With the recent resurgence of AMD and its 7nm Ryzen 3000 CPU line-up, pressure is on Intel to launch 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs for desktops. AMD has set the precedent for high core count consumer desktop CPUs, so Intel will have to follow suit.
In an attempt to suppress the competition from AMD, Intel is looking to refresh its desktop CPU and motherboard offerings, with Comet Lake-S probably arriving earlier than was first expected. Rumours suggest we could be looking at Q1 2020 as a possible launch window. We are also expecting a 10-core Comet Lake-S flagship chip to take over from the Core i9-9900K.
Talk of a new 400 series chipset for Comet Lake has been rife for a while. This has now seemingly been confirmed, as the EEC database was spotted with listings for several 400-series motherboards from Gigabyte. The list includes an abundance of motherboards including Z490, H470, B460, H410 and an obscure Q470M variant. Looking at the line-up, Z470 is not mentioned, so Z490 may end up being the new go-to for high-end gaming PCs.
The 400 series doesn’t look like it will follow AMD in implementing PCIe Gen 4 just yet. However, more PCIe lanes compared to AMD Ryzen 3000/X570 are likely. In true Intel fashion, Comet Lake may also require a completely new motherboard with an LGA 1200 socket. This may be due to the additional power requirements needed for the rumoured 10-core flagship. With that in mind, compatibility with previous motherboards may not be possible, making 10th Gen a more expensive upgrade.
Intel has fallen behind in the nano-metre race and that isn't coming to an end just yet. Intel's 10th Gen desktop CPUs will continue to use the refined 14nm process node, rather than the highly anticipated 10nm process, which Intel is still working on.
KitGuru says: With the release of AMD’s Ryzen 3950X 16-core CPU imminent, will Intel be too late to the party? With 10 core Comet Lake not expected until 2020, AMD seem to have the upper hand when it comes to core count for the foreseeable future.