Gigabyte: Intel Z490 motherboards will support 11th-gen Core Rocket Lake CPUs

nanoguy

Posts: 656   +11
Staff member

Intel's latest 10th generation Comet Lake-S CPUs are going to be rather power-hungry, especially at the high end. And since they require a new, LGA 1200 socket, gamers and enthusiasts will want to pair these with Z490 motherboards, which are going to be expensive in all but their most modest incarnations.

Z490 motherboards bring with them a number of new features, most notably support for PCIe 4.0 and much improved wired and wireless networking chipsets, depending on model. Some of them will run you north of $700, so the obvious question on everyone's mind is: Will these motherboards support Intel's next generation CPUs which are slated for a 2021 launch? The answer is yes. At least 11th-gen Rocket Lake S support is apparently guaranteed.

Gigabyte recently confirmed this during its latest Aorus Direct livestream. For those of you who like future-proofing your build as much as possible, knowing that Z490 motherboards will support Rocket Lake processors can certainly offer some peace of mind. AMD has had a ton of success with this strategy with Ryzen and the AM4 socket.

For those unaware, Intel didn't bake in PCIe 4.0 support into the Z490 chipset or Comet Lake CPUs that you'll be able to buy this year. And while graphics cards aren't even touching the limits of PCIe 3.0, it's a different story if you're interested in taking advantage of PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

The next-gen Rocket Lake CPUs will come with 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, which is why manufacturers like Gigabyte are touting support for that in their marketing materials. It's worth noting that the Gigabyte rep that confirmed the support for Rocket Lake in Z490 motherboards was hesitant about giving out the information, which suggests that Intel may not have wanted to reveal this at this point.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,726   +2,692
Intel finally feeling the pressure?
Sounds like it's kind of the opposite.... If they felt the pressure, they'd offer PCIe 4 now...
Looks like they feel people are stupid enough to buy this generation now - despite no real gains - and leak out "but you can keep your motherboard" for next year...

If you actually plan on getting a Rocket Lake CPU, why on Earth would you buy a Comet Lake now?!?!

The logical move is simply to wait a year - or buy AMD now since they actually offer PCIe 4.0 now - not to mention their CPUs are much better as well...

Intel seems to be betting on people being fools... and while it's scary... they're probably right.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,039   +472
Lets not get carried away with AMD or Intel are "much better" claims. Both have their pros and cons.
All most people need to know is that both Intel and AMD have better procs now than say 3 or so years ago. Either way, anyone buying whatever processor will be happy. Always buy for whatever your needs are not what someone else says.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,572   +3,757
I wonder where the (*) is in the release that leads to a footnote that says, "For this generation only, and absolutely, positively not for subsequent generations, sIntel sheep!"
 

mat9v

Posts: 26   +8
How does this work?
Intel can't offer 40 lines of PCIEx 4.0 unless the chipset itself does support it because only 16 lines comes from CPU, the rest is from chipset by the way of DMI link. So Z490 chipset would have to be able to support PCIEx 4.0.
What I think is going on is that future CPUs will provide PCIEx 4.0 but only to first X16 slot that is connected to CPU. Granted some boards have splitters that allow for 8+4+4 configuration so those boards may be able to support PCIEx 4.0 in more slots, but it will not be 40 lines.

In Rocket Lake we get 20 lines of PCIEx 4.0 so 16 lines to PCIEx 4.0 X16 slot and 4 lines for DMI OR maybe like it has been in Ryzen for some time, 4 lines will be dedicated to NVMe directly from CPU. That would require NVMe port to be wired in two ways (so a switch somewhere) - to chipset for current gen CPUs and to CPU for the next generation.
Overly complicated in my opinion but possible.

So it looks a bit like ZEN2 was supposed to work on older boards, support for PCIEx 4.0 only on first X16 slot and NVMe. Funny thing is that select B550A boards based on B450 chipset do support that configuration officially.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,495   +3,220
Sounds like it's kind of the opposite.... If they felt the pressure, they'd offer PCIe 4 now...
Looks like they feel people are stupid enough to buy this generation now - despite no real gains - and leak out "but you can keep your motherboard" for next year...

If you actually plan on getting a Rocket Lake CPU, why on Earth would you buy a Comet Lake now?!?!

The logical move is simply to wait a year - or buy AMD now since they actually offer PCIe 4.0 now - not to mention their CPUs are much better as well...

Intel seems to be betting on people being fools... and while it's scary... they're probably right.
I can think of plenty of reasons why people who are considering future compatibility in a purchase may already have or be buying budget hardware they'd like to upgrade in the future. And if I understand things correctly, PCIe4 for Intel is hardcoded on the cpu, not the motherboard. However, the board can't run it if it isn't configured for it
 

Privery

Posts: 106   +57
Maybe to save money you should just buy a gigabyte z490 mobo then put your 9th gen intel cpu in there until 11th gen is released.
nvm I just found out this is not lga 1151
 
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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,293   +2,209
Hmmm I don't know, it sounds like it could be a bit of a fudge here. Will PCIe 4.0 performance match that of chipsets that arrive alongside the PCIe 4.0 CPUs?

Also it really casts doubt on DDR5 uptake in 2021. Will Rocket Lake support or move to DDR5? If it does are you going to expect inferior performance of those parts on these older DDR4 only boards?

For years everyone, literally everyone wanted Intel to have chipsets that supported at least a few generations of processors. Not least because they have merely been iterating their microarchitecture with such small changes none seemed to warrant a new chipset each time. It felt exploitative.

Now we are on the cusp of wide PCIe 4.0 proliferation and the arrival of DDR5 RAM- two changes that DO justify a new socket and chipset for a new generation of processors, they decide to muddy the waters! Classic.

Still, can't complain if true. Forward compatibility is a good thing.
 
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Daniele 00

Posts: 72   +56
Lets not get carried away with AMD or Intel are "much better" claims. Both have their pros and cons.
All most people need to know is that both Intel and AMD have better procs now than say 3 or so years ago. Either way, anyone buying whatever processor will be happy. Always buy for whatever your needs are not what someone else says.
the only Pro of Intel actually... is to give u a little margin in gaming, at the expenses of a Lot of money.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,809   +2,513
No they're just predatory in their business practices and prey on consumer ignorance and brand loyalty. Much like with Apple though, much of their customer base realizes they are being gouged and don't care because the branding is strong.
Just like Intel CPUs, they like getting backdoored. I have nothing against them if that's what they prefer.
 

Skjorn

Posts: 562   +409
You mean "Pro" as in singular for Intel. Gaming performance. Saying they have "pros" is a misnomer.
Intel does have better memory support. I just wish they would stop designing every mainstream CPU with an iGPU.
Those weird frankenfabric dies kinda turn me off from AMD.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 566   +330
So in other words.... don't buy LGA1200 until 11th Gen is available.
Intel praying on stupid people... when AM4 is already available.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,679   +1,761
TechSpot Elite
Intel does have better memory support. I just wish they would stop designing every mainstream CPU with an iGPU.
Those weird frankenfabric dies kinda turn me off from AMD.
Intel sells the vast majority of it's CPUs to OEMs like HP, Dell, etc. They need a simple drop-in CPU which also handles office video acceptably in one package, thus necessitating an iGPU. Yes, even the higher SKUs. I could see the i7 and i9 -K SKUs not having an iGPU as office machines only need the non-K versions of these (I have an office i7-4790 for example) but all other CPUs need that iGPU.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,463   +6,141
Intel does have better memory support. I just wish they would stop designing every mainstream CPU with an iGPU.
Those weird frankenfabric dies kinda turn me off from AMD.
I'd say no if you are comparing to the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. AMD supports higher memory frequencies out of the box and you can often achieve higher frequencies than rated. You can also use ECC memory on consumer AMD motherboards that support it, something which is impossible with Intel. The 3000 series memory controller is pretty solid all around.
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 5,463   +6,141
There‘s also quicksynch.
And for AMD there's the Radeon Multi-media engine: 1588453071397.png

But I mean that assumes you don't have a dGPU. If you do have a dGPU, there's really no point in quicksync as you have access to better solutions. If you don't have a dGPU chances are all of this won't matter to you anyways. You aren't going to be streaming on iGPU and playback of videos will be fine on AMD, Intel, or Nvidia encoders/decoders.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,150   +1,817
TechSpot Elite
And for AMD there's the Radeon Multi-media engine: View attachment 86531

But I mean that assumes you don't have a dGPU. If you do have a dGPU, there's really no point in quicksync as you have access to better solutions. If you don't have a dGPU chances are all of this won't matter to you anyways. You aren't going to be streaming on iGPU and playback of videos will be fine on AMD, Intel, or Nvidia encoders/decoders.
I always thought you could use quicksynch in addition to the dgpu.

No idea since I don‘t have one of their CPU, but I keep reading that this is a plus for Intel CPU with iGPU so in the spirit of fairness I thought I‘d mention this.

That said, my kid is using the Radeon multimedia engine for video encoding and it works fine.
 

Skjorn

Posts: 562   +409
Intel sells the vast majority of it's CPUs to OEMs like HP, Dell, etc. They need a simple drop-in CPU which also handles office video acceptably in one package, thus necessitating an iGPU. Yes, even the higher SKUs. I could see the i7 and i9 -K SKUs not having an iGPU as office machines only need the non-K versions of these (I have an office i7-4790 for example) but all other CPUs need that iGPU.
I mean I know why they do it just wish it was for a separate product line. Like the way AMD does with its APUs and CPUs. Where the iGPU is reserved for the APU only. But then you couldn't have those power efficient laptops with just an i7 for those that don't need a stronger dGPU. While Intel is better for gaming, they could really widen the gaming gap if they did this because gamers with Intel CPUs have that wasted space on die.