With the news that ASUS will be supporting Intel’s fifth-generation Broadwell socketed processors, the CPU landscape just got a whole lot messier. I’m still no closer to answering whether people should be buying up these chips or waiting for Skylake, as both are good buys and are also the first generation of their kind. Both are also debuting on sockets that will be dead within three years, so there’s that as well. But the silver lining is that you will be able to buy brand new boards today and have them compatible with Broadwell a little down the line.
Jut like ASUS, ASRock will only support Broadwell on boards sporting the H97 or Z97 chipset. This is because there are a few changes to the socket itself and the way it delivers power to the CPU components, a necessary change that was instituted by the Haswell Refresh (aka Devil’s Canyon) processors. While ASRock doesn’t have a full list available of compatible boards, just choosing one with a compatible chipset will be enough – even at the basic level, there are H97-based boards with a 3+1 phase setup for delivering power to the CPU, plenty of room for a 65W processor.
If you want to be prepared for the release of Broadwell with the proper chipset, the cheapest Z97 motherboard on the market now is the ASRock Z97 Anniversary. Originally designed to allow for overclocking the Pentium G3258 at a low price, this is the board to get to enable just basic overclocking on the K-series Broadwell chips (and only the K-series ones will be available). It is rather pointless to buy a H97 board and a K-series chip because there’s no guarantees that you’ll be able to overclock it.
There’s no set release date for Broadwell-K but there might be a chance of a launch Window in mid-April, which gives Intel enough time to clear out some inventory before they get themselves and their partners ready for the Skylake release that will take place later this year around September 2015.