While being the fastest on the market, Intel’s latest 13th Gen “Raptor Lake” CPUs are also the most expensive. Using a last-generation Intel 600 series motherboard can help you save money on your build because those boards use the LGA 1700 socket Raptor Lake needs. Intel claims that all other things being equal such as board power delivery and cooling capabilities, you should get the same performance on a 600 series board. There’s a price, too. Though all 600 series motherboards may handle Raptor Lake chips, most would require installing a more recent BIOS to enable 13th Gen processors.
Without the proper BIOS, try installing a Core i5-13600K, i7-13700K, or i9-13900K into your 600-series motherboard; it won’t even POST. That’s unfortunate because the lowest Z790 motherboard we could find when we published this article cost $169, whereas the cheapest Z690 motherboard from the prior generation cost $129. The less-priced H610 or B660 chipset boards, which are best for pairing with a Core i5 or i7, can be purchased for as little as $89 or $99 if you don’t want to overclock your CPU.
To find out which of their 600-series motherboards will actually support Raptor Lake chips, we got in touch with the leading motherboard manufacturers (ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI). There is no logical way to tell whether a board would arrive with a Raptor Lake-compatible BIOS before you buy, according to Asus and Gigabyte, who claimed that specific recently built boards might do so. According to Asus, you can identify a motherboard’s BIOS version by glancing at a sticker on the board. Still, you need to purchase from a physical store where you are allowed to open the box before purchasing to make a purchase.
BIOS upgrades for most 600 series boards add support for Alder Lake, but you must be able to download and install those updates before trying to boot with a 13th Gen Raptor Lake CPU. But if there is an older 12th-Gen Alder Lake processor, you can install it on the board, boot into the UEFI interface, update the BIOS there, and you should be ready. If not, check how to enter the BIOS. Most customers today purchasing a Raptor Lake CPU and new motherboard do not have a last-generation processor lying around the house.
Unlike Intel, AMD once had a loaner scheme where the business would send you an old CPU to use for the BIOS upgrade. AMD used the same AM4 socket over five different processor versions. Therefore, the best motherboard to purchase with a Raptor Lake CPU is one that has BIOS Flashback, a function that enables you to update the BIOS without even having a CPU inserted. You can explore a list of all the Intel 600-series motherboards with BIOS Flashback that we could discover for sale to assist you in determining which models you may utilize to save some money on your new build.
A total of 72 motherboards from the 600 series offer the BIOS Flashback capability, which Gigabyte refers to as Q-Flash Plus but is effectively the same. On the manufacturer’s website, about 30 other models are mentioned, the majority of which are Gigabyte SKUs but which we could not locate for sale in the United States. So the motherboards with price and memory type are listed below:
|$109-$149 segment||$150-$199 segment||$206-$256 segment||$259-$379 segment||$387-$1159 segment|
|ASRock B660 Pro RS DDR4||ASRock B660 Steel Legend DDR4||MSI Pro Z690-A DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR5|
|Gigabyte B660 DS3H DDR4||ASRock Z690M PG Riptide DDR5||Asus ROG Strix B660-A Gaming WIFI D4 DDR4||MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite DDR4|
|Gigabyte B660M DS3H DDR4||Gigabyte B660M Aorus Pro AX DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X DDR4||Asus ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4||Asus ProArt Z690 Creator WiFi DDR5|
|Gigabyte B660M Power DDR4||Gigabyte B660M Aorus Pro DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 UD AX DDR4||Gigabyte B660M D3H DDR4||MEG Z690 UNIFY-X DDR5|
|ASRock B660M Steel Legend DDR4||ASRock Z690 PG Riptide DDR4||ASRock Z690 Steel Legend WiFi 6E DDR5||Gigabyte Z690 Aero G DDR5||MSI MEG Z690 ACE DDR5|
|ASRock H670M Pro RS DDR4||ASRock H670M-ITX/AX DDR4||MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi DDR5||Asus ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming WiFi DDR5||Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro DDR4|
|ASRock H670 PG Riptide DDR4||ASRock Z690 Steel Legend DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 Gaming X DDR5||MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR5||ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition DDR5|
|Gigabyte B660 DS3H AX DDR4||Gigabyte B660M D2H DDR4||Gigabyte B660M Aorus Pro DDR4||MPG Z690 Force WiFi DDR5||ASRock Z690 Aqua OC DDR5|
|Gigabyte B660M DS3H AX DDR4||Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4||ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB4 DDR5||Asus ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming WiFi DDR5||MSI MPG Z690 EK-X DDR5|
|ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming 4 DDR4||Gigabyte B660 Gaming X AX DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite AX DDR4||ASRock Z690 PG Velocita DDR5||ASRock Z690 Aqua DDR5|
|Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Lite DDR4||ASRock Z690 Extreme DDR4||Gigabyte Z690M Aorus Elite AX DDR4||Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Plus DDR4||MSI MEG Z690 Godlike DDR5|
|ASRock Z690 Pro RS DDR4||Gigabyte B660M Gaming DDR4||Gigabyte Z690M Aorus Elite DDR4||MSI MAG Z690 Torpedo DDR5|
|ASRock H670 Steel Legend DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4||MPG Z690 Edge WiFi DDR5||Asus ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi DDR5|
|Gigabyte B660M Gaming X AX DDR4||ASRock Z690 Extreme Wi-Fi 6E DDR4||MPG Z690 Edge WiFi DDR4||MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi DDR5|
|Gigabyte B660M Gaming X AX DDR4||Gigabyte B660 and B660M Aorus Elite DDR4||MSI Pro Z690-A WiFi DDR4||Gigabyte Z690 Aero D DDR5|
The greatest deal we could find on a 600 series board with BIOS Flashback was $109, which we saw for a number of ASRock and Gigabyte B660 SKUs. You’ll need to spend at least $139 to overclock your Raptor Lake chip, which many would want to do with a K-series CPU. This is the lowest price for a Z690-powered motherboard in the ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming 4 and Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra Lite DDR4 boards. The ASRock Z690M PG Riptide DDR5(opens in new tab), which costs $159, is your least-priced option if you want a board that supports DDR5 RAM.
Comparatively speaking, the cheapest Z790 board we’ve seen supports DDR4 memory, and the price jumps to $199 for the DDR5 version. The least costly option we found for a Z690 motherboard with WiFi is the ASRock Z690 Extreme Wi-Fi 6E, which costs $196. A DDR4 board is that. The ASRock Z690 Steel Legend WiFi 6E, which costs $219, is the least-priced option if you want support for Wi-Fi and DDR5. This still represents a savings compared to the cheapest Z790 board with Wi-Fi we’ve found, which costs $249. A Z690 board over a Z790 makes little sense if you’re spending more than $250.