Faced with AMD’s advances, Intel squeezed the toothpaste twice in 2021, first releasing the 11th generation of Core desktop processors in March and then releasing the 12th generation of Core desktop processors at the end of October. Intel’s 12th generation Core desktop processors include many innovations, beginning with DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 channels, the first desktop x86 processor with a hybrid architecture of large and small cores, Intel’s 10nm SuperFin manufacturing process, a larger package area, and a new LGA 1700 interface. The Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition, with M-ATX version design, 10-phase digital power supply, PECVD coating process, and so on, was sent to me for testing this week.
The review begins by demystifying the Intel Z690 chipset equipped with the DMI bus channel connected to the CPU upgraded to DMI Gen 4.0 x8, which doubles the bandwidth achieved by the new bus compared to the DMI 3.0 bus. The chipset improves PCIe lanes by adding 12 native PCIE 4.0 lanes and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes to ensure communication and expand the motherboard’s capabilities. Furthermore, the chip supports Wi-Fi 6E for AX211 wireless networking; Intel VMD technology and the addition of a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gbps) high-bandwidth interface; the number of independent display outputs has increased to four due to the performance boost brought by UHD770 core graphics; SATA 6Gbps interface has been increased from six to eight; and native support for PCIe hard drive RAID arrays.
Because the 12th generation Core is the first x86 desktop processor with a hybrid architecture, many users are concerned about the compatibility and optimization issues that the new architecture may introduce. The Intel Thread Director (Intel Hardware Thread Scheduler) is designed at the hardware level to monitor the instruction combination of each thread of the processor in real time and dynamically adjust the guidelines based on operating power, operating environment, and power supply design to assist the system in task allocation, allowing both large and small cores to do their jobs and maximize task processing efficiency. On the software side, Intel has collaborated with Microsoft to allow the hardware thread scheduler in Windows 11 to work together to bring out the best performance of the hybrid architecture processor.
The processor reviewed with the Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition motherboard is the Intel Core i7-12700KF, manufactured using Intel’s 10nm SuperFin process, with eight high-performance P-cores and another four energy-efficient E cores, and 2GB of RAM. Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition Design The Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition is designed in M-ATX form factor with Onda PECVD protection technology on the surface to provide better protection against splash, dust, humidity, salt spray, aging, and corrosion.
The Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition motherboard has a 10-phase digital power supply, one up and two down circuitry, upper line MOSFETs of ZM062N03 and lower line MOSFETs of ZM045N03, and capacitors of Taiwan’s Yubang 5K series. To keep the computer running consistently and steadily, Onda has prepared a large area heat sink for the MOS tubes to improve power supply stability. The Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition has four DDR4 memory slots for storage. Given the high cost of DDR5 memory, opting for DDR4 memory is the wisest choice nowadays.
Onda provides metal reinforcement for memory slots to improve memory stability when in use. The motherboard has two M.2 2280 NVMe SSD ports, as well as two M.2 ports located beneath the first PCIe slot.
The all-in-one cooler can easily withstand the heat generated by PCIe 4.0 SSDs. The Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition motherboard also includes four SATA 3 hard drive interfaces to provide users with rich expansion performance. The first PCIe slot supports direct processor connection to PCIe 5.0 x16 with metal reinforcement.
The bottom PCIe slot supports PCIe 4.0 x4 lanes for device expansion such as solid state drives, wireless network cards, and built-in sound cards; the motherboard sound card is the Rene ALC897, and the network card is the Rene 8111H gigabit network card.
Onda provides five USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one TYPE-C, RJ45 network connector, and one DP, one HDMI, one VGA, one optical audio port, and five 3.5mm audio ports totaling 7.1 channels for the back I/O ports. One USB3.0 and one USB2.0 port are available on the front I/O interface. Test Platform CPU: Intel Core i7-12700KF Motherboard: Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition
Memory: Seven Rainbow Defender DDR4-3200 8GB*4 GPU: iGame GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Vulcan SSD: Samsung 980PRO 1TB Cooler: Xingu Kunlun KL-360 integrated water cooling
Great Wall Dragon 1250W power supply For performance testing, I used CPU-Z, PCMark, 3DMark, CineBench R15/R20/R23, AIDA 64, Crystaldiskmark, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The CPU-Z scores were compared to the Core i9-11900K, AIDA 64 tested memory speed, and 3DMark tested CPU PROFILE, Time SPY, and Fire Strike. The CPU-Z score for the Intel Core i7-12700KF reached 739.3 points, 6.3 percent higher than the Core i9-11900K’s 695; the multi-core score reached 9282.4 points, 42.3 percent higher than the Core i9-11900K’s 6522 The results of the score show that the 12th generation Core The single-core performance improvement is more conventional, but thanks to the new architecture and the design of 8 P-cores and 4 E-cores, the multi-core performance improvement reaches 42 percent. The overall score in the PCMark 10 test is 8041, with 10,352 points for basic functions, 9895 points for production, and 13,777 points for digital content creation.
The CPU PROFILE single thread score is 988, and the maximum thread score is 10062 in the 3DMark test. The 1080P Time SPY score is 18170, and the Fire Strike score is 33722. The sequential read performance of 6697MB/s and write speed of 2235MB/s in the CrystalDiskMark test is not excellent, owing to the SSD occupancy rate of close to 80%. In the Samsung Performance Benchmark test, sequential read and write reached 6990MB/s and 4881MB/s, respectively, while in AIDA 64’s memory test, sequential read and write were 32365MB/s and 31616MB/s, respectively, and memory copy was 31171MB/s with 88.4ns latency.
CineBench R15 scores 2918cb, CineBench R20 scores 8295 pts, and CineBench R23 scores 1762
The average frame rate was 124 FPS with optical chasing and DLSS turned off, and 140 FPS with optical chasing and DLSS turned on. Finally, I used AIDA64’s built-in copy software to run stability tests on the CPU. Can the Onda Magic Sword Z690 motherboard meet the needs of the Core i7-12700KF in the middle of the test? The CPU was tested at the default frequency and accelerated to 4.7GHz, with a maximum core temperature of 69 degrees and a CPU power consumption of 145W. During the test, there were no crashes or black screens, and the stability was excellent.
Editor’s Note: Unlike traditional low-cost motherboards, the Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition has a 10-phase power supply, memory and graphics card slot metal alloy armor, and a very distinctive “PECVD” process coating technology, allowing it to cope well with a wide range of working environments. Given the high cost and scarcity of newly released DDR5 memory, opting for a motherboard that supports DDR4 memory is clearly the best option at the moment. The Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition motherboard can deliver the full performance of the processor, whether it is the mid-range Core i5-12600K or Core i7-12700K. The best Z690 motherboards to buy in 2021 The Z690 series motherboards listed with the 12th generation Core are very “touchy” in price, with an i7-12700KF Z690 motherboard set price of over 4,500 yuan, which really limits the performance With a price of $999 and good stability, the Onda Z690 Magic Sword Edition motherboard is a good way to fill the gap of cost-effective motherboards, making it the “best Z690 motherboard to buy in 2021.” Special thanks to.