Scheduled for release by the end of Q3 this year, Intel’s Coffee Lake platform will be bringing a few big additions to the Santa Clara-based company’s mainstream computing offerings. As has been previously reported, Coffee Lake will be arriving with some shiny new 6-core CPUs in tow. A move to 6 cores has been a long time coming for PC gamers and enthusiasts who have been using primarily 4-core CPUs since Intel’s Core i7 and Core i5 chips debuted in late 2008. Over the weekend, leaked marketing slides for Coffee Lake appeared online, giving us some more detail on the changes that will arrive with the new chipset.
The big news is confirmation of a 95W TDP for the 6-core parts and the inclusion of 24 PCI-E lanes from the chipset itself. Previous Intel chipsets limited the amount of PCI-E lanes provided by the chipset to 12. Intel’s recently released Kaby Lake-X platform also features 24 PCI-E lanes from the chipset, but at a much higher cost, as is typically seen with HEDT platforms. What the increase in lanes means for PC gamers and enthusiasts is that more bandwidth is available for things like high-speed storage. The upcoming Coffee Lake motherboards will be able to offer more m.2 slots for lightning fast NVME SSDs and the extra bandwidth needed for the newest USB 3.1 controllers.
Coffee Lake will also bring an integrated WLAN controller to provide AC Wifi and Bluetooth 5.0 support on motherboards without the need for a 3rd-party solution. Also spotted in the slides is Thunderbolt support, options for DisplayPort 1.4, and a new sound solution from Intel. Dubbed SmartSound, the new audio solution will have some sort of quad-core programmable DSP built-in.
PC enthusiasts can look to get their hands on the new boards and CPUs sometime before the end of this year.