Via a livestream, Gigabyte confirmed Z490 motherboard’s compatibility with the upcoming 11th generation Rocket Lake-S processors. While this might not be unsurprising for some, its motherboard readiness is. We never expected an official word about it anytime soon.
The developments so far…
Comet Lake-S CPUs is the first to be accompanied with the LGA 1200 socket on the Intel Z490 chipset. It is also the first architecture to support the 10-core mainstream processor. But Rocket Lake-S is significant since it will have improvements that Comet Lake lacked. One of them is the support for the PCIe 4.0 lanes. Earlier, it was assumed Comet Lake-S was assumed to have PCIe 4.0. But that never happened. On the other hand, Rocket Lake-S will do just that in a matter of months. Its launch is very likely to happen with the Intel Xe desktop graphics cards.
Though the livestreamers claimed to be not sure if they can confirm it, it’s really hard to believe that happening in a company’s official livestream.
But many motherboard manufacturers, including Gigabyte, made the Z490 chipsets to have PCIe 4.0 support via timers, drivers and re-drivers. This way, when its paired with a Rocket Lake-S CPU, it provides that bandwidth. All Z490 chipset motherboards will have that bandwidth for the x16 slot. But only some will support PCIe 4.0 bandwidth on the M.2 slot. According to leaks, Rocket Lake-S will have 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes. The only manufacturer that didn’t advertise Intel Z490’s ‘PCIe 4.0 Readiness’ is Asus.
It is uncertain if Intel will release a newer chipset with the Rocket Lake-S CPUs for providing 4.0 lanes. We’ll just have to wait for things to unfold. Intel has a lot of catching up to do. AMD X570 motherboard support PCIe 4.0 lanes. The recently launched B550 chips also provide PCIe 4.0 support, bringing it to a more affordable platform. It is going to have a tough time when AMD released the 4th generation Ryzen 4000 CPUs.
There’s also the recently launched Ryzen 3 3300X that shows promising performance for its cost