Intel Z390 Chipset Officially Detailed – Features Integrated Wireless AC, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Connectivity

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May 13, 2018

It looks like Intel has made their upcoming Z390 chipset official by posting full product brief on the official website. The Intel Z390 chipset has been rumored since last year as a successor to the Intel Z370 mainstream chipset but looks like both share the identical features with just a few additions that were also delivered in the recently launched 300-series lineup (H370, B360, Q370, H310).

Intel Z390 Officially Briefed and Detailed – Coming Soon With Integrated Wireless, Bluetooth and More I/O Connectivity

The Intel Z390 PCH block diagram has been provided in the product brief which shows two very interesting things. The Intel Z390 chipset isn’t a huge leap over the Z370 chipset, something that we had already mentioned in the previous articles related to the Z390. Secondly, the chipset has brought the same feature set that was recently launched on the entry level boards but not given on the Z370 boards that launched last year.

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These new features are already available on the mainstream motherboards (excluding the Z370 chipset) and include:

  • Intel Wireless-AC 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC Adapter
  • Up To 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports

On the Z370 motherboards, manufacturers who want to provide these features have to go with third-party controllers which raises the costs. The Z390 chipset motherboards will have solutions that will make use of the chipset provided the feature set to save costs while high-end boards can still opt for third-party controllers for delivering better capabilities.

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When thinking about this launch, most people would question is there a need for such a chip? I know it doesn’t make sense but the time this chip is launching, Intel may consider releasing the Coffee Lake refresh processors to entice gamers up. There’s also the 8 core Coffee Lake chip that will be heading in the mentioned series. The new Z390 chipset will also allow motherboard makers to provide a refreshed product lineup to keep the channel flowing.

The chipset will launch close to AMD’s own refreshed chipset known as the Z490 which offers increased I/O capabilities over the current X470 motherboards. Expect the first products to show up at Computex 2018.

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

Chipset NameCoffee Lake S (KBL-R) PCH / Z370 (Z390) PlatformCoffee Lake S (CNL-H) PCH / 300 Series (H370, B360, Q370, H310)
Process Node22nm14nm
Processor8C, 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
MemoryUp To DDR4-2666 (Native)Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)
Media, Display & AudioDP 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 & ConnectivityIntegrated 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
StorageNext Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
SecurityIntel SGX 1.0Intel SGX 1.0
Power ManagementC8 SupportC10 & S0ix Support for Modern Standby