Monday, March 5th 2018

Modders Get "Coffee Lake" Chips to Work Stable on Intel 100/200-series Chipsets

One of the greatest complaints enthusiasts had with Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors and their companion 300-series chipsets is their lack of compatibility with older 200-series and 100-series chipset motherboards, despite sharing an identical LGA1151 socket. Tinfoil hatters attributed this to Intel's synthetic platform-gating to ensure people buy new motherboards every two CPU generations; while Intel itself maintained that "Coffee Lake" chips have special electrical requirements that come with the increased core-counts, without explaining how that shouldn't exempt quad-core SKUs such as the Core i3-8100 and the i3-8350K from functioning on older platforms.

It turns out that "Coffee Lake" is pin-compatible with older LGA1151 motherboards based on 200-series and 100-series chipsets after all, as modders got some of these chips to work on the older platforms. Intel is using software to prevent Coffee Lake from working on older motherboards. This software comes in the form of the CPU's microcode, the iGPU's UEFI GOP driver, and certain Management Engine bootstraps on the side of the motherboard BIOS that lets it recognize the new chips. With the safe transplanting of these pieces of software, Overclock.net modders rootuser123, LittleHill, dsanke, elisw, Mov AX, and 0xDEAD; succeeding in not only getting the chips to work on older platforms, but also found ways to iron out several stability and compatibility issues. They've published a guide at this page.
Source: Overclock.net Forums
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50 Comments on Modders Get "Coffee Lake" Chips to Work Stable on Intel 100/200-series Chipsets

#1
Cruise51
Why am I not surprised in the least. Same old intel... In the money business, not the cpu business.
Posted on Reply
#3
syrup
R0H1T said:
Was any of this ever in doubt?
Yes, it was.

Quoting TPU's 8700K review:
With this generation, the biggest point of confusion has been the package. The 8th generation Core desktop processors bear the "LGA 1151" package markings and look like they'll work on older 100-series and 200-series chipset motherboards. They'll even physically fit on them since nobody at Intel bothered to put the key notches elsewhere. The chips, however, will not work on older motherboards. The machine won't even POST. The box clearly states that you need a 300-series chipset motherboard to use the processor. This is because the pin maps between Coffee Lake and older Kaby Lake/Skylake chips are different. More pins are allocated for power delivery; according to Intel to make up for the increased power requirements due to the six-core configurations.
Other review sites gave a similar impression, if I recall correctly.
Posted on Reply
#4
R0H1T
syrup said:
Yes, it was.

Quoting TPU's 8700K review:


Other review sites gave a similar impression, if I recall correctly.
The problem is that was an assumption, as ASUS states they could make CFL compatible with 2xx easily, only Intel wouldn't let them. The higher end boards, like ROG, could easily handle the unlocked K parts.
Posted on Reply
#5
FireKillerGR
"Old socket" without the extra pins could handle 7700K @6.8+GHz. This is many times the original power consumption (specs/stock).

Now tell me that the old socket couldn't handle the extra 10-20~ Watts of the 8700K
Posted on Reply
#6
bug
Cruise51 said:
Why am I not surprised in the least. Same old intel... In the money business, not the cpu business.
Nobody's in the CPU business. Save maybe for some universities or NGOs. (Still, this Coffee Lake is still something I'd rather not see repeated going forward.)
From our friends: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business
Typically private-sector businesses aim to maximize their profit, although in some contexts they may aim to maximize their sales revenue or their market share. Government-run businesses may aim to maximize some measure of social welfare.
Posted on Reply
#7
TheDeeGee
After 10 years i pretty much have enough of Intels practices, my next one is gonna be AMD again.
Posted on Reply
#8
evernessince
Not really surprising. Intel loves to lie to it's customers so they can pick their wallets. Just like how they claimed the switch to TIM was due to micro-cracking on smaller dies, even though they soldered clarksdale, which has a die size half as big as their current processors.
Posted on Reply
#9
dj-electric
Hating Intel is so hot right now. Where do i sign up for the rally? Are there any freebies like stickers and Tshirts?
Posted on Reply
#10
windwhirl
You know, Intel could have easily avoided all this, if they had bothered to change the placement of key notches or the pin layout.

Or maybe, just for once, think of the customers and keep compatibility at least for the lower end of the spectrum (quad cores and below)...

dj-electric said:
Hating Intel is so hot right now. Where do i sign up for the rally? Are there any freebies like stickers and Tshirts?
I so want a T-shirt now hahaha
Posted on Reply
#11
Hardware Geek
TheDeeGee said:
After 10 years i pretty much have enough of Intels practices, my next one is gonna be AMD again.
I'm at that point as well. I was an AMD fanboy as a teen. Switched when performance on intel got faster. Planning on getting a threadripper when the next gen comes out.
Posted on Reply
#12
bug
windwhirl said:
You know, Intel could have easily avoided all this, if they had bothered to change the placement of key notches or the pin layout.

Or maybe, just for once, think of the customers and keep compatibility at least for the lower end of the spectrum (quad cores and below)...
Despite their petty nickel and diming, at the end of the day, we still get more cores than we used to (e.g. 6 instead of 4 on an i5). Competition works, even if in some aspects it doesn't work like we'd like.
And yes, like @Hardware Geek there was a time when I thought I was AMD for life, then Intel came out with Core and I bought into those. If I were in the market right now, I'd look at offers from both sides.
Posted on Reply
#13
_JP_
dj-electric said:
Hating Intel is so hot right now. Where do i sign up for the rally? Are there any freebies like stickers and Tshirts?
Stickers come free with AMD CPUs, t-shirts were pre-order bonuses I think :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#14
Darmok N Jalad
So are the newer, official chipsets much different then, or are they just hard coded to identify as compatible?

As for Intel’s reasons, I wonder if this is also to appease other players in the industry. OEMs wouldn’t want it it be that easy for a customer to add that much more performance to an existing system. The PC market is already hurting enough, right?
Posted on Reply
#15
infrared
Hmmmmmm. Tempted to swap out my 6700K if I can get a CL working on my Z170 board.
Posted on Reply
#16
blobster21
windwhirl said:
You know, Intel could have easily avoided all this, if they had bothered to change the placement of key notches or the pin layout.

Or maybe, just for once, think of the customers and keep compatibility at least for the lower end of the spectrum (quad cores and below)...



I so want a T-shirt now hahaha
"Intel OUTSIDE, NOW !" or something along that line.
Posted on Reply
#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
windwhirl said:
Or maybe, just for once, think of the customers and keep compatibility at least for the lower end of the spectrum (quad cores and below)...
They've tried this in the past, it was a disaster. Besides, why even bother? The low end of CL is basically already available on Z170/Z270. I wonder if there are a lot of people that want to upgrade from a i7-7700 to a i3-8100?

FireKillerGR said:
"Old socket" without the extra pins could handle 7700K @6.8+GHz. This is many times the original power consumption (specs/stock).

Now tell me that the old socket couldn't handle the extra 10-20~ Watts of the 8700K
I've seen it do that, but not for extended use and using reasonable cooling. That is the issue, Intel has to ensure long term reliability. If you don't have enough pins, you push too much current though the pins, the pins get hot, and eventually bad things happen. It's happened before.

People forget history, Intel on the other hand has learned from their mistakes.
Posted on Reply
#19
Bruno Vieira
newtekie1 said:
If you don't have enough pins, you push too much current though the pins, the pins get hot, and eventually bad things happen. It's happened before.

People forget history, Intel on the other hand has learned from their mistakes.
Year, a saw the Skylake-X burned pins, its very old
Posted on Reply
#20
ssdpro
Yes, got it to work but for how long? A month? A year? Armchair engineers often come up with terms like "it works". Actual engineers do real testing and have process.

Simple stuff folks: quit whining. If you don't like the product don't buy it. If you don't want a new motherboard to go with your new processor from Intel keep what you have or buy AMD. AMD will gladly offer you a lower performing chip at a lower price. Whatever Intel is doing works - their stock is just off a 5 year high and motherboard mfg are able to make motherboards because they are actually in business.
Posted on Reply
#21
bug
ssdpro said:
Yes, got it to work but for how long? A month? A year? Armchair engineers often come up with terms like "it works". Actual engineers do real testing and have process.

Simple stuff folks: quit whining. If you don't like the product don't buy it. If you don't want a new motherboard to go with your new processor from Intel keep what you have or buy AMD. AMD will gladly offer you a lower performing chip at a lower price. Whatever Intel is doing works - their stock is just off a 5 year high and motherboard mfg are able to make motherboards because they are actually in business.
I think everybody know how to vote with their wallets.

Where Intel is taunting us is their needing to (presumably) adjust current/voltage, yet keeping the same socket layout. That's a big no-no and they have little reason for doing it. Let them catch flak now, lest they do it again in the future.
Posted on Reply
#22
HTC
ssdpro said:
Yes, got it to work but for how long? A month? A year? Armchair engineers often come up with terms like "it works". Actual engineers do real testing and have process.

Simple stuff folks: quit whining. If you don't like the product don't buy it. If you don't want a new motherboard to go with your new processor from Intel keep what you have or buy AMD. AMD will gladly offer you a lower performing chip at a lower price. Whatever Intel is doing works - their stock is just off a 5 year high and motherboard mfg are able to make motherboards because they are actually in business.
According to this:
... succeeding in not only getting the chips to work on older platforms, but also found ways to iron out several stability and compatibility issues.
They performed stability tests. I'd assume the "usual" prime95 for a period of time.

Which stability tests exactly and for how long ... dunno.

That said, your question is pertinent (underlined): Even if it ends up passing ... say ... 48 hours of prime95 (exaggerating to make a point) doesn't mean it "lasts" as much as it would in a motherboard made for the processor(s) in question.
Posted on Reply
#23
R0H1T
ssdpro said:
Yes, got it to work but for how long? A month? A year? Armchair engineers often come up with terms like "it works". Actual engineers do real testing and have process.

Simple stuff folks: quit whining. If you don't like the product don't buy it. If you don't want a new motherboard to go with your new processor from Intel keep what you have or buy AMD. AMD will gladly offer you a lower performing chip at a lower price. Whatever Intel is doing works - their stock is just off a 5 year high and motherboard mfg are able to make motherboards because they are actually in business.
So we can presume you know more that the product manager at ROG, got it!
bit-tech: The 20 previously unused pins that you mentioned, what are they now used for?
Andrew: Many of them are used for power control. It's possible that these are in preparation for the high-core count processors.
As some of us have speculated, the Z370 & indeed CFL was a rushed launch, they were caught off guard by how great Ryzen was. I take it, by the above response, that there's Z390 incoming & probably 8 mainstream cores as well, perhaps later this year.

As for the rest of your rant, enjoy your Intel inside :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#25
cuneytcam
syrup said:
Yes, it was.

Quoting TPU's 8700K review:


Other review sites gave a similar impression, if I recall correctly.
Conclusion i would reach with the data you provided does not make intel cuddly bear but instead i get the smell of complicits to sustain shark business practices of intel. To give you the illusion/feeling of "Hey you, intel is not ripping you for %5 improvements and they have to change socket structure for XYZ reasons" to justify the rippage.
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