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Are Z790 motherboards compatible with Intel 12th gen CPUs?

We are exploring whether or not you can use an intel 12th gen CPU on a Z790 motherboard.

Updated: Apr 18, 2023 11:11 am
Are Z790 motherboards compatible with Intel 12th gen CPUs?

Intel is about ready to release its Z790 motherboards to the world. The Z790 motherboards are going to be Intel’s flagship chipset, bustling with features and only the latest and greatest in motherboard technology. But what if you’re happy with your 12th generation ALder Lake CPU and you just want to upgrade your motherboard? Are Z790 motherboards compatible with Intel 12th gen CPUs? 

Now read: best Intel 12th-gen motherboard. 

The Z790 chipset offers many features and technological advancements over its 600 series predecessor. Let’s dive into a few of those advantages. 

What’s new about Z790 motherboards?

First of all, there are two main reasons to snag yourself a Z790 motherboard, these are increased DDR5 speeds and PCIe Gen 5 support. There are many more reasons than just two, but these are the big ones we’re going to cover. 

PCIe Gen 5 support 

PCIe Gen 5 is the latest advancement in peripheral connectivity, PCIe Gen 5 offers speeds double that of the previous generation, Gen 4. 

This is advantageous to storage and GPUs as these two components are the main bottleneck in system and gaming performance. PCIe gen 5 offers double the speed and double the bandwidth essentially leaving your SSDs and GPUs with the headroom to perform twice as well as the previous generations’ PCIe-based components. 

Improved DDR5 speeds

DDR5 was fast when it was first released alongside the 12th gen Intel CPUs, and now, it’s even faster. Some Z790 motherboards offer support for DDR5 speeds up to 7900MHz with a very strong overclock applied. 

This is magnitudes faster than even the 600 series motherboards can handle. And certainly faster than the abysmal DDR4 speeds on offer today. CPUs perform better when they have faster memory supporting them, although after a certain point the returns diminish.

Are Z790 motherboards compatible with Intel 12th gen CPUs? 


Fortunately, yes, Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs will in fact work on Z790 motherboards. 

This is largely due to the fact that Z790 motherboards will retain the same LGA 1700 socket as the 12th-generation CPUs. Compatability also works the other way around, you’ll be able to use a 13th-generation Raptor Lake CPU in an older 600 series motherboard. 

You’ll most likely have to update your motherboard BIOS to get the most out of your CPU, however, so it’s probably best to check with Intel or your motherboard manufacturer closer to the time. 

Will 12th gen CPUs work in Z790 motherboards?

Yes, bot 12th and 13th gen CPUs belong to the same CPU socket and can therefore be used in the same motherboards. Although, you may need to perform a BIOS update if you’re using a 13th-generation CPU on an older motherboard.

When will the Z790 motherboards release?

The release date of the Z790 motherboards was the October 20, 2022. Intel’s 13th generation CPUs also released alongside them.

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