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, in April 2018, 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.
In spite of earlier, more modest statements, Intel claims that its flagship 8th-generation Coffee Lake CPU is up to 45% faster than its Kaby Lake counterpart – which kind of explains Intel’s requirement for users to upgrade to a new motherboard by moving all Coffee Lake processors to new chipsets – even though some clever modders found a way to make them work on older boards. And, if the rumors can be believed, we’ll likely see yet another addition to the family with the rumored octa-core Coffee Lake S chips.
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.
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 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)
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.
We’ve also seen reports of leaked Intel documents revealing possible octa-core Coffee Lake S chips, that will likely end up being new Intel Core i9 CPUs.
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.
- Be sure to check out "AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation"
Joe Osborne has also contributed to this report