A couple of days ago we revealed that ASUS had published a list of its upcoming motherboards on the currently unofficially announced Z390 chipset. While we know a little bit about what can be expected from the upcoming Intel 300-series platform, newly revealed slides from two sources give a broader insight into the new Z390 chipset. Along with the info, timing for the new chipset was set during Q3/Q4.

Intel Z390, Z370 and Z270 Chipset Comparison
Feature Z390 Z370 Z270
Max PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes 24 24 24
Max USB 3.1 (Gen2/Gen1) 6/10 0/10 0/10
Total USB 14 14 14
Max SATA Ports 6 6 6
PCIe Config x16
Memory Channels (Dual) 2/2 2/2 2/2
Intel Optane Memory Support Y Y Y
Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) Y Y Y
Max Rapid Storage Technology Ports 3 3 3
Integrated 802.11ac WiFi MAC Y N N
Intel Smart Sound Y Y Y
Integrated SDXC (SDA 3.0) Support Y N N
DMI 3.0 3.0 3.0
Overclocking Support Y Y Y
Intel vPro N N N
Max HSIO Lanes 30 30 30
Intel Smart Sound Y Y Y
ME Firmware 12 11 11

With a lot of speculation surrounding Z390 and if it's a rebranded Z370 chipset, on the majority, it would seem that way. Some of the key differences include up to six USB 3.1 Gen2 ports natively supported through the chipset, which on both the current Z370 and previous Z270 chipsets was non-existent. Another fundamental addition is Wi-Fi support with the Z390 featuring integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi via Intel's new connectivity built-in. Speaking with vendors during previous chipset launches, this Wi-Fi addition still adds another $10-$15 to the final cost of the board. Another thing we now know is that the Z390 will feature a new Intel Management Engine Firmware revision with little known about what's going to be different over the previous ME 11 revision. The Z390 chipset is starting to take shape as what would have been ideal for Z370, showing Z390 as a more mainstream high-end platform.

The same set of leaks also show Intel's Coffee Lake Refresh processors are also set to debut in Q1 2019. All of Intel's planned desktop processors and refresh models will all be based on the 14nm process, with mass production of Intel's 10nm chips not expected until later in 2019.

For a more detailed look at what's expected with the new Intel Z390 chipset, click here.

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  • dgingeri - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    Yeah, so now we have IMEI access and security vulnerabilities through wireless integrated right into the chipset. No turning it off now. How wonderful.
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    What are you on about? Its completely toggled on or off if you want. Wireless also gets updated on motherboards, so not sure if you are under a rock or what.
  • mooninite - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    @imaheadcase, the ME is *always* active. There is no toggle. The only solution has been to strip it out of the UEFI firmware. The most recent ME can't be completely stripped or else it bricks your CPU. Please read up on ME.


    I wish Anandtech would take a negative stance on ME. It's bad for consumers. Intel won't give us an option to open source it or disable it, but seems to give the NSA an option.
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    Every motherboard i've ever used with WiFi i sure as hell can in Bios. It even shows it disabled if you use a app to look at wifi settings.
  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    who let the noobs in... lala.... kiddo you dont get it...
  • Peter2k - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    Intel Management Engine ≠ WiFi

    IME might even use WiFi if you disable it in the UEFI as it (IME) has it's own OS.
    We don't know and its undocumented on purpose.
  • Achaios - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    Why would you care about if the NSA or the FBI has got access to your PC? Got anything to hide or are you an ISIS son of a bitch?
  • jospoortvliet - Thursday, August 2, 2018 - link

    If you are a Trump voter the deep state is after you and if you are a democrat the Trump administration is after you. In all cases Russia and China would love a piece of you too. Also - you are an idiot if you would use a machine like this foe online banking and expect it to be secure.

    Luckily lots of idiots around so you can still hide in the masses. For now.
  • TheJian - Thursday, August 2, 2018 - link

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither. He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security."
    Ben Franklin.

    You don't have a RIGHT to spy on me without PROBABLE CAUSE, followed by the acquisition of a REAL LEGAL WARRANT & not this fake fisa crap court junk that nobody can see (no chance to fight it).
  • halcyon - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    I was thinking the same (RE: IME v12 + force-integrated wifi). Time to pull out the chip/antenna I guess.

    People who don't get this, don't know the history/purpose of IME and know zero about hardware security.

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