Coffee Lake CPUs on Skylake or Kaby-Lake motherboards – Yes it works, but…

Intel officially says that you can’t run Coffee-Lake CPUs on Kaby-Lake systems because the voltages are increased, which is not incorrect but you still can manage with – some risks – to get the new CPU running on the older 100/200 chipsets.

 

Bios upgrade
VBIOS update procedure. Picture Source: elisw over win-raid.com

 

Guide available

The user elisw from the win-raid forum was so kind to provide the most advanced guide I found on the internet in order to get your CL CPU running on ‘old’ Kaby-Lake chipsets. It should be mentioned that the guide is based on the previous community work and their findings.

The entire procedure does come with some risks to brick the hardware or to do permanent damage to it, so be warned, of course in such a case I not need to mention that you lose your warranty and if someone is to blame, then it’s you cause you take the risk and the decision.

Limitations aka README

  • You might brick your hardware!
  • Your warranty is lost.
  • No one is responsible if something happened except you!
  • Quad Core Coffee Lakes are confirmed to work for sure. Other CPU’s are known to be ‘problematic‘.
  • Asrock Boards were modded successfully and nobody knows how to do this on non-Asrock boards simply because PCIe goes missing after the modification. A possible fix for Asus boards can be found here.
  • In case you want to do this procedure on Asus boards, read this.
  • Ensure you choose the correct Intel ME firmware afterwards, otherwise, some components are possible wrongly detected or some hardware components might misbehave.

Requirements

There some requirements and the win-raid forum doesn’t allow you to get the listed programs, so I provide a mirror on my own.

  1. UEFI BIOS Updater (UBU) in version 1.69.11 or higher (source)
  2. Intel Binary Modification Program (BMP) v2.6.7 (source)
  3. VBios and BSF Package
  4. AMI Aptio V UEFI MMTool v5.0.0.7 or higher (source)
  5. (optional) PCIe Patcher 1.4 (source)
  • Unpack the UEFI BIOS Updater (UBU) folder this will be your main working folder!
  • Install Intel BMP on your PC, it will be used to prepare the updated vBIOS.
  • Copy the VBIOS_and_BSF / SKLKBL folder into the UBU folder.
  • Check that the MMTool.exe is correctly named and insert it in the UBU folder, don’t rename MMTool.exe!
  • Leave a copy of the BIOS to be changed in the UBU folder.
  • In the folder UBU / modules / mCode replace the file “sel1151.bat” with this one here. You can insert and override it, these two files will basically allow the Coffee-Lake microcode to be inserted semi-automatically during the patch process.

The entire folder with all tools can be found here.

Patching process

The entire process with pictures can be found here. In order to update the microcode check this post.

Tested Boards

  • Gigabyte H110/i3 8100 – Confirmed (forums)
  • MSI Z170/i3 8100 – Confirmed, see YouTube video above
  • ASRock B250 – Confirmed (forums)
  • Asrock H110M-HDS – Confirmed (forums)
  • MSI B150 – Confirmed (forums)
  • Gigabyte Z270 – Confirmed (forums)
  • ASUS H110M-A/M.2 Confirmed (PCIe issue) (forums)

Closing Words

It’s not a perfect solution but at least it’s a solution if you like to run e.g. a Coffee-Lake i5 CPU on an older chipset, there some drawbacks like broken PCIe but some finding users were able to ‘correct’ this with an additional patch.

The community yet again shows that if you spent enough effort on something you get a surprising result, in this case, you get a brand new CPU working without buying another chipset/board – I think that can be worth the risk if you anyway are official forced to buy a new motherboard, the possible CPU damage is almost not existent as long you’re not overclock, but this isn’t tutorial relevant since you always run into possible problems once you decided to go the OC way and that’s same as this guide p to you if you follow this path or not.

I’m eat for more hardware mods.

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