Z690. Reply
  • ajollylife - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    Wtf is with the PCIe 3.0 slots? I'm looking at the Gigabyte Aorus Master, has 10gig onboard, great, but then the other two pcie slots are pcie 3.0 So confused. Reply
  • mode_13h - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    From what I've read, PCIe 4.0 tends to require retimers, which adds cost and takes space. Those could be reasons why we don't see more PCIe 4.0 slots. Reply
  • back2future - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    maybe mainboards start getting reshaped/redesigned (vertical m.2, backside slots/connectors, ?) instead of using retimers (chipset TDP includes retimer power?, cooling power for peripherals on PCIe 5.x speeds on 4GB/(s*lane)=~2 lanes sufficient for fastest available (2021, consumer) SSDs )? Reply
  • ecclesiastes121314 - Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - link

    2 ram slots? I've seen this on a few of these new DDR5 boards. Most people here are talking about Thunderbolt 4 and USB4. Yes these are very useful to a select group of people yet these can be achieved with add on cards. Then you can pay for the devices to take advantage of these technologies. Reducing ram slots from 4 to 2. Wow. Yes you can buy high density ram. But this is forcing you that direction. What is wrong with 4x16 or 4x32 ram kits? If you (me) are interested in high performance video then affordable and available ram is a huge consideration. Is it just me? Reply

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