Intel Z370 Chipset Could Support Kaby Lake - But Intel Will Not Allow It

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Much has been said and spoken about Intel upcoming 6-core Coffee Lake processors. It will launch based on a LGA 1151 Socket. We’ve been able to confirm that Z370 will only support Coffee Lake processors. Here’s the shocker, they could support Kaby Lake, yet Intel doesn’t allow it.

Over the past few weeks I have been talking to many motherboard manufacturers, and the story is the same. There is no reason for the Z370 chipset to not be able to support last-gen Kaby Lake, it is merely firmware restriction. Intel is enforcing the motherboard manufacturers to only support Intel 8th gen processors, thus Coffee Lake on Z370.

We’ve seen it in the past though, a BIOS update all of the sudden might enable other processors. The board-partners are very tight-lipped about this, understandably. Earlier this week you have already seen our Dutch colleagues from HWI try out a 7th gen Celeron G3930 Kaby Lake based processor on Z370. That processor got in the BIOS post code up-to code 26 when it halted. Post code 26 is the graphics pass, all passes before that would have been valid including memory and CPU.

According to some board partners the extra pins used on Z370 are merely supported voltage pahs. Ergo, (but not confirmed) perhapsvice versa Coffee lake could have been supported on Z270 as well. But this last bit remains speculation of course. But the reality is, that other processors than Coffee Lake on LGA1151 could have been supported on Z370, yet Intel simply will not allow board partners to support them.

New info also shows that the new 6-core procs can do an all-core 5 GHz overclock on a proper air cooler / liquid cooling without too much complication.

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