It’s been barely a month since Intel finally announced its 10th generation Comet Lake-S processors for the desktop market, along with the Z490 motherboards and new LGA 1200 socket, but withholding support for PCIe 4.0 until the next CPU generation, Rocket Lake. On that note, it’s been said that Intel’s 11th generation CPUs will at least be compatible with the new Z490 chipset.
This bit of news was confirmed by Gigabyte during its recent AORUS Direct livestream, announcing its new Z490 motherboard lineup. To be precise, the spokesperson basically said that all Z490 motherboards will be Rocket Lake compatible, but it should also be pointed out that the brand had also mentioned that its own motherboards will be “PCIe 4.0” ready.
The latter point is important, as Intel decided to skip PCIe 4.0 implementation this year and instead make it available with Rocket Lake instead. It’s been argued that Intel’s decision to do so is nothing short of a missed opportunity, considering that the new interface has been around since AMD launched its 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs last year.
And while most graphics cards on the market still aren’t able to make full use of PCIe 4.0, the speed that the new SSDs are capable of achieving is what makes motherboards that support the interface highly sought after. On another note, Rocket Lake processors are expected to ship out with 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes. That means while Gigabyte’s current motherboard lineup will undoubtedly be able to support the interface, it also means that the likelihood of Intel’s AiB partners refreshing their current Z490 motherboard lineup with PCIe 4.0 in the future is highly possible.
At the time of writing, there has been no official word on the subject from Intel, so it would be best to take the news with a large grain of salt until then.