Intel launches 8th Gen Coffe Lake processors alongside new unlocked variants

The six-core Coffee Lake die. Source Intel

The six-core Coffee Lake die. Source Intel

The biggest drawback of Intel's 8th Gen Core Coffee Lake CPUs is that these won't work in Z270 motherboards, and will need the new Z370 chipset motherboards.

Other members of the 8th Gen Core i desktop family, which are built on Intel's 14-nanometer++ Coffee Lake architecture, include its first six-core, six-thread Core i5 and four-core, four-thread Core i3 desktop processors.

Intel targets high-end gamers with 8th-generation desktop chips coming Oct. 5

The top-of-the-line 17-8700K features six cores and 12 threads, 12MB of L3 cache, and a boost clock up to 4.7GHz. "Our 8th Gen Intel Core desktop processors deliver tremendous improvements across the board and - for gamers, in particular- offer an unbeatable experience". Retail pricing will, naturally, be higher in all case. As usual, along with the regular SKUs, Intel has also announced the performance aimed unlocked K processors.

The core i3-8350k is clocked at 4GHz and the i3-8100 is clocked at 3.6GHz, Core i3 8th gen processor does not supports turbo boost. As usual, the processors will range from the Core i3 to the Core i7 variants for the different range of users. If you do have the 7th-gen Core i7 chip and want an upgrade, it won't be a simple chip swap. All this is possible due to the Intel Turbo Boost Technology which makes the Core i7-8700K a powerhouse of speed and performance for both single and multithread applications.

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The new range, Intel said, will improve the frame rate on demanding games such as Gears of War 4 by up to 25 percent over last year's Kaby Lake chips. The Core i5 family never had Hyper-Threading, so that's no different, but Intel is bumping its core count to six cores, up from four. Coffee Lake also brings along official support for DDR4-2666 memory speeds, a nice bump up from the DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2133 speeds that were supported by the Z270 and Z170 chipsets, respectively.

"This final piece of the puzzle rounds out the availability of the Intel Core X-series processor family, providing content creators and enthusiasts with the much-anticipated Extreme Edition, the most extreme desktop processor ever introduced", Intel said. 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. The lower base clocks compared to Kaby Lake chips is likely a symptom of Intel's TDP-saving efforts. AMD gets a larger benefit out of SMT than Intel does, but this will be a tough fight.

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