Best Intel 12th Gen Motherboard 2022


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A mid-range 12th gen motherboard

ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi

ASUS TUF Gaming Z690 Plus WiFi

ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi

What Chipset should I consider getting for Intel 12th gen?

Currently, there aren’t that many options out there, with the only released chipset thus far being the Z690. The H670 and B660 boards should be following suit shortly. The Z690 chipset is primarily aimed at PC enthusiasts.

The Z690 chipset offers a more plentiful set of features over other lesser chipsets. This includes PCIe Gen 5, overclocking support, or even the speed of USB or Thunderbolt headers could be rare, or even nonexistent on lower-end H670 or B660 boards.

With the Z690 being the more feature-rich chipset, it’s fully equipped to handle any Core i9-12900K/KF, Core i7-12700K/KF, or, Core i5-12600K/KF respectively.

Z690 Vs Z590

The most glaringly obvious change between the Z590 and Z690 is the socket type, moving from the LGA 1200 to the brand-new LGA 1700, which carries the standard for this new socket type. But, it still remains to be seen if this socket will have longevity beyond Intel’s 12th generation of processors.

Z690 motherboards introduce with them a new generation of PCIe – Gen 5. Featuring double the PCIe bandwidth for 16X slots. PCIe gen 4.0 could handle access speeds of up to 16GT/s (Giga transfers per second) while PCIe gen 5.05 offers 32GT/s.

Another major difference between Z690 and Z590 chipsets is the Z690’s support for DDR5 RAM. A huge advancement in RAM technology, which achieves speeds beyond the capabilities of even the world’s fastest DDR4 kits.

With Intel’s 12th generation of CPUs, which are designed with blazing-fast clock speeds and a brand-new socket, you’re going to need to pick up a brand-new motherboard to process all of that sheer power.

Currently, the only available chipset is the high-end Z690 boards. They come at a cost but are well worth the plethora of features you’re getting when opting for the creme-de-la-creme of high-end boards.

Form Factor

atx mobo eatx

Regardless of whatever motherboard you choose, its form factor is one of the most important factors (pun intended), as you might miss out on some crucial features, or bells and whistles when downsizing.

Motherboards come in a multitude of different shapes and sizes, from E-ATX, all the way down to the incredibly small Mini-ITX. The form factor of which you choose usually coincides with your choice of case.

There’s no point going for an E-ATX motherboard for an ITX case, it simply wouldn’t fit. More often than not, the smaller the motherboard, the less feature-rich it will be, you only have so much you can pack into such a compact piece of silicon.

Motherboard form factor

As a rule of thumb, we generally push towards ATX as this is the standard of form factor and most cases support it, or are built around it. For the most part, there are no compromises on features with the ATX form factor either. Intel first introduced the ATX form factor in 1995, and since then it’s become an industry standard.

Socket

intel i9 12900k

With a new generation, chipset and CPU often comes a new generation of sockets. Enter LGA 1700. This socket replaces the LGA 1200 socket seen in prior generations. LGA 1700 is present on Z690 motherboards featuring an additional 500 contact points. This has increased the socket size from the traditional symmetrical square of 37.5mm x 37.5mm (LGA 1200) to 45mm x 37.5 mm (LGA 1700).

12th gen socket

This means your current cooler likely won’t fit the socket of Z690 motherboards, you’ll have to get yourself extra LGA 1700-compatible mounting hardware.

Some cooler manufacturers offer mounting hardware as separate products to upgrade, but it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.) Sorry, everyone, it’s not just plugged and play this time, unless you want to splash for a brand-new cooler, too.

RAM

Corsair Dominator DDR5 RAM 1

It’s not just Intel that’s been upgrading its hardware, RAM has made headway in the industry showing off its brand new blisteringly fast DDR5 DIMMs. There are Z690 boards that do still support the older and more affordable DDR4

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero WiFi

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero WiFi

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero WiFi

Pros