Enthusiast Intel Comet Lake motherboards announced by May. Does that include May?

Intel's board partners have reportedly let slip a May unveiling of Comet Lake's Z490 motherboards

Intel processor

Intel Comet Lake motherboards are set to be unveiled by May, according to new information leaked by the company’s board partners. The Z490 motherboards are set to be the high-end options for the upcoming desktop Comet Lake processors, but we’ve been waiting for an official confirmation about the release date of both CPU and board for a while now.

The mobile versions of Comet Lake arrived last year for the laptop crowd, but the promised 10-core Core i9 desktop chip is still conspicuous by its absence. The rumour mill has ground away on a potential April release date for the new generation of 14nm processors, but if the May leak is to be trusted then we won’t be seeing chips before then.

That said, the report on WCCFTech – yes, the ever-reliable WCCFTech – gives out some rather conflicting messages about the timing. The headline states that the Z490 motherboard will be announced by May, while the copy asserts that the board partners have confirmed they will be announcing the high-end Comet Lake mobos in May.

That might all sound like semantics to you, but it could mean they’re announced at some point in April, alongside the Comet Lake processors themselves as we previously thought, in which case they’d be unveiled before May. Or it could mean that none of that will happen until May.

See where the confusion is coming in? Okay, I’m feeling a bit ill today so maybe that’s clouding my thinking, but I still think the rumour mill is being needlessly obfuscating right now…

Cores | Threads All core boost Cache TDP
Core i9 10900K 10 | 20 4.8GHz 20MB 125W
Core i9 10900 10 | 20 4.5GHz 20MB 65W
Core i7 10700K 8 | 16 4.7GHz 16MB 125W
Core i7 10700 8 | 16 4.8GHz 16MB 65W
Core i5 10600K 6 | 12 4.5GHz 12MB 125W
Core i5 10600 6 | 12 4.4GHz 12MB 65W
Core i3 10320 4 | 8 4.4GHz 8MB 65W
Core i3 10300 4 | 8 4.2GHz 8MB 65W

*Unreleased specs are subject to change… obvs

But the reported May timeframe for Z490 board announcements may not necessarily mean that the chips themselves will come out around the same time. There have been reports that Intel has upset its board partners by delaying the CPU release – potentially why the AIBs are being less than secretive about things – and Intel does have prior form in letting motherboards get shipped ahead of actual CPUs to go in them.

I’d think that’s unlikely in this case, simply because the LGA 1200 socket set to find its first home in the Z490 boards is completely incompatible with any other CPU on the planet except for the upcoming Comet Lake chips. More likely both will come out together, holding hands and skipping into the gaming world without a care in the world. Well, except for the seeming stranglehold AMD has over the DIY enthusiast market right now…

Them ten Intel cores are going to have to be pretty tasty, and rather affordable, to make a dent in the AMD mindshare of the gaming public at large.