Intel Coffee Lake release date, news and features

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 Intel released the laptop-focused Kaby Lake Refresh chips in August 2017, it finally released the 8th-generation Coffee Lake lineup about a month later, along with a fresh lineup of the best motherboards.

What was especially shocking is that even with tough competition, Intel was able to stay competitive, even if it has since lost its lead to AMD.

Right now AMD is on top of the world with its Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, but Intel is still competing with Coffee Lake and its follow-up Coffee Lake Refresh. Either way, make sure you stay tuned to TechRadar, as we’ll update this article with any Coffee Lake news that comes our way.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Intel's 8th-generation desktop CPU architecture
  • When is it out? October 5th, 2017 
  • What will it cost? From $117 (about £85, AU$145) – $359 (about £265, AU$450)

Intel Coffee Lake release date

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.

Intel announced Coffee Lake back in September 2017, and it the public release followed a month later. For a while, Intel Coffee Lake comfortably ruled the world, especially after Coffee Lake mobile chips arrived in April 2018. These mobile chips are still powering some of the best gaming laptops, like the MSI GS65 Stealth. However, now that Intel has announced the 9th-generation Coffee Lake Refresh H-series mobile chips to replace them, we should see some substantial boosts in the mobile CPU world. 

There are also some U-series Coffee Lake chips, but those only made it into a few laptops, like the 2018 MacBook Pro, before being succeeded by Whiskey Lake.  

We also saw Intel’s low-power T-Series desktop chips around the same time – though you’ll more likely find these processor in pre-built PCs rather than on a computer store shelf. 

Back at Computex 2018, Intel announced the Intel Core i7-8086K, celebrating its 50th anniversary, and is available today. This beast of a chip rocks the same 6-cores and 12-threads as the Intel Core i7 8700K, but they’re clocked significantly higher.  

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 upon..

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 Core i3 chips the Coffee Lake series is priced as follows:

  • Intel Core i3-8100 – $119 (£109, AU$165) 
  • Intel Core i3-8300 – $149 (£139, AU$209) 
  • Intel Core i3-8350K – $184 (£154, AU$246) 
  • Intel Core i5-8400 – $199 (£179, AU$268) 
  • Intel Core i5-8500 – $209 (£199, AU$289) 
  • Intel Core i5-8600 – $229 (£218, AU$329) 
  • Intel Core i5-8600K – $259 (£259, AU$365) 
  • Intel Core i7-8700 – $341 (£319, AU$459) 
  • Intel Core i7-8700K – $359 (£389, AU$524) 
  • Intel Core i7-8086K – $425 (£419, AU$629) 

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 4-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 6-cores and 6-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 6-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 6-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.

That’s all we know for now. We’ve seen a wide array of 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors, including a few Coffee Lake processors for laptops to mark the end of the series. 

From here out, we expect Intel will move on with a new series of 9th Generation Coffee Lake Refresh CPUs, and, who knows? Maybe we’ll actually see Coffee Lake-X or Cascade 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.

Bill Thomas and Joe Osborne have also contributed to this report

Gabe Carey
Gabe has been writing about video games and technology since he was 16 years old. Currently serving as a Contributing Editor & Producer for TechRadar, where he keeps articles fresh and up to date on the reg, you may recognize his byline from Digital Trends, TechSpot and Kotaku UK. He can't tell if his adoration of Sonic the Hedgehog is genuine or ironic anymore.