Intel’s 8th-gen Core processors are available starting today. Code-named “Coffee Lake,” the new chips that were introduced last month offer better up to 25 percent better all-around performance than their 7th-gen “Kaby Lake” predecessors.

The new mainstream desktop chips also include the first quad-core Core i3 desktop processor and the first hexa-core Core i5 desktop chip.

Prices start at just $117 for the new Core i3-8100 desktop CPU. The only catch? You’ll probably need a new motherboard to use the new chips.

That’s because the new chips only support boards with Intel 300 series chipsets. That means you’ll need to spend a little more to upgrade an existing desktop… which makes me wonder whether it’s really worth buying a Core i3-8100 chip at this point unless you’re already planning to build a new desktop from scratch and you were going to need a mainboard anyway.

Most folks will probably get the new chips when they buy a new desktop that has them pre-installed though. Expect to see a bunch of Coffee Lake-powered desktops in the coming months.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the new chips isn’t how they compare to earlier Intel desktop processors… but how they compare to AMD’s Ryzen processors in terms of price, performance, and CPU count. In the past if you’ve wanted more than 4-cores in a desktop chip, Intel has charged a premium price for its high-end processors. The company’s highest-price Core i9-7980XE is an 18-core chip that sells for $2000, or about twice as much as the 16-core AMD Threadripper 1950X.

But the new Core i7-8700K hexa-core chip is a $360 processor that goes head-to-head with AMD’s similarly-priced Ryzen 7 1700X octa-core processor according to early reviews.

In other words Intel is taking the challenge from AMD’s Ryzen chips seriously, which is great news for folks looking for affordable multi-core desktop chips this year.



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6 replies on “Intel Coffee Lake (8th-gen Core desktop chips) now available for $117 and up”

  1. It’s rather funny (and predictable) that Intel has 1-upped itself in reaction to the threat of Zen, otherwise they’d still be churning out lazy updates to keep milking the market – so thanks AMD, right?

  2. You gotta love AMD. If they had never been we’d be looking at a Pentium 12 right about now. It would be $1700 for the cheapest one and be perhaps 40% faster than a Pentium 2.

  3. Sorry Brad, you’re wrong.
    This is a paper launch. As I said earlier, Coffee Lake was supposed to be unveiled coming soon and then launched in Q2 2018. However, because of Intel milking its customers with Kaby Lake (no improvement over Sky Lake)… followed shortly by AMD’s successful Ryzen launch. They were put into a difficult position.

    Reviewers have had their hands on these recently (2 days now 😛 ), so expect to see benchmarks soon. Unless people have signed the optional NDA, so we should see other benchmarks trickle down in the coming weeks. So reviewers and key members have these units… thus it is damage control to build-up mindshare, and slow-down people from upgrading to Ryzen.

    Right now, we’re seeing around ~97% (95-105%) single-core performance of Sky/Kaby Lake. However, with an impressive total/multicore performance of ~128% (120-150%) of Sky/Kaby Lake. Thermals are equal between the three. Overclocking surprisingly looks very good too. However, power consumption seems to have increased to ~118% (110-140%). Overall, the efficiency has definitely increased at the high-end, and we can only guess as to how that transfers to the low-power end.

    Coming back, wholesalers and retailers really don’t have any stock, and won’t see any units until at least Boxing Day/Christmas this year. Possible shortages might even extend all the way to midyear 2018. Now, there are very few units distributed around, we are talking about 10 processors total for the next 2 months for whole countries. And even worse for other demographics. Hence, paper launch.

    I can say Ryzen is still the overall better choice (value-wise, longer platform support, cheaper motherboards, etc etc)… however Intel’s 8th-gen is much more compelling than Sky/Kaby Lake. The i7-8700k is currently the “no compromise” choice to offer decent productivity and great gaming performance. The other models are slightly less impressive due to competitors, especially since the price of the CPU’s and the (new 370) Motherboard’s take their effect in the real-world/market.

      1. NewEgg has the i7, i5, and i3 along with some level of motherboards. The i7 is out of stock – Leaving the top end of coverage pretty slumped.

        1. Nate, Kris, and other readers, here’s just to address the neg voters to my comment above.

          A paper launch is when a company releases a product to appease market trends, investors, and make a “historic” argument, however, they aren’t capable or able to actually support and/or supply the product or service.

          Imagine, hypothetically, if Apple said they launched the world’s first phone with a 64-bit processor in 2013… however the iPhone 5S was in very limited supply, say only a very limited 5,000 units and the actual device didn’t begin selling its first million unit in March 2014. Now if Apple were to go on stage and say “we had 64-bit processors in 2013″… yes, they would TECHNICALLY be correct. However, they would be PRACTICALLY incorrect. Practically or we should just say “really” it was in 2014. A big white lie there.

          The October 2017 Coffee Lake launch is a PAPER LAUNCH.
          I couldn’t find stock anywhere, and the major retailers told me they are waiting on info from Intel about when the stock would be available. And the best answer I got was “probably December, close to Christmas”.

          I will grant you, that availability is better in mainland USA…… compared to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico… and Canada, and Australia, and New Zealand, and South Africa, and United Kingdom….. and France, and Spain, and Italy, and Germany, and Switzerland, and Denmark, and Sweden, and Israel, and UAE, and Hong Kong, and South Korea, and Japan. These are all places with heavy USA influence, or, are first-world/developed nations with very high demand AND disposable income for these products. Yet, little to none of these areas can get their hands on it (besides reviewers)… hmmm?

          If you don’t believe me, sure, that’s okay.
          But even Anandtech is giving you the SAME information that I am giving you:

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