Sunday, March 5th 2017

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

#26
bug
cuneytcam said:
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.
Like I said above, it was a lousy move. But you do realize you get more cores with Coffee Lake?

It's like someone once said: I have no problem with haters that know how and what to hate. But hating just because it's trendy is just dumb.
Posted on Reply
#27
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
bug said:
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.
So basically, what you are saying is you would be completely ok with what they did if they had just removed or added a single pin to make the socket "different"?

In the end, doing this would have just raised the cost of the new motherboards to the end user. No something I personally want in exchange for the mental satisfaction of knowing my new motherboard has an extra pin in it that does nothing.

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.
Exactly! Sure they got it to work, but can they guarantee an i7-8700K will run in a Z170 motherboard for years on end?
Posted on Reply
#28
bug
newtekie1 said:
So basically, what you are saying is you would be completely ok with what they did if they had just removed or added a single pin to make the socket "different"?

In the end, doing this would have just raised the cost of the new motherboards to the end user. No something I personally want in exchange for the mental satisfaction of knowing my new motherboard has an extra pin in it that does nothing.
It would have gone a long way mitigating user confusion. If they went ahead and said "hey, these new 6-core CPUs need a new socket", nobody would have given a damn, because nobody would have known the new CPU could almost work on the old sockets. As it is, people are almost convinced the new CPUs can actually work fine on older boards (everybody loves a good conspiracy theory and Intel did little to explain what the technical issues were) and Intel is just milking users. With potential user confusion on top.

Personally, my belief/educated guess is they tried to the last moment to make the CPUs backwards compatible, missed that goal by a narrow margin, but at that point it was too late for a new socket layout.


PS They could have left all the pins there, but with a different arrangement. Socket 1151v2 or socket 1151-2017 and it would have all been ok.
Posted on Reply
#29
Dave65
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
Id gladly sign you up because Intel well deserves it!
Posted on Reply
#30
Blinken
Sign me up for the class action lawsuit!
Posted on Reply
#31
Vya Domus
newtekie1 said:
but can they guarantee an i7-8700K will run in a Z170 motherboard for years on end?
You can't guarantee it will work on an actual Z270 motherboard for years on end either.
Posted on Reply
#32
Shihabyooo
HTC said:
According to this:



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.
Want to add: Testing CPUs goes beyond simply making sure it doesn't crash looping through some serious calculations. Like a software program, it can work and produce an output, but that doesn't mean the said output is correct (or acceptable).
Testing X86 cpus (and I guess, all complicated processors) is a pain. Quoting one of the engineers who work on those things (long video): "The first second that you power on a CPU is equivalent to 9.5 years of testing on the system level."

There can be a valid excuse for such a move that doesn't -directly- involve profits. But in this specific case, I think Intel's reputation isn't inviting much trust to give them the benefit of doubt (wait, am I contradicting myself here?).
Posted on Reply
#33
cuneytcam
bug said:
Like I said above, it was a lousy move. But you do realize you get more cores with Coffee Lake?

It's like someone once said: I have no problem with haters that know how and what to hate. But hating just because it's trendy is just dumb.
I agree, without critical thinking you put yourself in a position of being steered. If you follow trends blindly then business will exploit/abuse you to no end.

About coffee lake part, what honestly i have in mind is : They figured they could not continue to sustain ripping at that scale (kudos for ryzen here), they had to compromise. However Compromise they did opened new ways of ripping, better justified socket change move with full confidence. It could have been designed similar to LGA-2011( or extreme cpu socket w/e it is called) where core count (from bottom to top) does not seem to be a problem at all.
Posted on Reply
#34
ssdpro
R0H1T said:
So we can presume you know more that the product manager at ROG, got it!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:
I don't follow? As for "how great Ryzen was", I bought it and it is a fine system. Unfortunately, while the market average here in the US is up 25% over the last 2 years AMD is still down 20% from the value on Ryzen launch day - a true failure from a product market performance standpoint. As for "Intel inside", I do still have an Z170 system but I also enjoy a Ryzen system as my daily (check specs much?). As for my comments being a "rant", I see it as wisdom and common sense.
Posted on Reply
#35
R0H1T
ssdpro said:
I don't follow? As for "how great Ryzen was", I bought it and it is a fine system. Unfortunately, while the market average here in the US is up 25% over the last 2 years AMD is still down 20% from the value on Ryzen launch day - a true failure from a product market performance standpoint. As for "Intel inside", I do still have an Z170 system but I also enjoy a Ryzen system as my daily (check specs much?). As for my comments being a "rant", I see it as wisdom and common sense.
The Z370 was not a necessity, as ASUS rep confirmed & many here speculated. It's probably just a filler for Z390, the real upgrade from 1xx & 2xx motherboards. The CFL was also a last minute mitigation for Ryzen &/or 10nm delays, again speculation but there's some evidence to suggest that ~ without a compelling AMD chip (in Ryzen) we'd have to wait for Icelake to get 6 cores (or more) on regular desktop chips.

The locking out of current KBL owners, from upgrading to CFL, sounds classic Intel. Like them shutting down non z OC multiple times in the past, now this might have been precautionary in some regards but then are you telling me that every Z370 board can handle every level of stupid OC that their owners try with an unlocked CFL chip?
Posted on Reply
#36
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
bug said:
Personally, my belief/educated guess is they tried to the last moment to make the CPUs backwards compatible, missed that goal by a narrow margin, but at that point it was too late for a new socket layout.


PS They could have left all the pins there, but with a different arrangement. Socket 1151v2 or socket 1151-2017 and it would have all been ok.
My guess is they were rushing to market, and the motherboard manufacturers already had a crap-ton of 1151 sockets in their inventory. So instead of waiting for the socket manufacturers to re-tool and ramp up production, they just reused the same socket.
Posted on Reply
#37
bug
newtekie1 said:
My guess is they were rushing to market, and the motherboard manufacturers already had a crap-ton of 1151 sockets in their inventory. So instead of waiting for the socket manufacturers to re-tool and ramp up production, they just reused the same socket.
That would require manufacturers making lots of physical sockets without a board to go with them. And not one manufacturer, but several. Let's just say that unlikely.
Posted on Reply
#38
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
bug said:
That would require manufacturers making lots of physical sockets without a board to go with them. And not one manufacturer, but several. Let's just say that unlikely.
I don't think it is that uncommon for a manufacturer to keep a healthy stock of parts on hand that they use on a very large portion of their products. I don't think it is that unlikely for ASUS to have thousands of 1151 sockets on hand waiting to be used on motherboards.
Posted on Reply
#39
bug
newtekie1 said:
I don't think it is that uncommon for a manufacturer to keep a healthy stock of parts on hand that they use on a very large portion of their products. I don't think it is that unlikely for ASUS to have thousands of 1151 sockets on hand waiting to be used on motherboards.
You also don't think when a manufacturer stocks up on some part, they also stock up on matching parts. Maybe not 1:1, but somewhere in the ballpark. That's where our views differ.
Posted on Reply
#40
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
bug said:
You also don't think when a manufacturer stocks up on some part, they also stock up on matching parts. Maybe not 1:1, but somewhere in the ballpark. That's where our views differ.
Having worked in manufacturing where you have a common part on a very significant number of your products, I can tell you that isn't how it works. You buy pallet loads of the part at a time, because the more you buy at once, the better price you get.
Posted on Reply
#41
jmcslob
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 bought into the Z370 platform and I'm completely happy that I did however I don't understand why I can't Officially use the 8000 series I5 and below on my h110.
I completely understand the 8000 series I7 's..since there are more cores...but i still don't get the hate either...I really don't
Posted on Reply
#42
Steevo
No, all lies from AMD!!! YOU DO NOT KNOW!!!!
Posted on Reply
#43
mcraygsx
I was looking forward to upgrading from 7700K to 8700K but new chipset requirements kept me away from it. Hard to believe my Asus MAXIMUX IX Code cannot support electrical requirements for 8700K!. Intel doing what it does best.
Posted on Reply
#44
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
mcraygsx said:
I was looking forward to upgrading from 7700K to 8700K but new chipset requirements kept me away from it. Hard to believe my Asus MAXIMUX IX Code cannot support electrical requirements for 8700K!. Intel doing what it does best.
It doesn't have enough power pins in the socket. Period.
Posted on Reply
#45
plonk420
watch your Windows 10 installations for updates that disable this... just look at the G3258 + non-Z board posts. Win10 went from working before retail release to not working at retail due to a microcode update unless you updated the BIOS with an update that removed OCability
Posted on Reply
#46
Shihabyooo
plonk420 said:
watch your Windows 10 installations for updates that disable this... just look at the G3258 + non-Z board posts. Win10 went from working before retail release to not working at retail due to a microcode update unless you updated the BIOS with an update that removed OCability
You say it as if any Win10 user could actually avoid such an update. :roll:
Even us 7 and 8 Luddites couldn't avoid the Kabby-lake blocking updates (unless willing to go insecure in this age of ransomware and cryptominers; third party hacks notwithstanding). Welcome to the future, we don't need feudal kings and knights to relieve you of your coin any more!
Posted on Reply
#47
heky
newtekie1 said:
It doesn't have enough power pins in the socket. Period.
Not true. The pins are there!
Posted on Reply
#48
Captain_Tom
Hahaha. The funny thing is this would make me consider upgrading my 6700K to an 8-core coffeelake, but then again why should I support this garbage with my money?

After all 7nm Ryzen 3 will be out next year, and it will wipe the floor with anything Intel will have for years...
Posted on Reply
#49
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
heky said:
Not true. The pins are there!
The pins are there, they are not power pins on Z170/Z270 sockets.
Posted on Reply
#50
R-T-B
Shihabyooo said:
You say it as if any Win10 user could actually avoid such an update.
Sure you can. Windows Update minitool.
Posted on Reply
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