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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  • GeoffreyA - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    Certainly, there are tradeoffs, keeping a socket; but, as Mr. Tuvok would say, "Ryzen, you are an unending source of astonishment." There was a time when sockets even took CPUs from different manufacturers. I remember my Socket 7 motherboard, though I never tried it, could take a K5 and some Cyrix CPUs as well. Those 5x something, something. How things have changed.

    A short-lived socket can be a pain in the behind too. I was one of those unlucky folk who ended up with Socket 754 and missed out on dual-channel DDR and a long upgrade path. In any case, that computer went kaput after four years.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    Overclocking is for employees of motherboard companies.

    ECC RAM support should have been a standard feature from the beginning. Apple offered it on the Lisa in ‘83 and consumer computing has gone backward since.

    Doublers, though... aren’t a bad thing as long as they’re implemented well — as I understand it. Better to have a good doubler implementation than a weak individual phase system. The main thing is to have a board meet the minimum spec for reliable (i.e. not overheating and/or failing) long-term support of its supported CPUs. Anything beyond that is unnecessary.
    Reply
  • GeoffreyA - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    The problem with doublers is, they over-use it as a marketing technique to give the impression that a certain board has a large amount of phases. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, November 13, 2021 - link

    Weak phases with a mediocre/poor regulator aren’t necessarily better than ‘marketing phases’ via the use of doublers. That’s the case when the doublers are used a correctly.

    There are a lot of shenanigans, though — like not even utilizing the doubler fully but counting it as the doubling of phases. I also recall that one of the big tricks was putting extra chokes on the board to make it look like there are more phases.
    Reply
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, November 14, 2021 - link

    Quite right, and one of the reasons why people have got to read a proper analysis of the VRM, or take a look at the lists on hardwareluxx for example. Reply
  • t.s - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Wish Intel go with their atv12vo. Or like business lines from HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc. 6 or 8 pin. Reply
  • shabby - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    Mobo prices will go up even more, screw that. Reply
  • meacupla - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    In the long term, I think the cost for ATX12VO will be cheaper.
    ATX12VO PSU will be cheaper than a comparable quality ATX PSU.
    The BoM for 12V to 5V and 12V to 3.3V converters would go down, if mobo makers decide to stick to a single, standardized design.

    With the way things are looking, electricity prices are unlikely to go down and continue to go up.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - link

    All ATX12VO is doing is shifting the cost from the PSU to the motherboard. Reply
  • Wrs - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - link

    If mobo makers can stick to one design why can't PSU makers? They already conform to ATX.

    ATX 12 VO increases costs for piecemeal upgraders because of the simple observation that PSUs outlive motherboards. The question would be whether the power savings are worth it. For prebuilts they're comparing power savings to 0 net component cost so 12VO is already the norm.
    Reply

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