At an X299 launch party last week a company representative on the motherboard manufacturer’s sales side confirmed new Z370 motherboards would be arriving with Intel’s Coffee Lake in Q4 of this year. New desktop chips from Intel before Christmas… what fresh CPU release madness is this?
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The confirmation came after a PowerPoint-heavy presentation about all the techie goodness being baked into new X299 motherboards for Intel’s X-series CPUs, from networking upgrades – which use both wired and wireless connections – to extensive RGB lighting. Yeah, we were stunned people are making the revolutionary step to include sparkly LEDs too.
The sales representative took to the stage to explain to any buyers in the room, in no uncertain terms, that they should be concentrating on shifting Z270 boards because the Z370 mobos were still a way off.
“Some of you might have heard from many resources that Intel will launch Z370,” he says. “But it will be in Q4, I’m supposed not to say it… Please focus on Z270.”
By most metrics, a Q4 release means a launch for the new Intel platform on the desktop of between October and the end of December. That chimes with Gregory Bryant’s claims at Computex about how quickly the new Coffee Lake generation of chips would land.
“We’ve made great progress on getting this product ready for market later on this year,” Bryant says, “and in fact we expect to see the eighth generation Core in laptops and in desktops by the holidays season this year.”
It is broadly expected that, owing to the extra cores Intel are squeezing into their Coffee Lake processors, there isn’t going to be any backwards compatibility with the 200-series of motherboards Intel introduced at the start of the year with Kaby Lake.
What can we expect from the Z370 chipset, aside from Coffee Lake compatibility? Not a lot by the looks of things. You’ll get integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, and Gigabit wi-fi, too. Yeah, exciting stuff.
We heard tell at Computex, from an Asus representative, that Intel would also be creating a Z390 chipset too (not to be outdone by AMD’s X370 chipset…) and the current speculation is that there’ll be a new board design for the 10nm Cannonlake CPUs which are scheduled to land in our PCs later on in 2018.