With the new Coffee-Lake S CPUs from Intel – the i5-9600k, i7-9700k and i9-9900k – having been released recently, you may wonder if you also need the newly released Z390 motherboards to run one of them. The short answer to that is no, the new processors are also on the LGA1151v2 socket, meaning they will be able to run on your older H310, B360, H370 and Z370 mainboards, as long as the manufacturer released a BIOS that enables the use of the new processors. You’ll just have to update the BIOS, as expected when new CPUs supported by an already existing chipset release.
One thing you’ll have to consider however is the higher power draw of the new i7 and i9 processors, which means your board needs to have a decent VRM for power delivery if you want to get one of the new high-end SKUs. If you already have one of the higher tier Z370 boards you will probably be fine with running the Coffee-Lake S eight-core CPUs, if you have one of the entry-level/lower level motherboards you may run into some problems with the increased power draw of the processor, especially if you want to overclock them.
Just keep in mind if you want to buy a Z370 motherboard for your 9th-gen Intel CPU you may have to update the BIOS for it to work, which most of the times only works if you already have an 8th-gen processor, unless the board features a USB BIOS flashback feature.
On the other hand, new Z390 motherboards of course also work with the older Coffee-Lake CPUs, but you’ll probably be better off with buying a Z370/B360 board for them, because they are more than enough to handle the task and are much cheaper than the new Z390 ones.
- Older 300 chipset motherboards are compatible with the new 9th-gen Intel CPUs, but you may have to update the BIOS
- Z390 is also backwards compatible to 8th-gen CPUs
- Check if your motherboard’s VRM is sufficient for the CPU you want to use
If you do decide on going for a i7-9700K build, we have a guide to the best motherboards for the i7-9700K that may be of use, as well as the most appropriate RAM pairings for this Coffee Lake S CPU.