As you may already know by now, Intel has been struggling with its 10nm process fabrication node since quite some time. Both the upcoming Rocket Lake-S desktop platform and the Comet Lake-S lineup are also fabbed on the 14nm process node, with Rocket Lake CPU using an advanced 14nm node.
The lack of consumer 10nm desktop CPUs has held Intel back in terms of IPC uplift and efficiency gains over AMD’s Ryzen lineup. The next gen Alder Lake-S Core processors are said to be the company’s first 10nm SuperFin-based mainstream desktop SKUs. Intel has been using the 10nm process to manufacture most of its Mobile processors, starting from the “Cannon Lake” architecture and beyond.
But what if you want to install and use a 10nm mobile processor on your desktop PC ? Well, one user on AliExpress is selling a rather bizarre looking modified processor, which happens to be a Comet Lake mobile CPU with a built-in interposer, which allows this mobile CPU to be easily supported on LGA 1151-based desktop motherboards.
The CPU carries the code “QTJ2”, and sports 6 cores and 12 threads with a base frequency of 2.4GHz and a boost clock of 4.3GHz, respectively. This happens to be some sort of an early engineering sample, which never made into production, though we are still not fully sure about this.
This mobile CPU supports the following chipsets: H110, B150, Q150, Q170, H170, Z170, C232, C236, B250, Q270, H270, Z270, H310C, B365, and Z370, and supports memory speeds up to DDR4 2666/2900. The processor can also be easily overclocked, with all cores hitting 4.0GHz.
The closest CPU we can compare this would be the Core i7-10750H Comet Lake SKU with lower clocks, and when it comes to the gaming and overall performance, this processor can even match the performance of the Core i7-8700K CPU.
But compatibility is still an issue, since this mobile chip isn’t compatible with LGA 1151 motherboards without a BIOS modification. However, the company will customize and modify your motherboard’s BIOS so that you can easily install this chip on your desktop PC.
This is the current motherboard compatibility chart, highlighting some important points in the Notes section as well:
As you can see from the above chart, only select 100 series, 200 series, and 300-series boards are supported. Z390, H370, Q370, B360, and H310 chipsets are not in the support list, so just make sure your motherboard chipset can support this mobile chip before you do any purchase.
To quote the seller and the company, via translation:
“Purchase note: to purchase CPU, you must refresh my customized BIOS. The buyer needs to provide the specific model of the motherboard to customer service. Our store will judge whether the motherboard has a suitable BIOS, and then provide the BIOS to the buyer by email. If the BIOS chip of the motherboard can be disassembled, the customer service will send a BIOS chip together with the CPU to you for free.
Of course, if you have a motherboard you like or you have a motherboard of your own, you can chat with me privately and ask if it is compatible. If you can, I will send BIOS to you by email.”
“Please know about the products before you buy. If you have any questions, please consult. The shelf life of the goods is 90 days. We will actively solve any quality problems. If you don’t want it because of your own problems, please bear the return freight. Personal company website: www.10729.net”.
There is also one important thing to consider. You may be required to use and install a CPU cooler which is only having a flat or even surface, meaning coolers with heat pipes that directly contact the CPU will not work, because the QTJ2 mobile CPU does not have an IHS.
But should you purchase such a processor for your personal gaming desktop PC ? The answer is obviously NO, since this whole BIOS and CPU modification process is officially unsupported by Intel, and the seller‘s third party company can only offer you any kind of “after sales” service. So there is a risk factor involved.
Ironically if you say, it’s still cool witnessing a “mobile” Comet Lake chip working on a desktop computer. This is the only 10nm consumer processor chip which can be currently installed on a desktop PC.
However, should you plan to buy this mobile SKU, then after flashing the BIOS; it might be a good idea to clear the CMOS as well. You can use the CMOS CLRTC jumper on the board to do that. Short it for 3 seconds.
Also, the default PCIE speed in the BIOS is set to Gen 2 x16. The newer revision interposers can now do PCIE Gen 3 x16. This can be manually enabled in the BIOS; however, it has little to no impact on the performance unless you are using very bandwidth hungry devices or applications.
If you need to use PCIE bifurcation, you need to short the pins as shown below, with a pencil or a conductive tape.
Stay tuned for more tech news!