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Report: What to Expect From Intel 9-Series Chipsets

A report from the Japanese website Hermitage Akihabara has told us a number of things about the upcoming Z97, H97, and X99 chipsets from Intel.

Starting off with the  Z97 and H97 chipsets, these are largely identical, with a couple of subtle differences. Both of these chipsets follow the same principles as respective previous chipsets. Both of the chipsets are going to be wired to an Intel LGA1150 socket, which will allow them to support Intel Pentium, Celeron, Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 Haswell processors, as well as the upcoming Haswell refresh processors.

Both of the chipsets will also be able to drive up to three independent displays (assuming the connectivity is present on your motherboard of choice), as well as have native support for the new M.2 PCI-Express based storage devices. Both of the chipsets will also feature a total of 14 USB ports (six of which are USB 3.0 capable) as well as six SATA3 (6 GB/s) lines.

The Z97 chipset will support CPU overclocking (when using Intel K-series processors, of course), as well as up to three graphics cards, all which will have to share up to 16 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes.

The H97 chipset will not support CPU overclocking, nor will it support multiple graphics cards; only a single card with 16 PCI-Express lanes can be installed.

Moving on to the X99 chipset, we find half of the new HEDT (High-End Desktop) platform from Intel. This chipset will be wired to a socket LGA2011-3, which is built to support the upcoming Haswell-E processors. This chipset will be able to drive up to 10 SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, support CPU overclocking, and support up to four discrete memory channels. Regarding graphics, the chipset will be able to dedicate up to 40 PCI-Express Gen 3.0 lanes. As such, you'll be able to install anywhere from a single PCIe x16 graphics card all the way up to five graphics cards, giving each eight individual lanes.

To be clear about all this though, this is still unverified information. A number of websites are reporting these as the final specifications of the new chipsets, which while very well possible, is not something that we want to do just yet – so as always with rumors, do be sure to take it all with a grain of salt.

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.