Intel’s 8th-gen desktop processors will hit the streets October 5th. The new processors, formerly known by the codename “Coffee Lake” include the first Core i3 desktop chips with 4 CPU cores and the first Core i5 desktop chips with 6 cores.

Overall, Intel says its Coffee Lake chips will offer up to a 25 percent performance boost over their 7th-gen counterparts when it comes to gaming, and up to a 32 percent boost in 4K video editing, even though the new chips are manufactured using the same 14nm process.

There is a downside though: if you’re hoping to upgrade your Kaby Lake desktop to Coffee Lake, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard.

That likely won’t be an issue for folks who just get an 8th-gen desktop chip when buying their next computer. But upgraders will need to buy a new motherboard designed with Intel’s new Z370 chipset.

Intel says that’s because it has improved power delivery for hexa-core processors, memory routing support for DDR4-2666 RAM, and enhanced package power delivery for overclocking. But the company requires Z370 chipset motherboards even if you’re using one of its 8th-gen chips that doesn’t support all those features.

Here’s an overview of the first 8th-gen Intel Core desktop chips:

 Name Freq Turbo Cores/Threads TDP Smart Cache Unlocked? Price
 Core i7-8700K  3.7 GHz  4.7 GHz  6/12  95W  12 MB  Y $359
 Core i7-8700  3.2 GHz  4.6 GHz  6/12  65W  12 MB  N $303
 Core i5-8600K  3.6 GHz 4.3 GHz  6/6  95W  9 MB  Y $257
 Core i5-8400  2.8 GHz  4 GHz  6/6  65W  9 MB  N $182
 Core i3-8350K  4 GHz  N/A  4/4  91W  6 MB  Y $168
 Core i3-8100  3.6 GHz  N/A  4/4  65W  6 MB  N $117

The Core i3 chips support DDR4-2400 dual-channel memory, while the Core i5 and Core i7 chips support DDR4-2666.

The K series chips are aimed at enthusiasts who want to squeeze more power out of their processors. They can be overclocked to higher levels than previous Intel chips and support per-for overclocking.

Intel calls the Core i7-8700K its “best gaming desktop processor,” thanks to a range of features including its high core and thread count, support for overclocking, and support for up to 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Technically, the company’s recently launched Core i9 X-series processors are more powerful, but they’re also a lot more expensive, with prices ranging from $1200 to $2000. They’re also probably overkill for most consumer-oriented tasks.

The 14-core, 16-core, and 18-core Intel Core X-series “Extreme Edition” Core i9-7940X, Core i9-7960X, and Core i9-7980XE processors are available starting today, buy the way.

While Intel’s 8th-gen desktop chips use the same CPU and GPU architecture as their 7th-gen counterparts, changes to the core count, clock speed, and other features should offer a performance bump.

We’ll probably have to wait until 2018 to see Intel’s first 10nm processors using a new “Ice Lake” architecture. But for now, Intel’s new chips should help it stay competitive in the desktop space at a time when rival chip maker AMD is making waves with its Ryzen processors that offer a huge performance boost over AMD’s earlier chips, while coming in at lower prices than Intel’s equivalent processors.

Intel still has a major advantage in the laptop space: the company recently launched its 8th-gen “Kaby Lake Refresh” chips for mobile devices, offering up to 40 percent better performance thanks to the move from dual-core to quad-core chips.

AMD has yet to launch its Ryzen mobile processor lineup.

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11 replies on “Intel launches 8th-gen Core “Coffee Lake” chips for desktops: more cores, more overclocking, still 14nm”

    1. You mean like a Gaming Laptop CPU ?
      A Core i7-8700HQ perhaps?

      Maybe not this year, probable in 2018.

  1. Ryzen vs Coffee!

    r3-1200 ($109) vs ($117) i3-8100
    r3-1300x ($129) vs ($117) i3-8100
    r5-1400 ($169) vs ($117) i3-8100
    r5-1500x ($189) vs ($168) i3-8350k
    r5-1600 ($219) vs ($182) i5-8400
    r5-1600x ($249) vs ($257) i5-8600k
    r5-1600x ($249) vs ($303) i7-8700
    r5-1600x ($249) vs ($359) i7-8700k
    r5-1700 ($329) vs ($359) i7-8700k
    r5-1700x ($399) vs ($359) i7-8700k
    r5-1800x ($499) vs ($359) i7-8700k
    r5-1800x ($499) vs ($589) i7-7820X

      1. Why?
        I’m comparing, firstly the physical core counts, and secondly the TDP.
        The price comparison comes in third, and SMT/HT comes in forth.

        Can you do a list like that and compare the different chips, please?

        Cheers : )

        1. Haven’t core counts and TDP been some of the most contentious subjects in the AMD/Intel flamewars? Some will claim, for example, that cores-to-cores is not an apples-to-apples comparison since they’re different in frequency, instructions per clock, or other optimizations and features (like threads per core). I’m not going to make a claim either way, but depending on your use case that may be very relevant.

          1. Well, if you nitpick to that degree of course you won’t be able to make any comparisons.

            It’s like saying you cannot compare the latest Toyota Camry to the latest Mazda 6. Sure, they will have their differences and that’s the point.

            I think the list I put is quite good, as it makes a much more linear comparison than 7th-gen Intel. It shows Ryzen and 8th-gen Intel are more comparable.

            However, there will definitely be some external differences in Price, Motherboards, RAM speeds, and iGPU performance (AMD systems will have to rely on the RX550 or something else).

          2. Look, I don’t have any stake in the holy war. I think you can compare a Toyota to a Mazda since there are some measures like horsepower and torque which are easily apples to apples. Benchmark scores might get you closer, but comparing cores to cores is just silly. You could get higher core counts for a long time on platforms like Xeon, but often with compromises to clock speed, for example. There’s just not enough information. It’s just noise. Two four core processors could be so different as to be almost unrecognizable, like trying to compare a 4-cylinder car engine with a 4-cylinder go cart engine. There’s no rhyme or reason to your juxtaposition, and might be somewhat misleading compared to just a chart listing the prices of each sku.

          3. Ah, I see your point.
            At least you took the trouble of explaining it, rather than just downvoting : )

            I’ve been told that clock-for-clock (eg/ 3.8Ghz vs 3.8GHz), Ryzen actually has a slightly higher IPC, uses lower power, and has a higher total/multithread performance compared to Intel’s 7th-gen.

            I feel like with the 8th-gen, things will be more apple’s to apple’s as it seems like Intel is sacrificing their single-thread behaviour to make their chips more multithreaded. So I believe the clock speeds between the two will get closer, as well as the core count and thread count.

            Guess we won’t know the full deets until we get our hands on it.

  2. Isn’t competition wonderful? All these choices at somewhat reasonable pricing (except for Core i9).

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