Introduction

With the newest Ryzen processors launched back in March,  AMD has created quite a shift in the CPU market. Ryzen offer 4,6 and 8 core CPUs starting from the Ryzen 3 lineup up to the Ryzen 7 platform with almost all processors supporting hyperthreading with the Ryzen 7 featuring 16 threads and the Ryzen 3 actually competing against Intel’s i3 processors. Ryzen processors are great for multitasking and do a fairly decent job in games.


 

Intel’s newest Coffee Lake CPUs 

Intel has lost a fair amount of customers who have decided to switch over to AMD’s Ryzen and has decided to strike back with the release of their new Coffee Lake CPUs. The interesting part is that Intel’s successors to the Kabylake i7 and i5 series of CPUs will feature 6 cores instead of 4 with the top of the line i7 8700 and i7 8700k featuring 6 cores and 12 threads, while the successor to the i5 7600k will come with 6 cores and 6 threads.

The i3 Coffee Lake CPUs will get an upgrade to 4 cores and 4 threads and we can expect similar performance to the i5 Kabylake CPUs from these chips. Intel promised that the shift from Kabylake to Coffee Lake will be significantly better than any previous generation leap, offering an 11% increase in single-core performance and up to 50% in multi-core applications due to the extra two cores and threads on the i7 and i5 Coffee Lake processors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is the first time that Intel offers 6 cores to the mainstream market and, although benchmarks are not officially released yet, we can expect great gaming performance out of those chips as well as a huge increase in multitasking performance. After the disappointing Skylake-X and Kabylake-X releases for which you can find out more here, Intel seems to have gotten back into the game competing against AMD who are selling one Ryzen processor after another.


 

 

Coffee Lake Release Date and Pricing

Coffee Lake is expected to launch on October 5th worldwide. The launch date is just around the corner and if you are a gamer and do not want to sacrifice any gaming performance while still be able to stream and multitask at the same time, you should be getting excited about the release of Coffee Lake and official benchmarks.

Pricing starts off at 117$ for the lowest model, the i3 8100 and reaches the 359$ price mark for the 8700k, making them more expensive than the Kabylake series of processors. However, if you consider the extra cores and threads on the i5 and i7 lineup the price increase is justifiable, at least in my opinion.


 

Specifications

  • i7

The i7 lineup consists of the 8700 and 8700k. Both processors have 6c/12t, with hyperthreading enabled. The 8700k comes with a TDP of 95W, while the 8700 has a
65W TDP.

The 8700k has a base clock of 3,7 GHz with a Single-Core Boost Clock of 4,7 GHz and a Hexa-Core Boost of 4,3 GHz. The 8700 has a base clock of 3,2 GHz, a Single-Core Boost Clock of 4,6 GHz and the same boost clock on all six cores as the 8700k.

  • i5

The i5 lineup consists of the 8400 and 8600k. Both processors have 6c/6t, with hyperthreading disabled. The 8600k has a TDP of 95 W while the 8400 has a 65W TDP.
The 8600k has a base clock of 3,6 GHz with a boost clock of 4,1 GHz and the 8400 has a base clock of 2,8 GHz with a 3,8 GHz boost clock.

 

  • i3

    The i5 lineup consists of the 8100 and 8350k. Both processors have 4c/4t, with hyperthreading disabled. The 8350k has a TDP of 91 W while the 8100 has a 65W TDP.
    The 8350k has a base clock of 4 GHz and the 8100 has a base clock of 3,6 GHz. Boost clocks are not yet available for these processors.


 

Memory Compatibility and Chipset

In order to use a new Coffee Lake processor, you will have to buy a new Z370 motherboard. While Intel could have made these chips backward compatible with Z270 and Z170 boards on the 1151 Socket, they chose to bring out a new chipset with better power delivery for the increased amount of cores. While compatibility with the previous chipset may be possible, it is not recommended by Intel.

The fact that Intel’s new Coffee lake CPUs will be hosted on a new platform, memory compatibility is limited to 2666MHz for the i7 and i5 processors and 2400 MHz for the i3 ones currently with future BIOS updates addressing this issue.


 

Z370 Features

The Z370 motherboard chipset offers a handful of new features, the most eye-popping of which include:

  • NextGen Optane Memory Support
  • Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbit/s)
  • C8 Support

Intel makes it once more clear that the Z370 chipset is incompatible with the current Kabylake lineup of CPUs, although it seems that Z370 is just a Kabylake refresh chipset.


 

Overclocking

Overclocking is again limited to the -k chips only. Intel’s processors are widely known for their great overclocking potential and if we look at the i7 7700k and i5 7600k we should be able to see almost even better results with the Coffee Lake CPUs. Although it is yet to be seen how well the six core CPUs will overclock, due to their increased amount of cores. It is a fact that fewer cores overclock better than lots of cores.  An unofficial overclocker is rumored to have gotten the i7 8700k to 4,8 GHz but that is yet to be confirmed by official overclocking results.


 

Are Coffee Lake processors worth the wait?

Intel has been quite counter-productive the last decade offering only incremental upgrades from generation to generation. However, after the introduction of Ryzen and the huge market shift towards AMD, Intel has finally decided to shake things up and innovate bringing something fresh and new to the table. The shift from 4 cores to 6 cores on the mainstream market is something both gamers and content creators should be happy about.

While a Ryzen 7 would still be the best choice for someone who is heavily multitasking due to its 8 cores and 16 threads, Coffee lake should be the best option for those who want to multitask but still are more focused on gaming. Let’s face it the gaming industry is huge and most users only play games on their systems. With Coffee Lake, multitasking is a viable option while still maintaining and improving upon the great gaming performance offered by the Kabylake series of CPUs.

It would be nice to see Intel getting more competitive at pricing with its flagship 8700k costing 359$ which is a lot if you take into account that the Ryzen 1700 costs around 320-330$. Anyway, Intel was never known for their competitive pricing but, at least we can get a great all around mainstream CPU from Intel which handles both gaming and multitasking well.

Still, the Ryzen 5 1600 is the best bang for the buck with its 6c/12t at 219$. The 8700k sits right in between the 1600 and 1600x in synthetic benchmarks while being significantly better in gaming scenarios.

To sum up, Intel seems to have finally gotten out of their year to year blunt upgrade circle and to have ultimately stroke back at AMD. October the 5th is not far away and in a few days, we will be able to see what Intel’s Coffee Lake processors are all about. We should not forget that Cannon Lake is set to be released in late 2018 featuring 7nm processors, a direct answer to Ryzen 2 coming also in late 2018 or early 2019.

Competiton is always good for the consumer and AMD’s most important part was that they got the competition going again which was apparently absent for almost a decade now. It is a great time for Pc Enthusiasts with the CPU market being more competitive than ever.


If you liked my review make sure to leave a comment below. What do you think of Intel’s new Coffee Lake processors? Can they win customers from AMD back? I am eager to read your opinions in the comment section below.