Intel and AMD Chipset Roadmap Revealed – 8 Core Intel CPUs and Z390 Boards in 2H 2018, AMD Z490 Boards in June Followed By X399 Refresh in August

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May 3, 2018
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The latest Intel and AMD chipset plans have been published by a major German-based IT distributor known as BlueChip. The chipset roadmap which details Intel’s and AMD’s next generation of mainstream and high-performance chipset plans reveals the expected shipping plans along with details of what we are to expect from the upcoming motherboard lineups.

Intel and AMD Chipset Roadmap For 2018 Published by IT Distributor – Reveals AMD Z490 and X399 Refresh Along With Intel’s Z390 and 8 Core Processor Launch Plans

Before starting off with the details, I want to state that there’s no chip in the roadmap which we don’t already know about. In fact, there are some chipsets happening that aren’t even revealed during the distributor’s 30-minute long presentation. Regardless, the time plans are very detailed so let’s take a look at them.

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AMD Z490 / B450 For Mainstream and X399 Refresh For The High-End Desktop Platform

Let’s first start off with the AMD chipset details which focus on both mainstream and high-end desktop platforms. We know that AMD has launched their Ryzen 2000 series processors that are part of the Pinnacle Ridge family. Alongside the processors, AMD also introduced the new X470 motherboard refresh which goes well with the new processors, allowing for enhanced features and best Ryzen 2000 series processor support.

Before the AMD Ryzen 2000 and X470 series even launched, we came to know about this new chip-set known as Z490. At first, I thought this was an Intel-specific chipset but sources based in Taiwan revealed that it’s, in fact, an AMD-specific chipset. Basically the best AMD 400 series chipset for the mainstream family which focuses on enhancing the number of PCIe lanes while offering more I/O support. There are other features that we do not know of at this point but the launch is expected in July of 2018.

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As for the other mainstream chipset that has been officially announced, the B450 for entry-level and budget motherboards is expected to launch in late July 2018. So pretty much a similar time-frame for both Z490 and B450. One thing I heard is that Z490 while being better in terms of I/O would not feel like much of an upgrade over the current X470 motherboards so current X470 owners will have not much to worry about as their boards are meant from longterm Ryzen support.

Moving on to the high-end desktop front, the AMD X399 is getting a refresh when the 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper processors launch. These motherboards will be a feature rich entity with an extreme focus on stability and tons of I/O at users disposal. The launch is expected around August of 2018 and you can expect them to be the best HEDT platform on the market just like the first gen Threadripper series.

AMD AM4/TR4 Chipset Features and Specifications:

Wccftech X399 Refresh X399 Z490 X470 X370 B450 B350 A320 X300 A300
CrossfireX/SLI Quad SLI/CFX
(Max 6 GPU Support)
Quad SLI/CFX
(Max 6 GPU Support)
Triple CFX/2-Way SLI Triple CFX/2-Way SLI Triple CFX/2-Way SLI N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
PCIe Gen3 Lanes 60 (With Threadripper CPU)
4 Lanes Reserved for PCH
60 (With Threadripper CPU)
4 Lanes Reserved for PCH
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU) 16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU) 16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU) 16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
16 (with Ryzen 7 CPU)
8 (with Bristol Ridge)
PCIe Gen2 Lanes 8 PCIe Lanes (reserved) 8 PCIe Lanes (reserved) 8 Plus Gen 3*4 8 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe) 8 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe) 6 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe) 6 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe) 4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe) 4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe) 4 (plus x2 PCIe Gen3 when no x4 NVMe)
USB 3.1 Gen2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 0 0
USB 3.1 Gen1 13 (PCH+CPU) 13 (PCH+CPU) 10 10 10 6 6 6 4 4
USB 2.0 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 0 0
SATA 6Gb/s 8 8 6 6 6 4 4 4 2 2
SATA Express 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
DDR4 DIMMs 8 8 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 2
Overclocking
Support
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
XFR2 Enhanced Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No
Precision Boost Overdrive Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No
NVMe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Form Factor ATX, MATX ATX, MATX ATX ATX, MITX ATX ATX, M-ATX ATX, M-ATX M-ATX, Mini-ITX Mini-ITX M-ATX, Mini-ITX

Intel Z390 Mainstream Motherboards and 8 Core CPUs Launching in 2nd Half of 2018

We finally have a more concrete confirmation of the Intel Z390 chipset which is designed around the new Coffee Lake-S 8 core processors. We may not have a confirmation regarding 8 core CPU compatibility on Z370 motherboards but we can’t rule out the possibility until we know more. The interesting thing here is that while the Z390 series will launch around Q3 2018, the Intel 8 Core CPUs may not launch until Q4 of 2018.

The first 8 core engineering samples are currently targeted for June 2018 as part of the Coffee Lake-S family. That explains why we haven’t seen any performance statistics or leaks regarding the new parts.

Expected Intel 300-Series Kaby Lake Refresh and Cannon Lake PCH Features:

Chipset Name Coffee Lake S (KBL-R) PCH / Z370 Platform Coffee Lake S (CNL-H) PCH / 300 Series (Z390/H370, B360, Q370, H310)
Process Node 22nm 14nm
Processor 8C, 6C, 4C (6 Consumer SKUs at Launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Consumer Only
8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Corporate/vPro & Consumer
Memory Up To DDR4-2666 (Native) Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)
Media, Display & Audio DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
I/O & Connectivity Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
Storage Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Security Intel SGX 1.0 Intel SGX 1.0
Power Management C8 Support C10 & S0ix Support for Modern Standby
Launch 2017 2018

On the HEDT front, naming schemes are going to get more confusing for Intel and AMD users. The new Intel X399 chipset for Cascade Lake-X processors will launch next year. Having X399 on both ends can make things a bit weird but I guess enthusiasts aren’t that dumb to not know which chip is designed for which platform. Expect more details on these motherboards at Computex 2018.

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