Intel's 8th Generation Coffee Lake CPU Family - The First Mainstream Chips From Intel With 6 Cores, 12 Threads

First of all, what is Coffee Lake? In simple terms, Coffee Lake is an improved Kaby Lake that has been made possible with the latest 14nm++ process node. Intel briefed in their webinar before the launch that Coffee Lake is on the same architectural level as Kaby Lake with no changes at all.

Aside from that, the new 14nm process allows for improved power efficiency and higher clock speeds. There's a reason that Intel is bumping up the core count across their entire range of processors. The Intel Core i7 and Core i5 lineup get 6 cores (HT/Non-HT) while the Core i3 lineup gets 4 cores.

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The Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors with 6 cores feature the same TDPs as their predecessors so bumping up the core count hasn't changed the TDP numbers. Actual power consumption may vary during testing real-world applications but for that, you'd have to wait for our review in the coming weeks. You will also note that Intel has given a fairly good bump to both CPU and integrated GPU clock speeds which is only possible with the new and improved 14nm++ process.

Intel Coffee Lake CPUs Have 16 PCIe 3.0 Lanes, PCH Supports 24 PCIe 3.0 Lanes - These Make Up The 40 PCIe Platform Lanes

Now one thing you might have noticed in other articles is that they state the Intel Coffee Lake platform will feature 40 PCIe Lanes. That's true but not entirely an accurate representation. As you see, Intel does have 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes on their upcoming family but those are a combination of CPU and PCH lanes. All Coffee Lake CPUs feature 16 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes while the Z370 PCH features 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes. These make up the 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes that Intel claims of.

This means that people can add in two GPUs for SLI or mGPU support which will be given to the CPU while PCH can allow for additional devices such as PCIe / M.2 storage or Intel Optane support.

The Intel 8th Gen, Unlocked Core Desktop Family Full Specifications and Prices

Intel includes three "K" unlocked CPUs in the lineup while the rest are locked CPUs that don't feature overclocking but great for budget users in their own place. As of right now, the 8th Gen unlocked family consists of the Core i7-8086K, Core i7-8700K, Core i5-8600K and the Core i3-8350K.

Following are the detailed specs for these CPUs:

Intel Core i7-8700K – The Coffee Lake Flagship With 6 Cores and Boost of Up To 5 GHz

The Intel Core i7-8086K processor will be an anniversary model to mark 40 years since the release of Intel’s iconic 8086 microprocessor. This will be the second-anniversary edition mode that Intel has released with the first being the Pentium G3258 which marked the 20th anniversary of Intel’s first Pentium chip.

The Core i7-8086K will be the fastest 6 core processor that Intel has to offer while being similar in core configuration as the Core i7-8700K. It will feature 6 cores, 12 threads and 12 MB of L3 cache. The TDP is maintained at 95 Watts which is the same as the Core i7-8700K. The clock speeds are currently the fastest for an Intel 6 core processor.

A photo of the Intel 8086k processor packaging( Credit: Intel Corporation)

We are looking at a base clock of 4.00 GHz which boosts all the way up to 5.0 GHz. The 5.0 GHz boost clock is single-core and all core boost is rated at 4.4 GHz but mostly stable at 4.3 GHz unless provided proper cooling. The processor is a ‘K’ SKU and can be further overclocked but we don’t expect large gains in overclocking considering the 95W TDP can be a barrier for most users. Still, anything above the 5 GHz mark would be a nice extra gain in performance for enthusiasts. The CPU costs $429 US and is available in very limited quantities due to it being a limited edition variant.

Intel Core i7-8700K – The Performance To Dollar King With 6 Cores and 4.3 GHz Boost Across All Cores

The Intel Core i7-8700K was the flagship processor of the lineup in 2017, however, it was replaced by the 8086K which is the top variant now. It features 6 cores and 12 threads. The chip is fully compatible with the LGA 1151 socket on Z370 motherboards. The chip was Intel’s first hexa core product based on the 14nm++ process node.


In terms of clock speeds, we are looking at a 3.7 GHz base frequency which boosts up to 4.3 GHz (6 core) and 4.7 GHz (1 core). These clocks are really impressive so we can expect much faster gaming performance on Coffee Lake parts than the current generation of CPUs. The chip is fully unlocked allowing for overclocking and comes with a TDP of 95W. There’s 12 MB of L3 cache on board along with a GT2 tier integrated GPU. The chip supports DDR4-2666 MHz memory (native) and up to 4400 MHz+ (OC). The Intel Core i7-8700K costs $359 US so that is about $70 US less than the 8086K.

Intel Core i5-8600K – The Gamer Aimed Hexa Core With Overclocking Capability and 4.3 GHz Boost

The Intel Core i5-8600K is the second unlocked chip in the lineup and features a hexacore design. The Intel Core i5 series will stick with 6 cores but they will not feature a multi-threaded design. The chip features 9 MB of L3 cache while being supported on the LGA 1151 socket and Z370 PCH based boards.


In terms of clock speeds, we are looking at 3.5 GHz base, 4.2 GHz (6 core), 4.3 GHz (1 core) boost clocks. The chip will feature a TDP of 95W and the pricing will be set at $257 US which is just a few bucks over $242 US Price of the Core i5-7600K making it a great option for gamers who want some extra cores inside their rigs.

Intel Core i3-8350K – A Quad Core i3 Processor With 4 GHz Clock Speed

The Intel Core i3-8350K is the only unlocked Core i3 chip in the 8th Gen family that enables overclocking support. Intel’s 8th Gen Core i3 family is also the first to feature 4 cores which will be a great deal for budget builders. The Intel Core i3-8350K comes with 4 cores and 4 threads that are clocked at 4.0 GHz. The chip features 6 MB of cache and will feature a TDP of 91W.

Intel Coffee Lake 8th Gen Desktop Core Lineup:

CPU NameIntel Core i3-8100Intel Core i3-8350KIntel Core i5-8400Intel Core i5-8600KIntel Core i7-8700Intel Core i7-8700KIntel Core i7-8086K
CPU FamilyCoffee Lake-SCoffee Lake-SCoffee Lake-SCoffee Lake-SCoffee Lake-SCoffee Lake-SCoffee Lake-S
CPU Process14nm14nm14nm14nm14nm14nm14nm
CPU Cores4466666
CPU Threads4466121212
Base Clock3.60 GHz4.00 GHz2.80 GHz3.60 GHz 3.20 GHz3.70 GHz4.00 GHz
Boost Clock (Max)N/AN/A4.00 GHz4.30 GHz4.60 GHz4.70 GHz5.00 GHz
Boost Clock (6 Core)N/AN/A3.50 GHz4.40 GHz4.20 GHz4.30 GHz4.30 GHz
L2 Cache1 MB (256 KB per Core)1 MB (256 KB per Core)1.5 MB (256 KB per Core)1.5 MB (256 KB per Core)1.5 MB (256 KB per Core)1.5 MB (256 KB per Core)1.5 MB (256 KB per Core)
L3 Cache6 MB6 MB9 MB9 MB12 MB12 MB12 MB
Overclocking SupportNoYesNoYesNoYesYes
Socket SupportLGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151
Price$117 US$168 US$182 US$257 US$303 US$359 US$429 US

Intel Details Overclocking and Gaming Performance Figures - Our Advice, Wait For Reviews

Intel also detailed some performance numbers for their Coffee Lake processors. First of all, we have overclocking details. Intel claims that Coffee Lake processors are the best chips designed for overclocking. There is a range of new features supported by the chips which include:

  • Per Core Overclocking
  • Max Memory Ratio Up To 8400 MT/s
  • Real-time Memory Latency Control
  • Extended PLL Trim Controls
  • Enhanced Package Power Delivery

The combination of these tools and features will presumably deliver better overclocking and even faster performance out of the chips. In terms of pure gaming performance, Intel says that the Core i7-8700K, when paired with a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti class graphics card delivers up to 195 FPS in the Gears of War 4 title, that's a 25% increase in FPS over the Core i7-7700K.

The extra number of cores also deliver better streaming performance that is a must in today's gaming ecosystem. We can see up to 45% better performance in Player Unknown Battlegrounds while gaming, streaming and also recording at the same time versus a Core i7-7700K. Compared to a 3-year-old PC with something like Haswell or Ivy Bridge inside it, we can see a difference of 2X which sounds great.

Intel Coffee Lake PCB Thickness Compared To Kaby Lake and Core X Processors

Wccftech Rating

The Intel Core i7-8086K features great performance out of the box and celebrates one of the most iconic moment in the x86 architecture history but the Core i7-8700K does almost everything that the 8086K could do for $70 US less.

  • Great out of the box performance (4 GHz base / 5 GHz boost clocks)
  • Fastest Intel 6 core processor as of right now
  • Faster multitasking performance
  • Excellent Gaming performance
  • Features enhanced 14nm++ process node and 6/12 core config
  • Over 4 GHz boost across all cores at stock configuration
  • Great overclocking capabilities
  • Very high price ($429 US)
  • Very high power consumption when overclocked
  • Very high temperatures when overclocked
  • Performance not that great when compared to the Core i7-8700K (both stock and overclocked)

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