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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  • TristanSDX - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    If these changes require new BIOS and they are silent, then some big hole has been patched
  • Cellar Door - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Could be silicon that is completely lacking igpu(not just disabled) or like you said spectre etc related fixes.
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Stepping R0 has been plan of record since at least August of 2018. It was on Intel's slide for 16 Gb DDR4 device support:

    Intel only released a handful of Coffee Lake Refresh SKUs in October. The rest of the S stack and all of the H parts are still forthcoming. The second round of Coffee Lake Refresh is stepping R0.
  • brakdoo - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Comet Lake? Just a stepping?
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    Tom's Hardware reported that the 9900KF had the R0 stepping:

    Maybe they want to allow it to soak up more power so it can clock faster - possibly through otherwise-used-for-GPU pins that would normally have different tolerances? Just a thought.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    " it gets increasingly hard to make any alterations..."

    I'd suggest "harder" in this statement.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    No, "increasingly hard" seems right.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    To me, increasingly harder just seems redundant. Harder already implies an increase, whereas "increasingly hard" says that the level of difficulty is on an upward trend line, but without being redundant.
  • Targon - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    It may be a partial fix for Spoiler, or more Meltdown mitigations.
  • EphraimB - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    I'm planning on getting an Intel Core i9-9900k for my custom build desktop tower. Should I wait for the new stepping or should I just buy it now? How will I be able to differentiate between the two?

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