The Intel Z690 Motherboard Overview (DDR4): Over 30+ New Modelsby Gavin Bonshor on November 24, 2021 2:00 PM EST
ASRock Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E & Z690 Extreme (DDR4)
Occupying the upper end of what ASRock is considering its mid-range is a pair of 'Extreme' branded models. ASRock has segmented its Z690 stack well between DDR5 and DDR4 support, which makes it even easier to decipher which is which. The ASRock Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E and Z690 Extreme both share the exact same PCB, same design, same core feature set, but with one subtle difference. The Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E comes with a Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, while the regular model does not. Looking at the design, both Z690 Extreme models include an all-black PCB, with black metallic heatsinks, with integrated RGB LED lighting built into the rear panel cover, the chipset heatsink, and on the right-hand side of the board.
Dominating the lower section of the motherboard are the board's PCIe and storage slots. The ASRock Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E and Z690 Extreme include one full-length PCIe 5.0 x16, one full-length PCIe 4.0 x4, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4, and one smaller PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Storage options consist of three PCIe M.2 slots, two with support for PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drives, and one with support for both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. ASRock is using the Z690 chipsets full allocation of SATA with eight SATA ports, all with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Touching on memory, both models include support for DDR4-5000, with a combined capacity of 128 GB across four memory slots.
The only difference between the rear panel of both models is that the Z690 Extreme WIFI 6E includes a Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, while the regular Extreme does not.
Everything else is the same including one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. For users looking for USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, ASRock includes a front panel header for this. Other connectivity includes two Ethernet ports, one powered by a Realtek RTL8125BG 2.5 GbE controller, and the other by an Intel I219-V Gigabit controller. ASRock includes an HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 video output pairing, while five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical are powered by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. Finishing off the rear panel is a BIOS Flashback button and a PS/2 combo port.