After receiving reports yesterday that the successor to the Intel X299 chipset will be the Z399, today rumors suggest that the Z399 chipset will still exist, however it will be forked from the X299 into two chipsets, the Intel Z399 as well as the Intel X599 chipsets. As far as CPU support goes, it’s very likely that Intel will continue to build on its LGA2066 socket powered by the Z399 platform, while the new LGA3647 socket and supported CPUs will fall under the Z599 platform. The move is likely in direct response to AMD’s release of the new Ryzen Threadripper 24 and 32 core HEDT processors which are working hard on stomping out competition with Intel’s current X299 platform.
Competition will definitely be heating up, especially with the introduction of two separate platforms. This will allow Intel to better target end user’s needs more effectively in the HEDT and enterprise scene. The Skylake-X is set to launch later in the year which is rumored to target the $1500 and 24-32-core market segment which competes directly with AMD’s new Threadripper 2990WX processor. CPUs for both platforms will likely fall under the “Skylake-X” naming scheme. The X599 and LGA3647 platform would create a market segment with high core count CPUs under the Skylake-X XCC (Extended Core Count) processors. The Z399 and LGA2066 platform will carry lesser core count processors falling under the Skylake-X LCC and HCC processors.
We recently learned that backwards compatibility between the Z370 and Z390 chipsets was possible. While sockets will remain the same between X299 and Z399 chipsets, it is possible that the new lineup of Skylake-X series processors will work in the Intel X299 platform but this has yet to be confirmed.