In a stunning bit of Twitter, a tweet from one of the leading motherboard manufacturers has stated that Coffee Lake, Intel’s 8th Generation Core processors, will not be supported on the current generation of 200-series motherboards.

Information like this is usually kept under wraps until an Intel reveal, but it seems to have been mindlessly posted to Twitter on July 31st, an account that last tweeted on April 11th before this tweet occurred. This tweet has since been deleted.

At this point, due to the similar microarchitecture to Kaby Lake being used in Coffee Lake, most of the technology press were under the impression that the Coffee Lake processors would be compatible with LGA1151 socket motherboards, namely the 100-series and 200-series. With the above tweet essentially confirming that Coffee Lake will not be supported, it means that either the new CPUs will not be LGA1151, or that the motherboards will lock-out the processors by firmware, or the CPUs and sockets will use a different notching system to ensure the wrong processor cannot be put in the wrong board. It does mean however that 200-series users hoping to upgrade to a Coffee Lake processor (which early reports are suggesting might be up to six cores, but this has not been announced) will not be able to.

There are many potential reasons for the change if the socket is still LGA1151. The obvious one would be product segmentation on Intel’s part, which would stick in the craw for a number of the user base. The second one that it might actually be a physical requirement for the processor – if previously unused pins are required for power and/or control for different elements of the DVFS in the chip. This would depend on new features on the chip, which could extend to different power management, different graphics, or different IP blocks that require separate pin-out connections. Intel might also be using a different power system for voltage regulators, which might not be compatible with current 200-series motherboards.

At this point, nothing has been made official. The fact that this was stated on Twitter so far from any launch date that we know of is an interesting development.

*The name of the manufacturer has been removed by request after this news was published.

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Source: Twitter

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  • Lolimaster - Friday, August 4, 2017 - link

    Also 1500X has the highest IPC if you just want a quad core, 4 cores with 16MB of L3 cache, 4MB of L3 cache per core, half per core on 1400 or Ryzen 7.
  • 10101010 - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    You also forgot that for more than a decade, Intel has put a tremendous effort into the spyware engines embedded in their processors. AMD is little or no better in this regard, even going to the lengths of embedding an ARM 'security' core into many of their processors.
  • lmcd - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    You got any extra tinfoil over there for me, too?
  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    Intel Z270 has 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes for connectivity, as opposed to a grand total of... 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes (effectively 4 PCIe 3.0) that X370 has. Since X370 has no networking built in, you already lose one of those lanes to a LAN controller, which means you have at maximum 3 PCIe 3.0 lanes for use with an NVMe SSD, and therefore you can use at maximum one of these devices. It gets even worse with the lower-end Zen chipsets, which have even fewer lanes.

    Intel's Flex-IO configuration of their chipset also allows motherboard manufacturers to customise their boards. For example, a manufacturer could offer a Z270 motherboard with 6 M.2 slots and no USB 3 ports, but that's simply not possible with X370.
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    I don't see why it matters that something isn't possible with X370 which mbd vendors would never do. :D Your rationale didn't need an extreme example to make the point.
  • mariush - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    The cpu has 24 pci-e lanes, 16 for graphics, 4 reserved for m.2 (or can be split in 2+2 or 2+1+1 for m.2 + lan + something but nobody does) and 4 reserved for chipset.

    So you have a fast m.2 right from the start. Any m.2 created by chipset would be slower (higher latency) compared to a m.2 connected directly to processor.

    The chipset has enough pci-e lanes to add a x4 and an x1 slot to the board while still having enough lanes left for onboard devices.

    It's good enough for consumers, no need for up to 24 lanes which then all merge in a weak x2..x4 equivalent link to the CPU..

    It's also more consumer friendly, unlike Intel solutions where if you use some m.2 slot you lose some SATA slots on the motherboard or a pci-e x1 slot works only if you switch an m.2 slot from pci-e x4 to x2 / x1 and you only figure that out if you read the motherboard manual... because of the way the HSIO lanes in chipset are re-rerouted depending on what you enable ... this is bad usability.
  • JasonMZW20 - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    Those are all shared between one x4 3.0 link to the chipset. I don't really see an advantage to that.

    But, here's the thing, Intel advertises the total number of PCIe lanes at the chipset, even those used by SATA/USB/LAN, which are not available to users to use for AICs or M.2s. Z270 has 12-14 usable once all accessory ports are installed, IIRC.

    8 2.0 lanes (1 x4 3.0 = 2 x4 2.0) + 4 3.0 lanes for M.2 on Ryzen (12 total)

    14 3.0 lanes (virtualized) limited to x4 max
    - This requires an enormous amount of PCIe switching capability and has some processor overhead. There are no PLX chips involved here, so that x4 link can be pretty saturated. So, Intel is just juggling that x4 link around, as not many things will require constant use of it.
  • MagpieSVK - Friday, August 4, 2017 - link

    Exactly this two chipsets are booth limited by PCie 3.0 x4 connection there is no difference in max available bandwith. Switching those four PCie lines around doesnt magicaly create additional bandwith.
  • lmcd - Thursday, August 3, 2017 - link

    Thank you for your reminder that it's not all roses in the AMD corner right now.
  • Lolimaster - Friday, August 4, 2017 - link

    The AMD approach is pretty straightforward and hassle free for the user.

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