If there’s anything that characterizes this new generation of processors, it’s the amount of hurdles Intel is putting on the table to support them with older chipsets. What seemed easy in terms of the buying decision now needs to be scrutinized. What are its advantages, curiosities or key features? Which one is best for each type of task and PC? We will try to resolve all doubts at once.
Intel Rocket Lake-S 11 Gen CPU Chipsets
|Supports 11 generation processors||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports 10 generation processors||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Segment||Entrance||To integrate||To integrate||Enthusiastic||Enthusiastic|
|TDP||Not confirmed||Not confirmed||6 W||6 W||Not confirmed|
|Overclocking||No||Only in the memories||No||Yes||Yes|
|DIMMs per channel||2||2||2||2||2|
|Maximum amount of RAM||Undetermined||Undetermined||64 GB||128 GB||128 GB|
|RAM memory support||DDR4 at 3200 MHz||DDR4 at 3200 MHz||DDR4-2666 / DDR4-2933||DDR4-2933||DDR4 at 3200 MHz|
|DMI 3.0 lines||4||4||4||4||8, but only with 11 Gen processors|
|PCI Express||PCIe 4.0 x16, no support for M.2 Gen 4, the rest PCIe Gen 3||PCIe 4.0 x16 + M.2 x4, resto PCIe Gen 3||A single PCIe 4.0 x16, the rest will be Gen 3||PCI Express 3.0 1×16 2×8 or 1×8 + 2×4, solo a PCIe 4.0 x16
PCIe 4.0 support depends on manufacturer
|PCIe 4.0 x16 + M.2 x4, resto PCIe Gen 3|
|Maximum number of PCIe lanes||20||24||20||24||24|
|Multi GPU||No||No||No||AMD CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI||AMD CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI|
|Number of USB ports||ten||12||14||14||14|
|USB configuration||Undetermined||Undetermined||8 x USB 3.2 Gen 1×1
14 x USB 2.0
|6 x USB 3.2 generation 2×1
10 x USB 3.2 Gen 1×1
14 x USB 2.0
|Support for Intel Optane||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Maximum number of SATA 6 Gb / s||Undetermined||Undetermined||6||6||6|
|RAID||No||0,1,5 and 10||0,1,5 and 10||0,1,5 and 10||0,1,5 and 10|
Before we start, we need to clarify two pretty important points that will be better understood in the table above: H410 and B460 chipsets were not supported by Intel 11 Gen, so they are just left in the 10 Gen with Comet Lake- S as the main architecture.
We have already covered the reasons for this Intel decision in an exclusive article on this subject, so we are not going to go into it here, but to buy a motherboard it is important to know this, because if we are mounting a processor generation in these chipsets, it will not be recognized.
The details to be discussed on the rest of the specs are clear, although some are not at all as they were not specified as such. For starters, all of these chipsets will support the newer Rocket Lake-S, as well as the 10th gen Comet Lake-S architecture, but only two will be able to be overclocked with these processors: Z590 and Z490.
The rest of the models are stuck and only the B560 will be enabled for RAM overclocking as such, allowing to gain a little more performance in the system.
The PCIe lines and the generations in controversy
Rocket Lake-S brings as the main novelty the support of PCIe 4.0, but it will only be activated in its entirety in the Z590 chipset as such, while the Z490 even having 20 lanes intended for this purpose, some companies only offer the x16 for the GPU. , leaving M.2 SSDs without such support and remaining at Gen 3 x16 as such. The H510 chipset directly activates only one x16 slot.
Of those 20 lines mentioned, PCH lines will be Gen 3 in all models, leaving aside the idea that Intel could launch PCH with PCIe 4.0. Finally, another novelty that Intel has included with these new 500 series chipsets is the inclusion of the so-called USB 3.2 20G, which will unsurprisingly be connected by PCIe lanes to the CPU, but will be governed by the chipsets of the 500 series exclusively.
In other words, the 400 series does not receive support as such, but must be offered by an Asmedia controller exclusive and external to the PCH. As we can see the changes are minimal, but they are important for PCIe 4.0 and especially for something that has not been discussed much: the DMI 3.0 lines.
All chipsets will support 4 lines of this bus belonging to Intel, where this version 3.0 reaches 8 GT / s per lane, so with the exception of the Z590 all will have 32 GT / s in total, while this new high chipset range will benefit. double the: 64 GT / s. This full-speed duplicity will only be available with 11 Gen Rocket Lake-S processors, which should help reduce bottlenecks on buses that opt for DMI 3.0 as the data interface.