Intel Coffee Lake Users Forced To Buy Z370 Motherboards?

Intel Coffee Lake is the first generation of mainstream CPUs that feature 6 cores. It is also the first time that the i3 CPUs have 4 cores instead of two. While the pricing of these CPUs has been increased across the board it is interesting to note that these CPUs do not work with 200 series motherboards even though the socket type is the same.

The official word from Intel is that some motherboard changes were needed to be made in order to provide proper power delivery, especially for the 6 core CPUs. Also, the memory bandwidth for the CPUs has been increased to 2666 MHz. All this required a new chipset, at least that is what Intel would have you think.

Other sources also claim that Intel is blocking compatibility with Kaby Lake chips through the BIOS. It is also important to note that people that are looking to buy Intel Cofee Lake CPUs will be limited to Z370 motherboards until next year as the mid-range and entry-level motherboards will not be available before 2018.

Rumors suggest that Intel is also working on an 8 core version of Intel Coffee Lake. According to an Intel representative:

Getting the max out of 6 core processor required changes to our motherboards, specifically to provide improved power delivery to new 6-core processors. We also took the opportunity to improve our overclocking capabilities by improving the package power delivery to the CPU. This is an another change that required motherboard changes. We increased memory bandwidth on processor up to 2666 MHz that required another improvement on the motherboard layout. New CPUs need to be paired with 300-series motherboards.

If you are looking to upgrade to Intel Coffee Lake in order to take advantage of the extra cores and are not looking for a K series SKU then you will either have to pay the additional money for the Z series motherboard, or you will have to wait till the less-expensive motherboards come out.

Let us know what you think about Intel Coffee Lake and whether or not you are interested in upgrading when the CPUs are launched next month.