Intel earlier today has officially taken the curtains off its next-generation desktop lineup of processors. Intel hopes that its 8th generation CPUs will be the answer to AMD’s competition call when it launches on October 5, 2017.
There is much to talk about the new processors but perhaps the most exciting update is the fact that Intel is now finally upgrading core count across all of its processors. Both Kaby Lake-R lineup announced last month and Coffee Lake-S lineup unveiled today feature two more cores than their predecessors. Core i7 and Core i5 both now offer six cores with the Core i3 now offering four physical cores. This major update is thanks to AMD’s Ryzen processors which have attracted many with its high core count and low price tags, something Intel quickly needed to respond to. The crown jewel of the lineup is Intel’s Core i7 8700K as well as the non-K Core i7 8700, featuring 6 cores and 12 threads. Moving down a little we see Core i5 8600K and Core i5 8400, now also with 6 cores but no hyperthreading as you’d normally expect with Core i5s. However, Core i3 gets no hyperthreading this time but the good news is that Core i3 8350K and Core i3 8100 now have four physical cores instead of two. Also coming with Coffee Lake-S are the new Z370 motherboards. It was surprising to see a socket update since Coffee Lake-S is built on the same, but a more refined, 14nm process, which Intel calls “14nm++”.
Due to higher core count and the need to keep thermals in check, base clockspeeds have taken a little hit, but that shouldn’t be a problem with Turbo Boost reaching up to 4.7Ghz on the Core i7 8700K. Price has also taken a hit, the Core i7 8700K now costs about $55 more than the Core i7 7700K and the Core i5 8600K about $40 more than the Core i5 7600K.
Despite Ryzen’s amazing price-to-performance ratio, if there’s one segment where Intel CPUs reigned supreme, it was gaming. Intel remained undefeated in gaming performance where the blue team’s single-core performance raced past the competition. Looking at a six core proposition from Intel things will only get more interesting. Intel claims that Core i7 8700K showed up to 25% performance improvement over the Core i7 7700K when tested in Gears of War 4’s benchmark mode. All of that will be revealed once reviews go live on launch day.
It is an exciting time to be shopping for a CPU. We have AMD back in action and Intel responding with better updates. The fierce competition has revitalized the CPU market and given more options to the consumer.