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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  • mode_13h - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    According to Intel's "Tick-Tock" strategy, the first -Bridge and first -Well were the new uArch points. Sure, you change a few things during a node-shrink - it's not strictly about clock speed and power as you also want to take advantage of more die area and greater timing flexibility. But, in Intel's own words, they were not new architectures. And I think probably not such a difference as you would find between the different generations of Pentium 4 chips, for instance.
  • althaz - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Fingers crossed this setting thins out the silicon a bit. The 9700k and 9900k are 10+ degrees hotter than they should be primarily because of how stupidly thick the piece of silicon is. If you delid one of these guys and grind it down you'll gain 10 degrees. Pretty annoying that Intel finally started soldering their CPUs again but they almost doubled the z-height of the silicon at the same time.
  • Khenglish - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    I feel like people are confused on what a stepping and revision are.

    In the past 12+ years ago both Intel and AMD would regularly come out with new steppings throughout the product cycle of a processor. The stepping would primarily be a retiming improvement of the processor to achieve more speed. For example the P4 130 nm (Northwood) launched at 2.2 GHz and typically overclocked to 2.6 GHz, but the final revision ran at 3.4 GHz stock, and overclocked to 4 GHz. The big increase in speed was just the engineers over time improving the layout of the same chip for higher speed.

    AFAIK revisions after launch died out during the C2D era. The 65 nm C2D had a major revision (G0 I think), which boosted clocks around 10% over the launch revision. The 45 nm C2D had a similar 10% late clock boost revision, but this also increased L2 cache latencies, so the performance improvement was smaller.

    What you ended up with was processors launched in a ever more optimized state, making it not worth the while of Intel and AMD to produce new expensive mask sets for very minor improvements.

    When you look at this new R0 revision, according to Tom's review of the 9900KF R0, it clocks 100 to 200 MHz better than the launch 9900K. This marks the first time in over a decade where Intel decided it was worthwhile to do a revision for speed reasons, and the improvement was rather small.

    It's interesting to me that Intel even bothered. To me this is a sign that 10 nm is still having problems, and they'll probably use this revision to do a 100-200 MHz speed bump across the Coffee Lake line up sometime soon.
  • TheJian - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    I can't hear you, you didn't say 10nm. 14nm is dead to me :) 7nm at this point from AMD or bust until xmas. If Intel has a magical 10nm 10-12 core at AMD 12-16 core pricing maybe I'll bite, but AMD almost has be by default unless they massively mess up 7nm 12-16 core chips I'm after now.

    If Intel still has broken chips the keep slowing down over time still, no point in NOT buying AMD, especially when they'll likely be beating Intel in almost every use case once AMD 7nm hits. Is it a fair contest then? Nope but that is Intel's fault for wasting 4-5yrs of 4B+ a year on mobile instead of the fab down the road in AZ (16-20B wasted on mobile, 10nm would be done AGES ago by Intel for that cash!). Nice work losing the fab race too losers. Can Intel recover before China owns all of semi production? I hope, but it's not looking good. Rather, it keeps looking worse. Intel needs to head to 7nm ASAP no matter the cost of tossing 10nm at this point. Better to take a hit and be back in the game quicker, than try to finally make something that is about to be OLD soon, work finally. Let's face it, Intel's 10nm isn't going to blow away TSMC 7nm. These two will be much closer when launched than previous gens.

    Also note, Intel's 7nm is much less aggressive than the 10nm (bit off more than they could chew, so backing off for 7nm), so again, this will be about a tie probably for 5nm TSMC vs. 7nm Intel (weakened). Intel actually has to make a better chip now, as process won't help take down AMD it would seem for this next few rounds at least. Good for consumers, but overall, not a great time for USA fab wise. Still empty down the road.
  • Targon - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    Even with fab process improvements, if Intel can't come up with significant design improvements, then it is probably time for Intel to fully replace "Core" with an all new architecture. It's only been 20 years since Intel had to really come up with an all new design(Core came from the Pentium 3, which isn't even the first to use that design, it came from the old Pentium Pro as I recall). So, all these years, and Intel is still counting on an antique design that has been improved a LOT, but hasn't gotten a full replacement. Maybe Intel will go back to an updated Netburst and see if they can get it to 9GHz or something.
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    Intel has supposedly had a new uArch waiting, but it was designed around the 10 nm node. That said, I don't know if it's as big a change as you'd like.

    In their recent architecture day, they announced that future architectures will not be so closely tied to a manufacturing node.
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - link

    If you're going to armchair QB Intel's financial priorities, why not criticize their dividends? Maybe *that* money should've gone into their fabs, instead of investors' pockets.
  • TheJian - Sunday, April 7, 2019 - link

    Returning money to shareholders (who have trusted you with their cash) is not the same as pissing it away like Intel did. But yeah, you can kill the div too if desired, I'd always prefer more R&D PERIOD. I still stand by my point, wasted 16-20B and killed 10nm in the process it seems. You need a KING before you bother here (like dirk said before AMD fired him then tried to do what he said ~7-8yrs later...ROFL). You must protect your base/CORE products, or someone flanks you. You are seeing this now. Intel didn't properly address fabs, so chips will take a hit, followed by earnings drops, analysts downgrades, then more bailing, worse R*D, less engineers (layoffs), etc etc, until they become AMD...LOL. Sucks to lose fabs, hope they pull off something great at 5nm because 7i vs. 5t looks like another tie. Yeah, Intel needs new chips so they can take some time to pay their way back into the FAB race. It's not that they've lost (yet fully), just that now they have no fabvantage so to speak...LOL. Then again maybe AMD takes a huge chunk back (50/50 overall in 3yrs?, easily doable with no more dresden 20% limit, no tsmc, samsung or gf can make chips, though GF kind of out this round), and Intel pours more into fabs then gets back on track before REAL damage is perm. The best part is AMD will be out of debt if that happens with potentially a few billion to fight with in CASH. I'm hoping 64/128 core server chips force margins up high enough to bag a few billion before Intel gets something right again. Nothing says TSMC etc will be on a roll forever, so it can change pretty easily in one gen.

    This is precisely why NV passed on console (and AMD should have too). It robs from CORE R&D as Jen noted. He almost go caught chasing mobile like Intel but moved to a different market with it. I really think he needs to come back to mobile now that gaming is big on mobile and finally make a REAL ARM desktop 500-1000w box with 2080ti etc as options! That will steal some sales as cheap as NV could sell these just to get it off the ground. As long as they break even on the chips, pump them out and sell cards in them. Xbox proves they could sell a ~450mm^2 soc for $115 or so (ps4 etc also). That would be a BIG chip compared to Intel correct? It would be an ARM powerhouse with decent igpu (think about Intel's, gpu side could be huge here). You could sell that chip for $200-225 and laugh at perf. It only takes 10mil to get devs to chase a console. 2-3yrs of selling powerful arm boxes that can add a discrete NV card later at peanut pricing (still with great margin) vs Intel would start a gaming revolution on ARM/Vulkan IMHO :) Not sure why they haven't started pouring 100mil a year into making 10-20 small dev games a year for this. The hardware is there for more complex games (NV wouldn't need to change much from current socs to go to a desktop). Yank the car specific crap and up everything else, run at 85w, and see what happens for a few hundred mill (peanuts to NV now). My guess is worst case you get your money back on the games and fail. Best case, the games draw a mass crowd that want those cheaper PC's by a MSFT lic + discount off Intel. A 450mm^2 ARM on 7nm at 85w would be VERY potent for $200-250 and no windows fee either. You are talking dual/tri boot boxes here if vendors desired also (linux, android, chromeos?, whatever). Very interesting and covering most moms/dads/internet basic users and great as a gaming box if you like what is out there, plus expandable as Unreal engine etc new games keep getting better and better by all Devs since tools from all sides are advancing so fast. Single people can make quite a compelling game today in a few years alone.

    NV should be working with google to make a desktop OS for real. Google doesn't seem to be aiming at desktop OS stuff fast enough IMHO (at all yet?). Linux just doesn't seem to be getting off the gaming ground (that is needed, then apps, then pro apps at some point), and google can't seem to make a full OS or anything for more than a phone/facebook crap.
  • Santoval - Thursday, March 28, 2019 - link

    Why would new steppings alone of otherwise identical processors require BIOS updates? Is that really a thing? I frankly cannot recall any BIOS updates being issued in the past, let alone *announced* via a press release, for just new steppings.
  • Khenglish - Thursday, March 28, 2019 - link

    The BIOS update is just adding microcode updates. Each processor revision has its own microcode version. This is normal.

    It would be interesting to see if R0 could run without a microcode update though. The last Intel CPU I am aware of that could was Sandy Bridge.

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