Last month, we found out that Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs will require a new 300 series chipset based motherboard. The upcoming chips will not be backwards compatible with Intel Z270 series of motherboards, despite the fact that they used the same LGA 1151 socket as Kaby Lake. The same can be said for Kaby Lake on Z370 motherboards.
Folks over at Hardware.info tested the inter-compatibility between the sockets as they got early access to a Coffee Lake CPU and Z370 motherboards. They used a Celeron G3930 to represent Kaby Lake, but did not mention any of the other hardware for obvious reasons.
The testing showed that the Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs fitted into both Z270 and Z370 motherboards with ease. The system with Kaby Lake on Z370 did power on, but it could not boot and enter into an infinite boot loop. The same thing happened when used a Coffee Lake CPU on a Z270 motherboard.
Below is a picture of the Kaby Lake i7-7700K (left) compared to the Coffee Lake i7-8700K (right), courtesy of Hardware.info, showing the same LGA 1151 pinout.
Long story short, the Z270 and Z370 chipsets are not inter-compatible. Intel is yet to confirm these compatibility differences, though there is a possibility that it could unlock the option via a BIOS in the future.
Intel Coffee Lake will see the introduction of the first 6-core mainstream CPUs from the company. The chips will be based on the same basic CPU and graphics architecture as Kaby Lake, but will use the updated 14nm++ process node.
The 8th Gen desktop platform will include integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) technology. It will also offer support for Intel’s next-gen Optane memory, Thunderbolt 3 with DisplayPort 1.4, and dual channel DDR4 memory clocked at native speeds of 2666 MHz.
Intel Coffee Lake processors and Z370 motherboards are rumored to launch on October 5th. You can learn more about the lineup and pricing details here.