Intel is preparing its 12th-gen Alder Lake processors as we speak. The upcoming big.LITTLE processors will be based on the LGA1700 socket which means new motherboards are inbound. Intel just recently refreshed their motherboard lineup with the 500-series for its 11th-gen Rocket Lake CPUs, but it appears as if that will remain the latest kid on the block for only a year.
We’ve known for a while now that 600-series motherboards are coming and there have been plenty of leaks as well. However, we’ve got our first major confirmation thanks to Videocardz today. The publication has received a list from ASRock going over all the motherboard models that will be launching alongside the Alder Lake chips. The list also confirms all the chipset names – Z690, B660, H670, and H610 – solidifying the info even more.
The 600-series Nomenclature
Z690 will be Alder Lake’s top-of-the-line premium chipset offering unparalleled overclocking headroom and superior performance. Then there’s the B660 platform which is a notch below the former, but still offers plenty of features and is realistically enough for most users. Along with B660, H670 is another midrange-focused chipset that will yearn for value-oriented pockets. Lastly, we have H610 which is the entry-level budget chipset from the 600-series.
If we are to compare this to AMD’s offerings, the comparison is quite simple. Z690 is similar to X570, B660 is akin to B450, H670 appears to be like B550, and H610 can be seen as Intel’s A320. That should give you a good idea of the hierarchy of these chipsets. That being said, this is just my personal calculated guess, it could be wrong but, logically, this similitude does make sense based off the information we have at the moment.
ASRock Steel Legend
Now, coming to the actual list, ASRock will be releasing 600-series motherboards under all of its existing motherboard segments, but we don’t have details on all of them yet. Starting off with Steel Legend, there will be two Z590 Steel Legend variants, both of them will be the exact same except one will come with Wi-Fi 6E and the other one won’t. No mATX variant of the Steel Legend for the Z690 Chipset. Similarly, there will only one H670 Steel Legend and it would sport the ATX form factor. However, the B660 Steel Legend will come with two variants—ATX and mATX—both will likely be the same apart from their form factor difference.
Moving on to Phantom Gaming, let’s just say there will be a lot of those. There will be a Phantom Gaming Velocita Z690 (ATX) along with a Phantom Gaming Riptide Z690 as well. Then, we have three Phantom Gaming 4 models, one with Wi-Fi, one sporting the mATX form factor and the last one which will be standard non-wireless ATX variant. Finally, an ITX Phantom Gaming Z690 motherboard will also be released. In contrast, there is only one H670 Phantom Gaming Riptide board, no B660 or H610.
Afterwards, there’s the PRO series which focuses on entry-level motherboards, therefore there are three Z690 motherboards in this segment that seem largely identical. However, one of those has the moniker “D5” at the end of its name potentially suggesting DDR5 support but take that with the heaviest grain of salt. There’s also a H670M Pro4 model but nothing for the H610 chipset. That being said, there is a plethora of Pro models based on the B660 chipset.
If you take a close look at the list (attached at the top and the end), technically there are only two B660 boards, B660 Pro4 and B660 Pro RS but both of those has three different variations. B660 Pro4 comes in the standard form factor, the mATX form factor, and another mATX variant but with AC Wi-Fi. Additionally, the B660 Pro RS follows the exact same pattern of having one standard, one mATX, and one mATX with Wi-Fi under its name.
The ITX Situation
Lastly, each chipset will have at least one ITX motherboard as well. For Z690, it will be under the Phantom Gaming subsection and the board will support Thunderbolt 4, but there is no confirmation for the other three chipsets yet. Ultra high-end watercooled ITX boards could also be coming, perhaps under ASRock’s flagship motherboard categories like Aqua but, again, only time will tell, though it is not absurd to believe so.
The Bargain Bin Series
Lastly, there will also be even cheaper H-series and C-series boards that are the bottom of the barrel. They offer little to no overclocking potential and will lack even basic features like debug LEDs and so on. You can take a detailed look at both series in the chart attached at the end. But, all you really need to know is that there are three Z690 and one mATX B660 board under the C-series. Moreover, there are three H610 and one mATX B660 part of the H-Series.
As you can see in the table below the next paragraph, there are two NZXT motherboards listed as well. For those wondering, ASRock is the OEM for NZXT boards, which means that ASRock manufactures them for NZXT. We don’t have much information here apart from the fact that there will be two models – N7 and N9. Both of these boards will be based on the Z690 chipset and they fall in line with NZXT’s current naming scheme for its existing motherboards.
The Missing Names
Before I sign off, I have to mention that ASRock’s upper echelon of motherboards such as OC Formula, Taichi, and Aqua are not featured here because information on those has not been disclosed yet. Videocardz was unable to obtain details regarding them which suggests that they will launch later after most of the boards on this list have already come out. Speaking of launches, only the Z690 chipset is going to launch later this year while all other chipsets are planned for release next year.