Intel Comet Lake-S 10 Core CPUs Allegedly Require New Socket and 400-Series Motherboards, Ice Lake-S Compatible With 495-Series Boards

It looks like Intel's upcoming Comet Lake-S processors will end up being supported on a new socket, ending backward compatibility on existing motherboards. According to the latest leaks & listings within the new Intel server chipset driver, there are at least two chipset generations after 300 series that are planned for launch for next-generation processors.

Intel Comet Lake-S Supported on 400 Series Motherboards With New LGA Socket, 10nm Ice Lake-S Will Be Compatible With 495 Series Boards

The listing in the new Intel chipset driver mentions the 400 series and the 495 series chipset families. Currently, the 8th and 9th Generation family are compatible with 300 series boards which feature the LGA 1151 V2 socket. The LGA 1151 V2 socket was a revised version of the LGA 1151 V1, featuring a different pin layout and configuration (more here). This meant that while the 6th & 7th Gen CPUs ran on the LGA 1151 V1 socket, they couldn't run on the LGA 1151 V2. Similarly, 8th and 9th Gen CPUs weren't backward compatible.

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It looks like Intel wants to make their sockets last two CPU generations and hence, the upcoming 10th Gen CPUs (Comet Lake-S) would also be supported by an entirely new LGA socket. Now, it is mentioned by Momomo_US that the new socket will feature more pins, so it isn't just a layout change, but an entirely new socket if this is true. The socket will be used on the new 400 series motherboards which will include the Z490 motherboards series as the flagship mainstream chipset for K series processors.

The reason why a new socket is required is that the Comet Lake-S family is expected to feature 10 cores and as such, it would require more power from the socket. The new socket will be optimized for the upcoming processors and should help deliver stable operation. The Comet Lake-S series is confirmed to be part of the 10th Generation family, featuring the 10000 series nomenclature as confirmed in a mobility lineup leak.

The other chipset in the listing is the 495 series which is designed for future Ice Lake-S processors. Now we know that 10nm isn't coming to mainstream users till 2021 from the recent roadmap leak, but there's a slight chance that Intel's Rocket Lake-S CPUs which are expected to launch in 2020 might feature compatibility with the new chipset. The reason being that there's a rumor going on that Intel's Sunny Cove core architecture is being ported to 14nm and there's a chance that Rocket Lake-S processors would be utilizing that. Since Sunny Cove is the same core architecture which will be used on Ice Lake 10nm processors, it might be possible that Intel's consumer desktop line of Rocket Lake-S processors could end up being supported by the 495 series chipset before a proper introduction of 10nm on desktop platforms.

Intel Desktop CPU Generations Comparison:

 Intel Sandy BridgeIntel Ivy BridgeIntel HaswellIntel BroadwellIntel SkylakeIntel Kaby LakeIntel Coffee LakeIntel Coffee Lake RefreshIntel Comet LakeIntel Rocket Lake
Processor ArchitectureSandy BridgeIvy BridgeHaswellBroadwellSkylakeKaby LakeCoffee LakeCoffee LakeComet LakeRocket Lake
Processor Process32nm22nm22nm14nm14nm14nm+14nm++14nm++14nm++14nm++
Processors Cores (Max)4/84/84/84/84/84/86/128/1610/2010/20?
Platform Chipset6-Series7-Series8-Series9-Series100-Series200-Series300-Series300-Series400-Series400-Series?
Platform SocketLGA 1155LGA 1155LGA 1150LGA 1150LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1200TBD
PlatformDesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGADesktop LGA

Here's What We Know of Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake-S Processor So Far

The Coffee Lake-Refresh series successor will be the Comet Lake-S lineup which will feature 2 core, 4 core, 6 core, 8 core, and 10 core SKUs. All of these processors are based on the same 14nm architecture which we have seen since Skylake, so not much to change there except the improved process node which should deliver better clocks.

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The Comet Lake-S family is scheduled for a consumer launch in Q1 2020 and a commercial launch in Q2 2020. The Comet Lake-S family will be featuring higher TDPs than the current Coffee Lake CPU family and will feature higher clocks too over their predecessors, so expect clock ranges around the 5 GHz mark. The 10th Gen family will be branded with the Core i*-10*** series nomenclature and will be featuring support on the new 400 series motherboards. We should get a taste of some early motherboard concepts at Computex 2019.

Which next-generation mainstream desktop CPUs are you looking forward to the most?
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