Today, Intel is launching its 10th Generation Core Desktop Processors based on the Comet Lake S series. Before we dive into the CPUs themselves in our separate full reviews, there is another important component to the launch. In order to run one of the new Intel 10th Generation Core Desktop Processors, a new Intel socket and chipset is required. This means an entirely new motherboard for you.
Instead of the previous Intel LGA 1151 socket for the desktop processors Coffee Lake and previous, Intel is introducing the new Intel LGA 1200 socket. In order to gain that support, a new chipset is also required, which is known as the new Intel Z490 chipset. In this short article, we will give you the information about this chipset, and introduce a couple of retail motherboards based on this chipset which we are using for our reviews today.
The biggest difference for this launch is the requirement of a new socket for the 10th Gen Core Desktop Processors Comet Lake S. This includes every product stack you see here from the 10th Gen Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 CPUs. Intel is upgrading the socket from LGA1151 to LGA1200 for 10th generation comet lake desktop CPUs. The socket is still Land Grid Array, with the pins on the motherboard and the CPU having flat contacts. However, instead of 1151 contacts, there are now 1200 contacts. The heatsink fastening holes should line up the same on the motherboard from past sockets. Therefore, cooling solutions should fit just fine on LGA1200 as they did on LGA1151.
The reason for the upgrade in the socket is quite simple, extra pins for improved power delivery. These CPUs can run up to 125W TDP, with higher frequencies, voltages, and temperatures. The extra pins ensure that these CPUs can hit those new power demands and frequencies stable. They also allow for future I/O features and future CPU support.
If you want to upgrade to 10th Gen Core Desktop Processors a brand-new motherboard is required, period, end of the story, no backward compatibility at all. Socket LGA 1200 will also support the next generation 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs.