Intel’s upcoming Z490 (Socket 1200) motherboards were designed with PCIe 4.0 support in mind, but despite having the necessary components to do so, they won’t be flaunting those speeds. Sources claim that Intel had trouble implementing PCIe 4.0 into the Comet Lake chipset due to unacceptable amounts of jitter, so retail Z490 motherboards will perform no better than PCIe 3.0.
This is a very bad showing for Intel, being that AMD’s X570 chipset offers full PCIe 4.0 support. Enthusiasts who own a Zen 2-based Ryzen processor and flagship motherboard can enjoy breakneck transfer speeds of over 4 GB/s , but evidently, prospective Comet Lake-S owners won’t be getting the same privilege. It’s an interesting turn of events for a company who initially berated the standard but was forced to adopt it due to competition.
Motherboard manufacturers may not be too happy, either. As noted above, Z490 boards were engineered specifically for next-generation PCIe, but that was all for naught. Vendors are expected to amend current designs (i.e., remove certain components) in order to recuperate costs.
Intel has remained tight-lipped on the release date of its Comet Lake-S processors and Z490 motherboards, but rumors have pointed to a Q2 debut.