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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  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Except DirectStorage actually exists in the XBox Series X. Once the XBSX native games start getting ported things will start to move. Reply
  • Bp_968 - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    Why fill my pc with loud and hot hard drives? I have 2 M.2 sticks as local storage and a NAS for all the rust drives in another room. I wouldn't want to go back to the days of using my PC for that.

    And if you must have tons of sata just buy a SAS card. Their cheap and flexible. Each SAS port on the card fans out to 4 sata ports using a cheap cable.
    Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Since the 100 series chipsets, the lanes for the SATA ports are shared with other things, so you aren't getting dedicated ports like you used to. You have to disable other features if you want to use all the SATA ports. With my current Z390 board, I can't use more than 2 SATA ports without compromising on other features, and I can't use all 6 SATA ports unless I disable both M.2 slots. Since they're sharing lanes, there's little cost and little reason to not have them, and that will probably continue into the future. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Things have changed the last couple of generations. My Z690 board has 6 SATA ports and 4 PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots. The only thing shared is SATA between one SATA port and one of the M.2 slots. As long as you don't need a M.2 SATA drive, you can run 4 NVMe drives and 6 SATA devices simultaneously.. Reply
  • KarlKastor - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    There has nothing changed. The IO-Lanes of the chipset can eather be SATA or PCIe. The reason why you have nothing shared is, because they saved money for switches. You have not the option how to use this Lanes.
    This happens since Rocket Lake. The CPU has additional PCIe lanes, so you don't need to share much anymore and the Board is full already. There is no space for more M.2. Backside maybe.
    Reply
  • 12345 - Monday, November 15, 2021 - link

    Z690 has a x8 gen 4 link to the chipset now. You don't have to disable SATA anymore to use all m.2 slots. Reply
  • meacupla - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    I am pretty sure intel had 8 SATA ports since Z77, but board manufacturers routed 2 SATA ports for m.2 SATA. The On Z87 and Z97, 8 SATA ports with 2 ports shared for m.2 SATA was totally a thing. Reply
  • KarlKastor - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    The silicon has 8 ports for long time. But maximum usable for the Zxy7 was 6. Eight were workstation only.
    If you used shared SATA on M.2, then you had less than six SATA Ports usable.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    SATA SSD sales continue to remain strong, and are much mroe economical for large file storage per TB then M.2 drives (a 2TB SATA drive is around $170 now), and if you have a RAID aray with 3+ drives speeds begin to encroah on NVMe speeds, a RAID 5 array with 4 SATA III will hit 1.6GB/s read speeds. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Man, these Z-chipset boards keep going up in price. I'm curious what eventual H670 chipset boards will look like. If they've got everything you need without all the flashy bits, I'll probably shoot for one of those. Reply

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