Intel’s Z390 chipset has been spotted in the wild throughout 2017, with rumours pointing to a launch in the second half of this year. The latest release notes for Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology confirm that the Z390 is certainly in the works, alongside an X399 chipset.
The Z390 chipset is believed to be a successor to its current Z370 flagship motherboards, housing its range of Coffee Lake processors. If the document is accurate, the Z390 will also support the upcoming Cannon Lake CPUs, which have been pegged for release later this year, presumably along with the new motherboards.
Interestingly, Cannon Lake will move away from Coffee Lake’s third refinement of the 14nm process (14nm++) by ushering in the first line of processors to sport Intel’s 10-nanometer process. 10nm components were expected to arrive back in 2016, just two years after the debut of its 14nm chips, but only just made their way into a limited number of hands in late 2017.
Intel’s document also lists the X399 chipset, which is speculated to be a successor to its high-end desktop (HEDT) X299 chipset, housing Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors. There’s a possibility that the naming of the chipset could cause confusion, as AMD has been using the X399 moniker for Threadripper processors since it released its own HEDT CPUs in August 2017.
Interestingly, Kaby Lake-X is missing from the list of supported CPUs while Skylake-X remains, showing that the X399 will retain the same LGA 2066 Socket as its predecessors. This in particular has many looking ahead towards the inevitable release of the tentatively titled Coffee Lake-X and Cannon Lake-X HEDT processors, although neither were listed in the document.
Intel refuses to comment on unreleased products and given that the original page has been taken down, this is all the information available on the two new chipsets for now.
KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see what kind of performance both chipsets bring to their respective processors, although my eyes are firmly looking ahead to see the capability of Cannon Lake more than anything. If the performance is there, would you consider upgrading to an Intel Z390 or HEDT X399 motherboard?