Intel’s Comet Lake-S next-gen desktop processors are apparently set to be sprung on the world in April 2020, at least going by the latest gossip from the rumor mill.
So as ever, treat this with a healthy degree of caution, but according to Hong Kong-based hardware news site HKEPC, next April Intel will launch new motherboards with the Z490 chipset designed for the 10th-gen desktop CPUs (which remain based on a 14nm process, albeit seriously refined).
- Intel turns to Samsung for help keeping up with AMD?
- Intel CPUs aren't safe unless you disable hyper-threading?
- Check out how to overclock your CPU
The Z490 family will be the high-end boards, and other flavors will reportedly include the B460 in the midrange, and H410 entry-level motherboards.
Z490-powered boards have already been leaked, and as you may be aware, all these motherboards reportedly come with a new LGA 1200 socket. In other words, these boards won’t be backwards-compatible, and if you want to upgrade to Comet Lake-S, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard.
One slightly brighter spot in terms of compatibility, however, is that at least your existing CPU cooler should still fit fine, so upgraders won’t need to change that. The new socket is the same size as the previous LGA 1151, but has a different pin configuration which means it won’t be physically (or electrically) compatible.
We’ve long been expecting Comet Lake-S to debut next year, although previous speculation indicated a first quarter of 2020 launch, so April is just outside that timeframe – which might be a slight disappointment for Intel fans awaiting the next chips to take the fight to Ryzen 3000.
Of course, we also have to bear in mind that Ryzen 4000 (Zen 3, on 7nm+) desktop processors should be strolling into town later in 2020, so potentially – in a worst-case scenario for Intel – only a few months behind Comet Lake-S. And then there are potential supply issues for Intel, too, which are apparently still ongoing, and could prove a further hurdle; but all this is speculation, naturally, so keep that firmly in mind.
The rumor also highlighted a specific chip from the Comet Lake-S range, namely the Core i5-10400, which is purportedly a 6-core (12-thread) offering that’s clocked at 3.5GHz with Turbo up to 4.1GHz.
As we’ve heard from previous speculation, Comet Lake-S desktop chips will be led by a long-rumored Core i9 flagship with 10-cores and 20-threads, which could allegedly be capable of Turbo up to 5.1GHz.
That’s despite Intel’s insistence – or at least the argument we’ve seen from one exec – that 8-cores is the sweet spot for CPUs, and that AMD loading up mainstream processors with a ton more cores is just unnecessary (a practice Ryzen isn’t going to dispense with going forward, incidentally).
That said, other recent whispers on the CPU grapevine have indicated that Rocket Lake-S, Intel’s 11th-gen desktop chips, might drop back to 8-cores at the high-end, after all.
- Check out the best gaming PCs of 2019
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).