ASUS and GIGABYTE have issued BIOS updates for their Intel 300-series chipsets-based motherboards that enable the platforms to work with Intel’s upcoming 9th Gen Core processors featuring a new stepping. The new CPUs will reportedly be available in the coming weeks.

Starting this week, all of ASUS’ 300-series motherboards with the latest BIOS versions will support Intel’s upcoming 9th Generation Core processors based on a new stepping. GIGABYTE has also issued new BIOS versions for its 300-series mainboards to enable support for the aforementioned CPUs.

GIGABYTE reveals that the new stepping will carry the R0 stepping ID. Intel’s existing 9th Gen Core processors carry the P0 stepping ID, whereas the 8th Gen Core processors use the U0 silicon. ASUS says that the new Coffee Lake R0 CPUs will be released in the second quarter. Regrettably, neither of the motherboard makers disclose differences between the current and forthcoming CPUs.

ASRock has also made a similar announcement.

Producers of processors release new product steppings for many reasons. Some new steppings fix certain errata, other enable higher clocks or lower TDP. Without a proper disclosure from Intel it is hard to say what the new stepping will bring. Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that Intel plans to launch a new stepping of its Coffee Lake processors for whatever reason as it gets increasingly hard to make any alterations to modern CPUs.

Intel did not comment on the news story.

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Source: ASUS (via TechPowerUp)

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  • eddman - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that stepping derived performance and/or efficiency improvements were the result of things like fixing slight manufacturing issues that, say, caused unnecessarily high voltages, etc.

    I've been reading that even the latest skylake processors couldn't match kaby lake in OC or efficiency, or perhaps I've missed something.

    I'm not aware of the exact differences between 14 and 14+, but it's been reported that 14++ actually has a different transistor geometry and has a larger gate pitch.
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    You're right, 14 / 14+ / 14++ use slightly different transistor geometries. Which is a bigger change than just a new stepping.
  • bobhumplick - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    a stepping could fix a problem. like the security vulnerabilities etc. but im wondering if they are putting out a different die with the igpu cut off and some small improvements.

    maybe thats what the kf cpus were about. getting people used to the idea of igpu-less cpus before this new stepping\die came out. that would save a lot of capacity with the 14nm shortage going on. of course the current kf cpus still have the igpu but its disabled.

    cutting off the 9900k's igpu would actually make it smaller than the 8700k and you could probably make it for the same price as the 8700k. i expect intels rumored 10 core cpus to not have an igpu. that would make them smaller than the 9900k.

    are intel releasing a destkop chip this year? they have to right? so why release a new stepping this late in the year when a new release is coming? im wondering if the rumored 10 core will work on 300 series boards. not making a new chipset would save even more fab space and would give intel a win in the value department if we could use our z370 or z390 boards with the new 10 core. so maybe they will just release a new stepping of the 9th gen chips, lower the price of the 9900k, and then add the 10 core on top? possible?
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    If anyone remembers the C3 stepping of AMD's Phenom II, that was pretty significant. Maybe on par with Skylake -> Kaby Lake.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    I mean in terms of impact - not in terms of the scale and scope of the underlying changes.
  • LiviuTM - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    No, this time I'm sure it's 14##.
  • BigMamaInHouse - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Maybe 95W TDP 10C/20T is coming?
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    That would be Comet Lake-S which is due in Q4.

    Stepping R0 is the rest of the Coffee Lake Refresh-S parts (65W, 35W) which should be available shortly (April). Anandtech already posted about these here:
  • Jimbo Jones - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Well first they need to make a 95w 8 core ... and don't tell me the 9900k or even the 9800k are "95w"

    The 9900k pulls the same all threads max power consumption as an AMD Threadripper 2950x - which has twice the number of cores. (each pull ~260w under prime95 stress test)
    When you hold a 9900k to its 95w tdp - it performs worse than a 2700x in multi-threaded loads so you know there's something fishy there ...

    The 9800k pulls over 200w and more or less the same as the Ryzen 2700x, but the Ryzen has 8 more threads and better overall multi-threaded performance.

    I saw one of Intel's 14 core 9990x CPUs draw almost 800 watts when overclocked to 5.1 ... yikes!

    Short answers: 1) Intel's power consumption is actually more than AMDs overall, but Intel assigns super low TDPs that aren't real (they don't consider ANY boost clocks at all) - its a trick to make people believe that they still have more efficient CPUs - they do not. 2) there's no way they can rectify this issue by any decent amount on 14nm - if this new stepping brings them to a 10 core, expect it to be a heater with an artificial TDP slapped on as we already see with current 9th gen.

    When they get to 10 or 7nm though - whole new ballgame, but the competitor will be beating them to the node shrink it appears. :)
  • BigMamaInHouse - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    I know- I was joking with "95W", same as "95W" 9900K :-).

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