While Intel has yet to officially announce its next (13th) generation of Core processors, this isn’t stopping motherboard manufacturers from releasing products for them. Always eager to slide ahead of the competition and spur on new sales towards the later half of a platform’s lifecycle, mobo makers are already releasing BIOSes that support Intel’s future chips – parts which, officially speaking, don’t even exist (yet).
Leading this charge is ASRock, who today has released a wave of new BIOSes for its 600 series motherboards designed to support Intel’s next generation of processors. Looking to the future, the wave of BIOS updates is the vast majority of its first-generation LGA1700 motherboards, including their Z690, H670, B660, and H610 models.
At present, Intel has not officially announced its Raptor Lake processors yet, which are set to be Intel’s next-generation of processors for desktops. This is an interesting move from ASRock, which means users currently with an ASRock 600-series motherboard can update the firmware now and not have to worry about installing the ‘next-gen’ later on.
ASRock’s EZ Update utility, alongside its models with BIOS Flashback, can install the update with a USB stick with the core file on it. However, it remains to be seen if pre-existing 600-series boards will be updated at the retail/distribution level before the launch of Raptor Lake.
The current Intel Z690 chipset features and specifications
The biggest question, though, is why right now? Intel hasn’t gone as far as announcing its 13th Gen Core series yet, although it is expected to be sometime by the end of this year. Officially, Intel has kept things about the upcoming Raptor Lake processors under wraps, and there is still very little to go on outside of unconfirmed sources and ‘leaks.’
It’s also worth noting that Intel is likely to announce a new motherboard chipset for its 13th Gen Core series processors, likely named Z790 following previous launches, which will also be on the LGA 1700 socket. This is much like with the release of the Z590 chipset, which also featured support for 11th and 10th Generation Core series processors.
Outside of ASRock’s announcement, other motherboard vendors have been tight-lipped about the upcoming 13th Generation Core series processors and Intel. It remains to be seen if other vendors now choose to follow suit with ASRock in releasing firmware for unannounced processors, especially seeing as there are usually teething problems with launch day firmware, let alone firmware released months in advance.