Intel has officially confirmed that its 8th Gen Coffee Lake processors will only be compatible with the new Z370 chipset. Apparently, the company has made some changes to the pin layout of the LGA 1151, rendering it incompatible with the 200 series motherboards. The necessary adjustments are made mainly in view of the Coffee Lake 8-core CPUs that are expected to arrive early next year.
Intel 8th Gen Desktop Lineup will Not Work with Z270 — Because of Upcoming Coffee Lake 8-Core CPUs?
Intel unveiled its Coffee Lake processors last week. The lineup saw the introduction of the first ever six core mainstream Core i7 and Core i5 parts from the company. Apart from bringing higher core count, the new family of chips also offered higher clock speeds across every product tier.
That being said, it’s not all good news: Coffee Lake chips will not be backward compatible with the Z270 or Z170 chipsets. Meaning, Kaby Lake owners looking to upgrade to Coffee Lake will have to buy Intel’s new 300 series motherboards.
Intel hasn’t exactly revealed why it decided to break the compatibility with the previous generation, but it did say an improved power delivery circuitry was required to support the higher core count processors and slightly faster DDR4 support. It seems that there is more to it, as comes via the famed overclocker Der8auer.
Reportedly, the socket LGA 1151 (v2) features some unused pins, which are already used by Z270 boards for voltage supply. So Coffee Lake-S CPUs could literally burn on high-end Z270 models, because of the high voltage over these pins.
The flagship Core i7-8700K would probably be working with the LGA 1151 without any need for the changes to the pin layout. But, Intel is rumored to be already prepping Coffee Lake 8-core CPUs which could appear in the first quarter of 2018.
These 8-core, 16-thread mainstream chips could be the reason why the Coffee Lake will technically only work with the Z370 chipset. That is just an assumption as of now, since there is no official confirmation from the company yet.
Intel is set to release Coffee Lake processors on October 5th. The performance benchmarks of the Core i7-8700K have already surfaced, which show the CFL-S chip outperforming the 7700K Kaby Lake by up to 42% in multi-threaded tests. You can read the entire 8700K review here.