X299 BIOS Update for Intel Cascade Lake-X Will Kill Kaby Lake-X Support

(Image credit: Intel)


When installing a newly released CPU into a motherboard that’s been out for a while, you’ll often find that you need to update the board’s BIOS firmware in order for that new chip to work. Consequently, motherboards with the Intel X299 chipset will need an update to support the upcoming Intel Cascade Lake-X CPUs, the Intel Core i9-10980XE, i9-10940X, i9-10920X and i9-10900X.

However, this week Intel published a note stating that if you update your X299 motherboard to support Cascade Lake-X ,the motherboard will no longer support two Kaby Lake-X processors: the i5-7640X and the i7-7740X.

To be fair, the Kaby Lake-X family was basically a flop and has been removed from all retailers, so it’s no surprise that Intel picked these two chips to remove from support. 

However, if you are among the unlucky buyers still using this chip and have it installed in an X299 motherboard, it also means that you should avoid updating your BIOS to one of these new firmwares. Thankfully, all motherboard vendors specify the changes to different BIOS firmwares on their download pages.

Vendors typically drop support for select or older CPUs due to limitations in the BIOS chip capacity. Each individual CPU needs its own entry with its respective configuration. This same phenomenon happened to AMD in May, when we learned that the X570 motherboards, which debuted with the AMD Ryzen 3000-series CPUs, would not support first-gen Ryzen models despite having the same CPU socket.

Meanwhile, let’s sit tight to see how the battle between Intel and AMD will play out. 

Niels Broekhuijsen

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