Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S CPUs Will Work with LGA1200 Based Z490 Boards; PCIe 4 to be Enabled via BIOS Update

Intel is planning to retain its upcoming Z490 motherboards for at least another generation (Rocket Lake-S) after Comet Lake-S, a report from WCCFT alleges. When the 11the Gen CPUs actually launch, the Z490 based boards will reportedly get a microcode BIOS update, enabling the many new features accompanying Rocket Lake-S. The most important one is PCIe 4.0 support, something that debuted with AMD’s X570 platform a year back, and will soon be available in the budget spectrum with the A520 chipset.

All the Z490 boards are expected to be compatible with Rocket Lake-S, however, as far as the Z470 chipset is concerned, there’s no confirmation just yet. This news has come shortly after it was revealed that AMD’s Ryzen 4000 desktop CPUs are going to be compatible with the 2 year old B450 boards.

Source: Videocardz.com

It’s not clear whether all the features of the 500 series chipset will be retained on the Z490 boards, but PCIe 4.0 will be supported for certain. For the same purpose, Z490 motherboards will feature extra PCB layers to allow PCIe 4.0 support without any technical difficulties. The boards we’ve already seen feature top-of-the-line components with 10-16 phase VRMs, support for up to 5000MHz of DDR4 memory, 6 SATA III ports, and dual M.2 slots.

Source: Videocardz.com

The most expensive boards will also feature Thunderbolt 3, 10GBit WiFi as well as HDMI 2.1a. Of course, as we’re used to seeing these motherboards will cost a fortune and only the richest of us will be able to afford them.

According to Noctua, the LGA1200 socket will retain cooler compatibility from all previous LGA115* sockets. The new socket is expected to have the same dimensions as the existing LGA1151 socket, i.e, 37.5mm x 37.5mm. The core differences between the two are:

  • The 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs will have a higher package-pin count. This is mainly due to the increased die size of the Core i9-10900K which will be Intel’s first 10-core consumer CPU.
  • LGA1200 improves power delivery and support for upcoming RKL-S I/O features such as PCIe 4.0.
  • The socket keying has also shifted left.

Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S Specs


Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S CPUs, although, a 14nm based chip will leverage the newer Sunny/Willow Cove core architecture. As such, you can expect a healthy uplift in IPC and single-threaded performance. Rocket Lake is also going to support the newer PCIe 4.0 standard across 20 lanes, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20G), 2.5Gb Ethernet Speeds, Thunderbolt 4.0, Intel Xe (Arctic Sound) based iGPU and the fastest DDR4 modules.

As per rumors, Rocket Lake will launch by late 2020, just in time for AMD’s Ryzen 4000 “Vermeer” lineup. It’s not clear what will happen to Comet Lake-S when the new CPUs launch, but it’s likely that the two will continue to exist side-by-side.



Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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