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Intel’s new 8th-generation Core processors include its best gaming CPU ever

Intel has revealed its 8th-generation Core processors (Coffee Lake S) for the desktop which will go on sale come October 5, including new mainstream Core i5 CPUs which run with six-cores (for the first time ever), and a Core i7 model which the company says is the best gaming processor it has ever produced.

The latter is the Core i7-8700K which is capable of turbo boosting to 4.7GHz out of the box (via Turbo Boost 2.0). This is a six-core (12-thread) CPU with a base clock of 3.7GHz and 12MB of cache (it’s also unlocked for overclocking, as the ‘K’ denotes). It has a TDP of 95W.

In comparison to its Kaby Lake predecessor, the i7-7700K (quad-core), Intel claims that it can achieve up to 25% more frames per second in Gears of War 4. And under PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, when gaming, streaming and recording (i.e. under very heavy load), the new chip is up to a whopping 45% faster than its predecessor.

The new i7-8700K will come with a suggested price of $359 (£265, AU$450), and there’s also a Core i7-8700 (non-overclocking) version with a lower base clock of 3.2GHz and turbo to 4.6GHz (and a TDP of 65W) which will weigh in at $303 (£225, AU$380).

Cores and effect

Moving on to the new Core i5 offerings, these are both six-core, six-thread models, led by the Core i5-8600K which has a base clock of 3.6GHz and turbo to 4.3GHz, with 9MB of cache and a TDP of 95W. Intel has priced this chip at $257 (£190, AU$325).

That’s backed up by the Core i5-8400 which drops the base clock to 2.8GHz with boost to 4GHz and a lower TDP of 65W. This will be pitched at $182 (£135, AU$230).

As well as the Core i5 stepping things up to six-cores (from quad-core), there’s been movement with the entry-level Core i3 CPUs which are now quad-core (as opposed to their predecessors which were dual-core).

Intel has introduced a pair of new quad-core (four-thread) processors led by the Core i3-8350K which has a base clock of 4GHz, 6MB of cache and a TDP of 91W. It’s followed by the Core i3-8100 which lowers the base clock to 3.6GHz and TDP to 65W (there’s no boost with these chips). These will be priced at $168 (£125, AU$210) and $117 (£85, AU$145) respectively.

Intel is also promising better overclocking from the unlocked 8th-gen CPUs which will offer per-core overclocking and other goodies including real-time memory latency control and extended PLL trim controls.

As previously rumored, all these processors will need a new motherboard using Intel’s Z370 chipset, which the company notes provides the ‘improved power delivery’ necessary for the six-core processors to achieve their optimum performance levels. So if you want one of these new chips, you’ll also need to buy a new motherboard.

These processors will be available from next Thursday, so there’s not long to wait now if you want to make the move to a relatively affordable six-core chip with Intel.

Of course, this latest generation of processors pushing the boat out in terms of cores seems like a natural move from Intel, given how far AMD has been driving ahead with multi-core Ryzen CPUs.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).