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Motherboard Vendors Release New Firmware for Intel Core i9-9900KS

Motherboard manufacturers ASRock and Asus have started to prepare their motherboards for Intel's long overdue Core i9-9900KS processor.

(Image credit: ASRock)

The Intel Core i9-9900KS is slated to land next month. Naturally, motherboard vendors have to deploy updated motherboard firmware to accommodate the new 14nm Coffee Lake chip. Apparently, ASRock and Asus are ahead of the pack this time.

Strangely, only the brands' Z390 motherboards have received the new firmware, which puts in doubt whether their other offerings will be able to house the Core i9-9900KS.

On ASRock's side, the manufacturer has rolled out updates for the Z390 Phantom Gaming XZ390 TaichiZ390 Steel Legend and Z390M Pro4 motherboards. As for Asus, the brand has started to update the Z390-based ROG (Republic of Gamers) lineup, such as the Maximus XI Apex, Maximus XI Gene, Maximus XI Hero, Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) and Strix Z390-E Gaming motherboards. First priority is likely going to the better sellers; however, it's likely that not all Intel 300-series motherboards will support the Core i9-9900KS either.

Intel Core i9-9900KS vs. Intel Core i9-9900K

Price (USD)Cores / ThreadsTDPBase Clock Boost Clock Total CachePCIe LanesMemory Support
Core i9-9900KS?8 / 16?4.0 GHz5.0 GHz16MBPCIe 3.0 x16DDR4-2666
Core i9-9900K$4888 / 1695W3.6 GHz5.0 GHz16MBPCIe 3.0 x16DDR4-2666

The Core i9-9900KS is very similar to the Intel Core i9-9900K. The major difference is that the i9-9900KS flaunts a 400 MHz higher base clock and a 5 GHz all-core boost clock. The upgrades are probably going to push the chip's TDP (thermal design power) beyond the 95W mark of the core i9-9900K.

There is a good chance that entry-level motherboards with poor power delivery subsystems won't be able to unleash the Core i9-9900KS's full potential. While technically they could support the chip, throttling will certainly be the main issue, and overclocking is pretty much out of the picture.

The Core i9-9900KS won't arrive until October. That's sufficient time for vendors to validate which of their motherboards are ready to tame the 5 GHz octa-core monster.