GIGABYTE/Intel Z490 & B460 Motherboards Pop Up Via EEC Certification Page
Those abstaining on PC upgrades ahead of Intel's next non-HEDT desktop CPU platform may have a little while to wait, but that's not stopping the slow drop of leaks and potentially unintended reveals ahead of its expected launch next year. Now a product certification record entry for the Eurasian Economic Commission has added additional colour to previously leaked slides on Intel's plans for 2020 on the Desktop.
According to leaks Intel are replacing Coffee Lake-S with the Comet Lake-S platform in the desktop segment, a combination of motherboards and CPUs set to arrive in the first half of 2020. Headlining the new range will be a 10-core, 20-thread part manufactured on their eternally optimised 14nm process, potentially rolling in some improvements to the CPU core architecture that debuted in Ice Lake earlier this year, if not quite all that design's benefits.
An additional aspect of this anticipated release is that it's designed around a socket adjustment from LGA115x to LGA1200, meaning that there will be no backwards/forwards compatibility with current Coffee Lake CPUs and 300-series motherboards. By implication therefore both CPUs and compatible (market appropriate) motherboards will be released simultaneously.
The EEC product certification page - in this instance of upcoming GIGABYTE motherboard SKUs - would typically only be taken as tacit confirmation of the platform's imminence. In this instance however it also indicates that Intel are planning to utilise a slightly different naming convention for their enthusiast Z and mainstream B chipsets.
Intel have been relatively consistent in their use of Z_70 (and Z_7 prior to the 100-series) and B_50 formulations in recent years, only shifting to Z390 in 2018 for the minor 300-series refresh; however they will apparently be shifting to Z490 and B460 with the 400-series. The most obvious rationale is AMD's usurping of those number for last year's X470 and B450 Ryzen motherboard chipsets, and it's difficult to formulate any other sensible reason for the change. It also doesn't complicate the HEDT platform (which could easily use X499 if necessary), even if it's increasingly likely that this year's HEDT refresh will remain on an X299 derivative.
For their part, GIGABYTE are planning a very wide selection of motherboards for the 400-series including eight Z490 SKUs and eleven B460 SKUs to be sold alongside twelve H410 and a handful of H470/Q470 designs. It's likely however that not all motherboards will be sold in all regions, nor will every model be available on day one.
SOURCE: EEC, @TUM_APISAK