How to know if your Z490 motherboard is compatible with 12th Gen processors
9 months ago
Do you want to know if your current motherboard will support the latest 12th Gen Intel® CoreTM processors? If so, here’s what you need to do. You need to check whether your board supports the Intel Z490 chipset and if it can be updated to support 12th Gen CPUs. Let’s talk about these points in detail below and take an example of an ASUS® ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) motherboard and Intel Core i9-9900K processor to show how this works out in practice.
What are the major differences between 11th and 12th generation of Intel Core Processors
As of January 9, 2019, Intel launched two variants of their desktop-based processor lineup: one based on Coffee Lake Refresh and a second based on Whiskey Lake. The update has been well received among consumers who have seen a modest performance boost. Intel’s previous releases had some problems related to overheating which were addressed by new measures put in place by Intel. The components are still marked as 8th generation however and carry lower prices as a result. There has been criticism about how misleading this practice is for potential customers.
There are three major considerations when upgrading to a new generation of CPUs. First, you have to make sure that your motherboard and power supply can handle newer CPUs; they will not physically fit on older motherboards. Second, you must ensure that it’s possible for you to update your motherboard’s BIOS/UEFI (hardware interface) so that it will be compatible with Intel’s latest hardware and chipsets. BIOS updates are usually released at least a month after new hardware launches; check out PCWorld's guide on how to find, download, and install BIOS/UEFI updates . Third, check PCPartPicker's compatibility list of specific motherboards.
Newer motherboards are often equipped with both LGA 1151 and LGA 1150 sockets. While these might be similar, they’re actually incompatible; you can’t just upgrade from one socket type to another without an additional adapter. Make sure that you choose a system that has an LGA 1151 socket before buying a new motherboard. These typically appear alongside chipsets like Z390, H370, and B360.
It’s always important to make sure you have a compatible board for a new CPU, and Intel has now confirmed that chips from its upcoming Core i9 family will fit on its current LGA 1151 socket. While it’s not strictly necessary, we suggest using updated firmware from your motherboard vendor before installing a new generation of processor. Check out our guide for updating/flashing/re-branding firmware for more information about what we mean when we say flashing. And don't worry—if you need an update but aren't sure how or what to download (or if there's any warranty implications), just reach out to your manufacturer. They'll point you in the right direction. The only caveat?
All generations of Intel’s mainstream processors are designed for a certain kind of memory. If you stick with that memory, everything will work as expected. However, if you try installing memory built for one generation of processor on another generation, things can go wrong. Modern Intel chipsets are backwards-compatible so it isn’t an issue. For example, Skylake chipsets support both Skylake and Haswell CPUs while Coffee Lake supports all Kaby Lake CPUs.
Graphics Card Compatibility
As mentioned above, most desktop-class 12th Gen Intel Core Processors are supported by Intel 300 series chipsets. This includes H370, B360, Q370 and a few older chipsets like Q250 and H310. But what about gaming graphics cards? Does that mean only lower-end GPUs will work on these new CPUs? Fortunately, even higher-end graphics cards are supported as well. It all depends on which generation of GPUs you’re using currently and their corresponding chipset requirements. Here’s a quick cheat sheet: (this is assuming you’re still using an Intel 8th Generation or 9th Generation Core Processor)