Fifth time’s the charm. At least that seems to be the case with Intel’s fifth round of processors based on the 14nm manufacturing process.
After the launch of the laptop-focused 8th-generation Kaby Lake R processors back in August, Intel finally released the 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors in October 2017, along with a lineup of fresh motherboards.
What particularly shocked us is that even in the face of extremely tough competition from AMD, Intel is still at the top of the sales charts with Coffee Lake, even if its lead is starting to wane.
Even in the face of AMD’s Ryzen 2nd Generation, we don’t think Intel Coffee Lake is going anywhere – especially now that Coffee Lake-S Refresh is going to take over as Intel’s 9th-generation. Either way, keep this page bookmarked, as we’ll keep it updated with all the newest information.
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
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.
The Intel Coffee Lake processors didn’t get their official announcement until September 15, 2017 followed by the first desktop chips touching down on October 5, 2017. After that, all was quiet until April 2018, when Intel released its H-series Intel Core mobile CPUs alongside several high-profile laptops, like the MSI GS65 Stealth. We also saw Intel’s low-power T-series desktop chips release at the same time.
At Computex 2018, Intel announced the Core i7-8086K, celebrating its 50th anniversary. This beast of a chip rocks 6-cores and 12-threads, and you can still purchase now while this CPU’s 50,000 unit supply lasts.
We’ve seen leaked roadmaps that suggest the 9th-generation Coffee Lake-S chips will be coming out in early 2019.
However, we’ve also seen conflicting reports that suggest the Core i9-9900K, i7-9700K and i5-9600K will all be launching on October 1. Whichever of these rumors is true is still up in the air, but we’ll find out very soon.
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 has released its first CPUs with discrete AMD Radeon 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 CPUs are Intel’s entry-level line is priced as follows.
- Intel Core i3-8100 – $130 (£99, AU$145)
- Intel Core i3-8350K – $180 (£160, AU$240)
- Intel Core i3-8300 – $138 (about £98, AU$180)
- Intel Core i3-8300T – $138 (about £98, AU$180)
- Intel Core i3-8100T – $117 (about £83, AU$152)
At the mid-range you have the Intel Core i5 CPUs, aimed squarely at a mainstream audience. They’re priced as follows:
- Intel Core i5-8400 – $190 (£183, AU$250)
- Intel Core i5-8600K – $257 (£190, AU$325)
- Intel Core i5-8600 – $213 (about £150, AU$277)
- Intel Core i5-8500 – $138 (about £98, AU$180)
- Intel Core i5-8600T – $213 (about £150, AU$277)
- Intel Core i5-8500T – $192 (about £137, AU$250)
- Intel Core i5-8400T – $182 (about £129, AU$237)
And, then you have the Intel Core i7 CPUs, aimed exclusively at enthusiast consumers, and are perfect for media editing, or any other multi-threaded workloads. They’re priced as follows:
- Intel Core i7-8700K – $350 (£290, AU$520)
- Intel Core i7-8700 – $313 (£290, AU$430)
- Intel Core i7-8700T – $303 (about £215, AU$395)
- Intel Core i7-8086K – $425 (£380, about AU$560)
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
Let’s break it down: 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 2700X, sporting six cores, 12 threads and base/boost clock speeds of 3.7GHz/4.7GHz.
Then, rounding out the Core i7 Coffee Lake CPUs, you have the Intel Core i7 8086K, which a 6-core 12-thread chip, clocked at 4.0GHz with a whopping 5.0GHz boost clock. This makes it the highest-clocked consumer chip Intel has released. Fitting way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Intel 8086 processor.
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.
A new roadmap has suggested that 9th-generation Coffee Lake-S processors are going to be arriving early next year, and while the specs of the Core i9-9900K are still unconfirmed, it is rumored to be able to hit 5GHz across several cores – which might explain the leaked benchmarks that are crushing the Ryzen 7 2700X. The core i7-9700K, however, is rumored to be able to hit higher overclocks, but may be abandoning hyper-threading.
However, seven new chips were confirmed through Intel’s latest Microcode revision. The confirmed chips are as follows:
- Core i3-9000: 4-cores, 4-threads, clocked at 3.7GHz
- Core i3-9100: 4-cores, 4-threads, clocked at 3.7GHz
- Core i5-9400: 6-cores, 6-threads, clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz
- Core i5-9400T: 6-cores, 6-threads, clocked at 1.8GHz to 3.4GHz
- Core i5-9500: 6-cores, 6-threads, clocked at 3.0GHz to 4.3GHz
- Core i5-9600: 6-cores, 6-threads, clocked at 3.1GHz to 4.5GHz
- Core i5-9600K: 6-cores, 6-threads, clocked at 3.7GHz to 4.5GHz
You’ll notice that there are some CPUs missing, namely the Core i7 and i9 chips. We’ve heard some rumors, though. The rumored Core i7-9700K will reportedly be a 8-core, 8-thread chip without hyperthreading. This could mean that Intel will instead focus on high boost clocks across all its cores with the Core i7 – or it could just be a marketing tactic to push the Core i9.
The Core i9-9900K, however, will retain hyperthreading – it’s rumored to be an 8-core 16-thread chip with a 3.6GHz base clock. Its rumored to be able to boost to 5GHz across two cores, and will reach 4.7GHz across all cores. None of this is confirmed, but the leaks are pretty convincing.
That’s all we know for now. We’ve seen a wide array of 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors, including some Coffee Lake processors for laptops. Now we’re getting 9th-generation Coffee Lake-S processors kicking off the next generation of CPUs, and, who knows? Maybe we’ll actually see Coffee Lake-X chips eventually.
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.
- Be sure to check out "AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation"
Bill Thomas and Joe Osborne have also contributed to this report