Oops. Either somebody is really angry, or they’ve got a loose tongue. Maybe both? Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs are confirmed to be the next upcoming release from the semiconductor giant. The upcoming 8th generation Core series chips are no doubt Intel’s answer to Ryzen, with Intel’s hopes that it can keep up against its smaller, nimbler competitor pinned squarely on the new products. Questions have been asked whether existing motherboards will work with Coffee Lake. Motherboard maker ASRock certainly doesn’t seem to think so.
Coffee Lake, which is scheduled to be released later this year, is supposed to retain much of the architecture and technologies of the current Kabylake processors. So much so that it’s being built upon another stage of Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process, and many expected that the current 200 series motherboards would support Coffee Lake upon its release.
However, a representative of ASRock tweeted on @ASRockInfo that this would not be the case. The tweet categorically ruled out support for Coffee Lake on 200 series motherboards. This came as a bit of a surprise, given many 100 series Skylake motherboards remained compatible with Kabylake following a BIOS update.
The move isn’t actually all that surprising. Unlike AMD, which prefers to keep sockets over multiple generations, Intel has a penchant for swapping out sockets and forcing upgraders to go down the path of buying new motherboards. It was actually more of a surprise that 100 series motherboards would be allowed to support Kabylake last year. This tends not to endear it to customers. But hey, people keep buying Intel’s products, so does that mean something is still luring them to Team Blue?
There are many possible technical reasons behind this change, from power requirements or even just size. However, many people who are looking at this pronouncement by ASRock sees this as a cynical move for more market segmentation by Intel. As if the company hadn’t done enough to confuse consumers.