For a long time you could count the performance improvement percentage of a new Intel-generation using the fingers of two hands. However, in the latest Core i7-series Intel takes a big step forward with 50% more cores: it has been quite a while since upgrading looked so attractive. Unfortunately you do need a new motherboard for this. Luckily there is a lot to choose from: we tested 17 Intel Z370-motherboards. Which one should you get?
As we wrote in our Intel Coffee Lake review, the new processors use the exact same socket 1151 as the Skylake- and Kaby Lake-generations. This means that physically speaking an old processor does fit into a Z370-motherboard, but because of the different pin layout that was needed to power the extra cores, it will not work. It is the same vice versa.
For now there is only one new chipset available for the new generation processors: the Intel Z370. This is of course the successor of the Z270, and in terms of feature set they are very comparable. Among other things it allows you to overclock and Nvidia SLI is possible (on certified boards).
Successors to the B250-, H270- and H110-chipsets are also in the making, but according to the current roadmaps we can expect them early next year. If you want to purchase a Coffee Lake-CPU right now, you are required to use a motherboard with the Z370-chipset.
For this review we tested no less than 17 Intel Z370-motherboards manufactured by ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI. Their prices range from 150 dollars up to nearly 590 dollars, so there is something for everyone.