The 8th generation of Intel Core processors is coming, giving a bump in core count with the i7 featuring 6 cores and 12 threads, the i5 having 6 cores and the i3 CPUs with 4 cores. What we didn’t know earlier is that Intel added more VSS (ground) and VCC (power) pins for 8th Gen CPUs making the Intel Coffee Lake Pin Configuration a bit different than the one seen in Kaby Lake.
Even though Intel didn’t announce this change during the press call for the announcement of the 8th gen processors the layout of the Intel Coffee Lake pin configuration has been announced to make clear why this change had to happen. The changes in the pins are the following:
- VSS: 377 -> 391 (+14)
- VCC: 128 -> 146 (+18)
- RSVD: 46 ->25
As we see there are more Ground and Electrical Pins active on the Coffee Lake Processors compared To Skylake and Kaby Lake ones. The reveal was made by David Schor, Engineer & industry analyst on Twitter, showing the differences of Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake pin configuration in picture layouts.
As Intel has stated a while ago, some motherboard changes were needed to be made in order to provide proper power delivery, especially for the 6 core CPUs. With that in mind if you want to grab an 8th gen Intel processor you will probably have to get a new motherboard as well. As we stated earlier if you decide to go forward with this upgrade you will be limited to Z370 motherboards until next year as the mid-range and entry-level motherboards will not be available before 2018.
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.