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Coffee Lake Coming With 1151 Socket, But Still Requires 300-Series Chipset

Coffee Lake's dam burst, and the trickle of information we've seen over the last month has turned into a flood. The latest information comes from ASRock, which published Intel's imminent Coffee Lake CPUs on a Socket 1151 compatibility list. We grabbed a screenshot, but ASRock later removed the Coffee Lake CPUs from the list.

We already knew that Coffee Lake requires new 300-series motherboards, as first indicated by ASRock and then later accidentally confirmed by Intel, but sticking with Socket 1151 will make it harder for enthusiasts to stomach the lack of backward compatibility with 200-series motherboards.

This isn't an entirely new tactic from Intel, but we need a good reason to upgrade from the eight-month old Kaby Lake-era Z270 motherboards, and in contrast to Intel's other transitions, this time around you will gain extra cores in the process.

That comes with a caveat though, as we would like to see some additional platform capabilities from a new chipset, but all signs point to the 300-series chipset merely being a "Z270 refresh," meaning it will not bring any increased connectivity options. It remains to be seen if the 300-series will support Kaby Lake processors--they do share the same socket after all. But outside of new LED functionality or other third-party additions, that might be a dubious upgrade path if there aren't connectivity improvements.

ASRock's specifications generally line up with information we've posted in the past, although we do see the Core i3-8350K listed as a 91W part instead of the typical ~60W we see with the i3 series. This is either a typo or due to the extra two cores. 

ASRock also listed the Core i3-8350K with 8MB of cache and the i5 series with 9MB. Previous information has indicated 6MB and 8MB of cache, respectively. The listed specifications actually make more sense, though, as the i5 series usually carries a 1.5MB allotment of cache per core, so that would line up with Intel's current approach. The i3-8350K's 8MB also lines up with the i3-7350K's 2MB-per-core alignment.

More information is emerging weekly as Coffee Lake moves closer to market, which follows the normal trajectory of leaks as motherboard vendors finalize their products. Many of the leaks are dubious, as usual, but when vendors slip, we can assume the information is more reliable. We are certainly on the cusp of the Coffee Lake era, and although Intel is adding more cores, AMD is the fly in the ointment. AMD plans to support its Socket AM4 for all of its processors until 2020, so Intel’s lack of backward compatibility with existing 200-series chipsets will likely dominate the conversation.

  • jtd871
    I'd be stunned if the new 300-series mobos supported Kaby or Skylake. Not that it wouldn't be possible, but there would be no practical point. With Coffee Lake available (and priced to compete against Ryzen), who would buy Kaby or Skylake CPUs to put in the new motherboards?!
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    20153926 said:
    With Coffee Lake available (and priced to compete against Ryzen), who would buy Kaby or Skylake CPUs to put in the new motherboards?!
    Back when there used to be significant market pressure on Intel some 10+ years ago, new generations of CPUs spelled significant price cuts (20-50%) on most of the older stuff to clear motherboard, chipset and CPU inventory. Drop the prices of Kaby Lake i3/5/7 by something like 30% and they become compelling value propositions against Coffee Lake.
    Reply
  • epobirs
    Beats me but I've never been big on changing out bits of an existing build. I might use previously untapped resources, like empty RAM slots but I've never had the urge to change out for a different CPU or other major changes if it isn't broken. I'd rather plan a new build if there is interesting new stuff to work with. OTOH, I generally don't go in for really expensive builds either, so I don't have great sunk costs to recover.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    20153989 said:
    I've never been big on changing out bits of an existing build.
    I don't bother with it either, unless I have an opportunity to do so for really cheap or free. One of my friends bricked his motherboard by flashing the wrong BIOS, I haven't been successful in unbricking the board due to both SPI Flash chips being fried (one won't accept programming while the other has tons of errors), so he let me keep his CPU+MoBo+board as compensation for the time I spent trying to fix it since he couldn't find affordable z68/77 motherboards from trusted sources. I ended up scavenging his i7-2600k to upgrade my i5-3470.
    Reply
  • MichaelElfial
    I wonder if the new boards will support Xeon CPU the way we had this until Haswell. It doesn't seem to be place in this short list for a CPU without graphics and consequently cheaper, supporting Xeons will open some options in that direction I hope...
    Reply
  • Druidsmark
    I'm building a brand new custom built intel computer in the second half of next year so this is good news for me, as I'm more interested in the 300-series boards for my new pc. Still undecided on whether to go Coffe Lake or Sky Lake though as I have nott really seen much information to let me know whether I should go 6 core or 8 core for a new processor next year, thinking I would prefer an 8 core processor. Will be building it for 4k gaming, to replace my 1080p gaming computer I use currently.
    Reply
  • compprob237
    20153989 said:
    Beats me but I've never been big on changing out bits of an existing build. I might use previously untapped resources, like empty RAM slots but I've never had the urge to change out for a different CPU or other major changes if it isn't broken. I'd rather plan a new build if there is interesting new stuff to work with. OTOH, I generally don't go in for really expensive builds either, so I don't have great sunk costs to recover.
    I'm with you here with one exception: My LGA1366 build. The 6-core Xeons got so cheap that upgrading to one, from an i7-920, became a good proposition especially considering my plans to use it as an on-demand game server.
    Reply
  • ibjeepr
    20154115 said:
    I'm building a brand new custom built intel computer in the second half of next year so this is good news for me, as I'm more interested in the 300-series boards for my new pc.

    If you're looking to build in the second half of next year I can assure you all of this will be irrelevant by then. I'm willing to bet the 300 series mobos will be a one and done. 10nm Cannon Lake Chips will be out by the time you're looking to build and I would suspect they won't go into a 1151 socket or 300 series board.
    Reply
  • adrianoabobora1
    If theres really this lack of backward compatibility with 200-series motherboards (or 100 for that matters), and Intel is traying to force me to buy a whole new Mobo, IF (big capital letters here) that mobo is going to be Intel family, it will be a X299, with a way better possible future upgrades, as in a 18 cores cpu. There´s no way I´d by a 300 mobo for a top 6 cores CPU with a X299 mobo with the same 6 cores CPU with a probable same price and a possible huge future upgrade. No way.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    20154438 said:
    There´s no way I´d by a 300 mobo for a top 6 cores CPU with a X299 mobo with the same 6 cores CPU with a probable same price and a possible huge future upgrade. No way.
    Even if you buy an X299 board, Intel changes socket specs for HEDT every other year just like it does for desktop and you'll still need a new motherboard for every other generation anyway, which would make Kaby Lake (E)X the last CPUs likely to launch on LGA2066v1/X299.

    HEDT platforms are a waste of money and no more future-proof than mainstream platforms if you aren't going to need their HEDT features in the near-future. Better off building mainstream to skip HEDT platforms until you actually need one.
    Reply