Fifth time’s the charm. At least that seems to be the case with Intel’s upcoming fifth round of processors based on the 14nm manufacturing node.
Following the release of the laptop-centric 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh line of CPUs in August 2017, Intel finally revealed its line of 8th-generation Coffee Lake desktop CPUs to the public in October 2017, along with an entire lineup of processors and motherboards.
Then, finally, Intel released a new line of Coffee Lake H- and U-series processors for laptops, including a new Core i9 CPU that will surely be powering the best gaming laptops this year. Intel also announced a line of lower-powered T-series desktop processors.
Despite its earlier, more modest claims, Intel says that the flagship 8th generation Coffee Lake CPU is up to 45% faster than its Kaby Lake counterpart – which goes a long way to Intel’s requirement for users to upgrade to a new motherboard by moving all Coffee Lake processors to the Z370 Chipset – even though some clever modders found a way to make them work on older boards.
Unfortunately, Coffee Lake CPUs were subject to the Spectre and Meltdown exploits, but Intel says that their CPUs will soon be immune, and fixes are currently being rolled out.
Unsurprisingly, the lineup includes processors in each of the Core i3, i5, i7, and the new i9 categories.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Intel’s 8th-generation desktop CPU architecture
- When is it out? October 5th
- What will it cost? From $117 (about £85, AU$145) – $359 (about £265, AU$450)
Intel Coffee Lake release date
The Intel Coffee Lake processors finally touched down on October 5, 2017. Intel has also announced a new line of 8th generation Coffee Lake CPUs featuring Radeon RX Vega graphics that should be out sometime in the coming months.
Originally, in February 2017, Intel stated that Coffee Lake would surface in the latter half of the year. Intel reassured us of this claim at Computex 2017 held in Taipei, Taiwan.
Later into 2017, the Santa Clara chipmaker came out and teased an August 21 livestream reveal of its 8th-generation processors, which turned out to be a refresh of its 7th-generation processors for Ultrabooks and laptops, called Kaby Lake Refresh.
Then, most recently in 2018, H-series Intel Core CPUs should be releasing throughout April alongside several high-profile laptops. We should also see Intel’s low-power T-series desktop chips releasing over the next few weeks. Pre-orders are even starting to go up now.
Intel Coffee Lake price
Arguably the most elusive aspect of Coffee Lake leading up to its canonical announcement was pricing. Aside from looking at the processor market AMD Ryzen rewrote, we didn’t have much to base our speculation. And now that Intel is about to release its first CPUs with discrete graphics, we don’t have much to base the pricing for the laptops that will feature them.
Luckily, Intel has revealed a total rundown of the latest 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips since their announcement. And with that reveal, we finally knew that the Santa Clara tech behemoth was going to unleash an entire assortment of processors with a wide range of different prices.
Starting with the cheapest, the Intel Core i3-8100 costs $130 (£99, AU$145) while it’s overclockable counterpart, the Intel Core i3-8350K prices at $180 (£160, AU$240). Then you have the Intel Core i3-8300 coming in at $138 (about £98, AU$180), and the low-power Intel Core i3-8300T and Intel Core i3-8100T coming in at $138 (about £98, AU$180) and $117 (about £83, AU$152), respectively.
At the mid-range, the Core i5-8400 will set you back $190 (£183, AU$250) while the unlocked, overclock-ready i5-8600K retails for $257 (£190, AU$325). Then you have the recently-announced Intel Core i5-8600 and Intel Core i5-8500 launching at $213 (about £150, AU$277) and $138 (about £98, AU$180) respectively.
Then, on the low-power end of the i5 spectrum you have the Intel Core i5-8600T at $213 (about £150, AU$277), the Intel Core i5-8500T at $192 (about £137, AU$250) and the Intel Core i5-8400T rounding things out at $182 (about £129, AU$237).
Lastly, deemed by Intel as its best gaming CPU ever, the Core i7-8700K runs at $350 (£290, AU$520). On the other hand, if you’re looking to avoid spending significantly more than a Xbox One X or PS4 Pro on a single processor, the vanilla Intel Core i7-8700 goes for $313 (£290, AU$430). The low-power Intel Core i7-8700T finishes out the i7 lineup at $303 (about £215, AU$395).
Comparatively, an Intel Kaby Lake processor on its own will, as of this writing, set you back anywhere from $42 (£39, AU$66) to $350 (£415, AU$469), while Ryzen processors range from $168 (£158, AU$245) to $499 or £499 (AU$650).
Intel Coffee Lake specs
Although all of the 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips are still manufactured on the 14nm node, Intel has proven that there’s still plenty of life in the process yet.
Again, starting from the ground up, the Intel Core i3 chips this time boast four cores each for the first time in the mainstream CPU space. What’s more, whereas the Intel Core i3-8100 takes advantage of four cores and four threads running at 3.6GHz, the unlocked Core i3-8350K totes the same number of cores and threads, but instead opts for a base frequency of 4GHz.
As for the Core i5 range, the plain Intel Core i5-8400 is a now a hexa-core monster, bearing six cores and six threads. Moreover, its base clock is 2.8GHz, and it operates at 4GHz with Turbo Boost.
Meanwhile the Core i5-8600K also squeezes six cores and six threads into the 14nm chip while brandishing base/boost speeds of 3.6GHz and 4.3GHz, respectively.
Then you’ve got the Intel Core i7-8700 and i7-8700K. The former is yet another six-core demon, albeit with double the number of threads as the i5-8600K. Its overclockable analogue, the Intel Core i7-8700K, poses a threat to the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, sporting six cores, 12 threads and base/boost clock speeds of 3.7GHz/4.7GHz.
And, following the announcement for the anticipated H-Series Coffee Lake Processors, including the Core i9-8950HK, clocked at 2.9GHz with a 4.8GHZ boost clock, we’re going to see some blazing fast laptops powered by these 6 core, 12 thread behemoths. Intel has also announced a new line of low-powered T-series desktop CPUs that should effectively fill out the budget segment of the CPU market.
That’s all we know for now. We’ve gotten the first batch of 8th generation Coffee Lake CPUs, but we are sure to get more. We’re anticipating Coffee Lake processors for laptops, though we don’t know in what form they’ll appear – ditto for the inevitable Coffee Lake X chips.
There still a ton of news to come. Per our usual advice, we encourage you return to this page periodically for in-depth coverage of the latest Intel Coffee Lake reveals.