There are several reasons to explain the controversy, and it has taken us a few days to understand it. The explanations are sure not to like many and can leave the company in a bad place. So, if you were one of those who took Intel’s word for it, maybe if you don’t have a bit of luck you might end up very angry …
Intel already knew this: B460 and H410 were born sentenced
It cannot be otherwise clear, it is the manufacturer and designer of the processors, as well as the socket. But then the announcement made is not understood … Unless it was simply a marketing strategy to stop the sales of AMD’s Ryzen 5000 as much as possible.
In any case, there are three main reasons why Intel support on some motherboards and why they will not integrate it on others.
On chipsets the suffix is everything
Many may not know it, but within the 400 series chipset range Intel has a total of 6 models for desktop motherboards:
The problem is that the first 4 are part of what the company called Comet Lake PCH-H, while the last two were pigeonholed as PCH-V. This segmentation will determine the Intel CPU-IDs, so that at each power-up of the board the chipset will have to do the self-test to verify whether or not it can obtain the CPU-ID of the processor and compare it with its database through the BIOS .
If the result is negative, the PC will not complete the POST, giving validity to the block that B460 and H410 will have as such. The possible solution would be a modified BIOS with the CPU-ID of all Intel 11 Gen processors, or the so-called ME Off, through which this check is partially disconnected with the Intel MEI.
In any case, both solutions will not be official and will take time to reach users due to the existing complications to do home work with the new BIOS.
BIOS will not include microcodes
Logically, if we talk about BIOS, the company’s microcodes have to come to the fore. In B460 and H410 those of the 11 Gen will not be present, but this is something that should not be very difficult to extract for each brand of motherboards if what we want is to compile a new BIOS with those microcodes.
There are extractors of them using the BIOS of other models and higher chipsets, so, in theory, with a BIOS of the same manufacturer of our board of a chipset like Z590 it should be possible to extract them and implement them in another BIOS of B460 and H410.
Changes to the B460 and H410 power system
Although they didn’t specify it, Intel has slightly changed the way its CPUs draw power from the motherboard. We all know about Vcore and Vgt as such, but only the most advanced will know about VCCSA, VCCIO, VCCM, VCCST, and VCCST_PLL.
These voltages give life to the memory controller, the input and output voltages, those that are in charge of maintenance and those that are part of the clock. Well, in this Gen 11, Intel has left the Vcore and Vgt intact, but has modified the VCCSA and VCCIO a bit, but why?
Well, because the blues have decided that the VCCSA now becomes SVID, that is, the voltage of the power supply is the same for the VCCSA as for the Vcore and therefore it is controlled directly by the CPU and the PWM of the boards they must be able to supply power in such a way.
So boards that DO NOT have the VCCSA with SVID PWM will not get supported. As for the VCCIO … The changes are more interesting if possible. The image shows the voltage connection diagram of a standard B460 board and another Z590.
As we can see, the Z590 now has 3 VCCIO: 0, 1 and 2, while the B460 only has the lines that correspond to VCCIO 0. Adding two more VCCIO lanes with 9 more lines of voltage. But if both sockets have 1200 pins, how come one chipset has more lanes and the other doesn’t? Well, because the LGA1200 socket was already prepared like this as standard, that is, it was complete from second zero and Intel designed it that way.
The VCCIO 1 and 2 in the RSVDs of B460 and H410 are empty pins as such and therefore the CPU has no power input through them, which are necessary to control aspects as fundamental as the PCIe and other buses. In short, without those pins and their power the CPU cannot function and therefore Intel does not offer support in these two chipsets.
In short, if the board model does not contain the RSVD-enabled pins, the manufacturer does not include Intel’s microcodes, or we have the B460 or H410 chipset, we will not have support as such for Intel’s 11th Gen. The problem reaches such a point that some Z490 boards are in the air for one of the three reasons explained, which is infuriating many users.
We’ll see how this all ends.