Intel Announces 8th Gen Core Architecture, Coffee Lake

Subject: Processors, Chipsets | September 24, 2017 - 11:03 PM |
Tagged: Z370, Intel, coffee lake

The official press deck for Coffee Lake-S was leaked to the public, so Intel gave us the go-ahead to discuss the product line-up in detail (minus benchmarks). While the chips are still manufactured on the 14nm process that Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Broadwell were produced on, there’s more on them. The line-up is as follows: Core i3 gets quad-core without HyperThreading and no turbo boosting, Core i5 gets six-core without HyperThreading but with Turbo boosting, and Core i7 gets six-core with HyperThreading and Turbo boosting.

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While the slide deck claims that the CPU still has 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, the whole platform supports up to 40. They specifically state “up to” over and over again, so I’m not sure whether that means “for Z370 boards” or if there will be some variation between individual boards. Keep in mind that only 16 lane of this are from the processor itself, the rest are simply a part of the chipset. This unchanged from Z270.

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Moving on, Intel has been branding this as “Intel’s Best Gaming Desktop Processor” all throughout their presentation. The reasoning is probably two-fold. First, this is the category of processors that high-end, mainstream, but still enthusiast PC gamers target. Second, gaming, especially at super-high frame rates, is an area that AMD has been struggling with on their Ryzen platform.

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Speaking of performance, the clock rate choice is quite interesting compared to Kaby Lake. In all cases, the base clock had a little dip from the previous generation, but the Turbo clock, if one exists, has a little bump. For instance, going from the Core i7-7700k to the Core i7-8700k, your base clock drops from 4.2 GHz to just 3.7 GHz, but the turbo jumps up from 4.5 GHz to 4.7 GHz. You also have a little more TDP to work with (95W vs 91W) with the 8700k. I’m not sure what this increase variance between low and high clock rates will mean, but it’s interesting to see Intel making some sort of trade-off on the back end.

(Editor's note: the base clock is only going to be a concern when running all cores for a long period of time. I fully expect performance to be higher for CFL-S parts than KBL-S parts in all workloads.)

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The last thing that I’ll mention is that, of the two i3s, the two i5s, and the two i7s, one is locked (and lower TDP) and one is unlocked. In other words, Intel has an unlocked solution in all three classifications, even the i3. Even though it doesn’t have a turbo clock setting, you can still overclock it by hand if you desire.

Prices range from $117 to $359 USD, as seen in the slide, above. They launch on October 5th.


September 24, 2017 | 11:15 PM - Posted by Buyers

"Core i3 gets quad-core with HyperThreading but no turbo boosting"
The processor chart at the bottom shows the i3 as having 4/4 (cores/threads), which means not hyperthreading. According to that chart, only the i7 has it.

September 24, 2017 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Fixed, thanks!

September 25, 2017 | 02:06 AM - Posted by Ss3trnks2

You think were are finally back to having just the locked and unlocked (K) models only again, or are we gonna keep seeing the U, S, and Y jazz still?

September 25, 2017 | 01:45 PM - Posted by psuedonymous

-U and -Y are the low-power models for laptops/NUCs/etc. You rarely if ever see socketed versions (and if they do exist in theory, getting your hands on one at retail is another matter). -S has been replaced by -T, which are the not-quite-as-low-power-but-you-can-have-them-socketed CPUs, but are similarly hard to acquire in practice.

September 24, 2017 | 11:15 PM - Posted by Aelussa (not verified)

That last slide says the Core i3 CPUs have 4 cores and 4 threads. Where are you getting that the i3 has Hyperthreading from?

September 25, 2017 | 12:08 AM - Posted by Manda (not verified)

The problems with this so called 8th gen CPU from Intel:
1. If it's true that Coffe Lake only supported in the new, more expensive MB series (Z370), then why would you buy a locked CPU with it? Or even an i3?
2. No new H or B series MB.
3. It looks like the HT is becoming an endangered technology with Intel.
4. For the one that said so much about glue, the hypocrite is actually the ones that using (cheap) glue (still), not soldered.
5. New CPU with more cores means a rise in the price too? I shudder to think how much they will sell their new 8c16t cpu (with new and more expensive Z390)

September 25, 2017 | 12:38 AM - Posted by AcidSnow

...You know what's kinda sad, is that I'm still using my OC'd i7 920 from 2008 and I can still play every single game on the market at 60FPS without a problem. I can thank the Xbox 360 and PS3 console generation for that (and probably even this console gen too). ...However, I do need to lower the geometry in openworld games, but for a 9 year old CPU, talk about a good investment!

My GPU is an R9 290X, so it picks up the slack of my aging CPU.

September 25, 2017 | 06:44 PM - Posted by Looneyg (not verified)

I am with you bro I got the same processor its still rocking. I just needed to upgrade my graphic card because my old one die now I am using RX 480

September 25, 2017 | 01:14 AM - Posted by BobbyVal (not verified)

Ryzen price drop incoming. AMD panic mode!

September 25, 2017 | 02:27 AM - Posted by Daniel Nielsen (not verified)

Why would they panick, seems like they are doing fine in this market.

September 25, 2017 | 01:22 AM - Posted by Johnny m (not verified)

While the chips are still manufactured on the 14nm process that Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Broadwell were produced on, there’s more on them.

That's not true?

Broadwell & Skylake = 14nm.

Skylake-SP/X & Kaby = 14nm+.

Coffee = 14nm++.

September 25, 2017 | 03:51 AM - Posted by Pholostan

I'm curious about what the all-core turbo will be for longer runs.

September 25, 2017 | 10:21 AM - Posted by CB

Don't know if there will be thermal limits on longer runs, but Intel says all core Turbo is 4.3GHz.

September 25, 2017 | 11:46 AM - Posted by ThinkBeforeLeapingItsThatLongWayDown (not verified)

Yes but for how long before things become throttled and clocks are forced lower?

September 25, 2017 | 08:35 AM - Posted by CB

Man, the 8700K actually looks better than I was anticpating.

I was definitely leaning towards an Ryzen 1700 (and overclocking it) for my next build because something about the "MOAR CORES!" speaks to me, but I'm not so sure now.

Considering that the only demanding thing I do on my PC is game, the 8700k will probably be faster.

Hopefully, as more cores become the norm, developers will start optimizing in that direction.

September 25, 2017 | 10:06 AM - Posted by JoshD (not verified)

Wonder if they are going to stop cheaping out on the thermal interface materials under the heat spreader?
It's hard to trust a company that says they are the premium high quality option, and when they cheap out with such an inferior material especially when good products are readily available.

Also, their budget CPU cooler might be fine for a i3 or Celeron buyer but give the people buying i5's and i7's some love, and include a modern heat sink for high CPUs with some decent headroom.

September 25, 2017 | 11:59 AM - Posted by James

With the machines I use, as soon as all 4 cores are busy, it immediately drops down tho the base clock. This lowering of the base clock doesn't seem like a good thing. Are there any architectural changes to make up for that?

September 25, 2017 | 03:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous5252 (not verified)

Big problem for Ryzen here, $220 ryzen 1700x?

September 27, 2017 | 08:30 AM - Posted by Joel Luthi (not verified)

I just have to see that i3 8350k vs a fx 8350 benchmarks. Also a core 2 duo e8400 vs the i3 e8400 since that's what I used to run but I know that's expecting to much :)

September 27, 2017 | 08:31 AM - Posted by Joel Luthi (not verified)

de derp. i5 8400.

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