Update, August 8, 2017: There are set to be a total of four six-core CPUs in the upcoming Intel Coffee Lake range of processors: two K-series and two 65W chips.
Ah, it’s all still so far off… but what are the best CPUs for gaming you can buy right now? Allow us to explain and delight.
We've also got a better idea of the actual clockspeeds the 8th Gen chips will be working with too. Previously WCCFTech had reported a low base and Turbo speed for the K-series Core i5, but the latest information from VideoCardz suggests a more impressive hexcore gaming chip is on its way.
With a base clockspeed of 3.6GHz and an all-core Turbo of 4.1GHz the Core i5 8600K is looking like a more tantalising option for gamers. When these Coffee Lake CPUs do launch, hopefully this year, then we could have a real head-to-head battle for the title of best gaming CPU between this and the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X.
Both are six-core processors, and both are likely to cost around the same ~$250, but the AMD chip comes with simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) which enables it to process 12 threads - twice what the resolutely six-core i5 8600K can deliver. That said, the Intel Core i5 will have their traditional single-threaded dominance, which ought to give it the edge in gaming performance.
After a stagnant couple of years in the CPU world, things really are changing at a hell of a speed. And if the rumours of an eight-threaded Core i3 are true, then things are going to go a little nutzo at the entry level end of the market too. At 4GHz across eight threads you'll end up with higher multi-threaded performance compared with the hexcore K-series i5, even if they're all running at 4.1GHz.
Original story, July 26, 2017: The perennially leaky WCCFTech have posted the reported specifications for the three six-core Intel Coffee Lake processors set to arrive in our desktops before the end of the year.
The top-spec Core i7, the i7 8700K, is the expected six-core, 12-thread processor and will be able to keep all those eighth Gen cores running at a Turbo frequency of 4GHz. The base clock comes in at 3.7GHz, and the single-core maximum is set at 4.3GHz. Given the way motherboard makers, such as Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte operate, it’s pretty likely we’ll see compatible boards capable running the 12-threaded i7 at that 4.3GHz frequency across all of its six cores.
And the compatible boards could end up covering a broad range, because as expected, they’re sticking with the same LGA 1151 socket which has existed from the 100 and 200-series motherboards introduced for Skylake and Kaby Lake respectively, and using it for the upcoming 300-series boards too.
It is possible Intel will put in place some sort of limiting factor to force 100-series mobo owners to upgrade, but there’s no hint of that so far.
The second chip looks to be the Core i5 8600K. Again, it’s a six-core CPU, but without the Core i7’s HyperThreading technology in play. The clockspeeds are a lot lower for this cheaper chip, with the base clockspeed at just 3.2GHz and the all-core Turbo set at just 3.4GHz. That’s a long way short of the 4.2GHz performance of the Kaby Lake i5 7600K.
It is likely, however, that we’ll see the Coffee Lake i5 batting around the 3.6GHz mark in high-end gaming motherboards, which would put it at the same sort of level as AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600X, and probably in a similar pricing bracket too. But, without the HyperThreading, the AMD processor will probably remain the go-to chip for the PC allrounders.
Both these K-series, overclockable, six-core Intel Coffee Lake CPUs are 95W parts, but the specs leak also details a third, non-overclockable 65W CPU. That could end up being the straight Core i7 8700 as it looks a lot like a Coffee Lake upgrade of the current i7 7700 chip.