Monday, October 2nd 2017

Intel Coffee Lake CPUs Have Different Pin Configuration than Previous Generation

Intel is set to release its newest generation of processors, known as code name Coffee Lake in just a few days. Recent controversy has focused around the inability of newer processors to be used with motherboards supporting the previous generation CPUs. Intel has released data sheets for Coffee Lake CPUs, and images of the socket's layout support Intel's statement that Coffee Lake will indeed need a new socket design. Specifically, there are more pins responsible for delivering the main power for the CPU cores, known as VCC pins, with Coffee Lake motherboards sporting 146 VCC pins illustrated in the first image below, compared to Kaby Lake and Skylake's 128 illustrated in the second image.

With these pins responsible for delivering power to the CPU cores, this may suggest that previous generation motherboards allowed for lower power operation than is possible with the higher core count of Coffee Lake processors. Whatever the reason, it definitely confirms that Coffee Lake CPUs are hardware-incompatible with previous generation motherboards, and not simply a software or BIOS-level lock.
Source: Intel
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28 Comments on Intel Coffee Lake CPUs Have Different Pin Configuration than Previous Generation

#26
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
cadaveca
And interestingly enough, I had suggested a while ago that there would be more power pins, and here they are. I mean, adding two cores would obviously require more power pins, or perhaps clocking would be negatively affected by the existing pads sharing power to more areas of the chip...
newtekie1
We really don't know that until we see that pinout of the socket. It very likely could be a pinout change to support the extra cores, exactly like they did with socket 775.
Yep, I pretty much called it a while ago that the pinout would be different. I was pretty certain back in August that the pinout for the socket would be different. But everyone(except the smart ones like us :D) was too busy bashing the big evil Intel.

theoneandonlymrk
he means in a few years people will blow up second hand or old parts
They aren't going to blow up anything. The extra power pins use reserved pins from the old socket that aren't connected to anything on the old CPUs. So if you put an older processor in a newer board, or vise versa, it just won't boot.

Though I still think Intel should have just used a different socket name.
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#27
Psinet
cadaveca
Typo in third sentence. And interestingly enough, I had suggested a while ago that there would be more power pins, and here they are. I mean, adding two cores would obviously require more power pins, or perhaps clocking would be negatively affected by the existing pads sharing power to more areas of the chip...
Except the number following the LGA assignment is supposed to denote the total number of pins - i.e. 775 etc.

This is named as the same - LGA 1151. Exactly the same number.

Just an observation.
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#28
GorbazTheDragon
Psinet
Except the number following the LGA assignment is supposed to denote the total number of pins - i.e. 775 etc.

This is named as the same - LGA 1151. Exactly the same number.

Just an observation.
The pins are there for both socket types, it's a question of whether they are actually connected to something and being used.
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