It’s not even been a year since Intel launched Kaby Lake, but, following last month's unveiling of its U-series 8th generation Core CPU’s, the company has just announced the Coffee Lake desktop lineup, which includes what Intel is calling its best gaming chip ever.
The new 15W mobile CPUs introduced in August are refreshed version of Kaby Lake built on the 14nm+ process. They offer a 40 percent speed boost over the previous generation and double the core/thread count in chips that previously featured two cores and four threads.
It seems that Intel is trying to steal some of Ryzen’s thunder with the desktop Coffee Lake parts. AMD’s chips boast an increased number of cores/threads compared to what’s come before, and Chipzilla has put a similar plan of action into effect with its 14nm++ parts.
Intel has expanded all of the Coffee Lake desktop chips’ core counts, offering a 25 percent boost to FPS and 45 percent better multitasking performance compared to their 7th gen CPU counterparts.
The Core i7 chips now feature six cores with hyperthreading. i5 also has six cores, and the previously dual-core i3 becomes a quad-core CPU. And while those extra cores do mean the base frequency is down from Kaby Lake, Turbo frequencies are up slightly.
This new family introduces the first-ever 6-core Intel Core i5 desktop processor and first-ever 4-core Intel Core i3 desktop processor. The family offers a wide range of performance options for consumers with unlocked “K” processors that deliver maximum tuning flexibility at each brand level and up to 40 platform PCIe 3.0 lanes for system expandability on graphics, storage and I/O. These processors are supported with new Intel Z370 chipset-based motherboards.
Intel says the flagship Coffee Lake S-series chip, the i7-8700K, is the best gaming CPU it has ever made. Anand Srivatsa, general manager of the desktop platform group at Intel, suggested it is a better gaming chip than the Core i9-7800X, which, despite the same number of cores/threads, faster memory, and more PCIe lanes, can't match the i7-8700K when it comes to optimized single-threaded performance.
August also brought the disappointing news that Coffee Lake chips will not be compatible with 200-series motherboards. The company has now announced the Z370 chipset, which will support the new chips' increased number of cores through improved power delivery.
Despite using the same LGA 1151 socket, Z370 isn’t compatible with older CPUs. It also features support for DDR4-2666 memory, Thunderbolt 3, and Intel’s Optane system acceleration tech.
The Coffee Lake desktop CPUs will launch on October 5.