Benchmarks show the next wave of Intel desktop processors are on the way

Looks like Intel is finally addressing AMD’s Ryzen mainstream desktop processor threat with eight-core processors of its own later this year. The upcoming “Coffee Lake-S” chips will be based on 14nm process technology, and part of Intel’s eighth-generation design refresh slated for the second half of 2018. The chips are now starting to appear in benchmarks although the speeds are merely preliminary, given they won’t be finalized until the summer at the earliest. 

If the roadmap seems a little confusing, you’re not alone. The first batch of eighth-generation processors launched in 2017 targeted laptops with a modified seventh-generation architecture. Intel saved its true eighth-generation “Coffee Lake” design for its most recent desktop processors, such as the Core i7-8700K catered to gamers. These latter chips rely on Intel’s 300 Series motherboard chipsets. 

The upcoming mainstream desktop processors will be based on a refined eighth-generation architecture to support eight cores. They will also have native support for USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps), Intel Wireless AC connectivity, SDXC 3.0 card compatibility, and Thunderbolt 3 “Titan Ridge” connectivity. Other ingredients include support for DDR4 memory at 2,666MHz, an integrated programmable quad-core audio DSP, and the SoundWire Digital Audio Interface. 

But what about “Cannon Lake?” Intel said it began shipping those chips to device manufacturers at the end of 2017. Consider these processors as smaller versions of Intel’s refined seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” chips using its new 10nm process technology. They’re meant to bring high performance to thin and light form factors. Meanwhile, Intel’s ninth-generation processor rollout will start with its 10nm+ “Ice Lake” chips at the end of 2018. The following family using the 10nm++ process will be its “Tiger Lake” chips for 2019. 

If that is still confusing, perhaps this rough chart will help: 

Generation  Architecture  Process node  Release date 
8th 

Refined Kaby Lake 

14nm 

Fall 2017 

8th 

Coffee Lake 

14nm 

Winter 2017 

8th 

Refined Kaby Lake
renamed as
“Cannon Lake” 

10nm 

Winter 2017 

8th 

Refined Coffee Lake 

14nm+ 

2nd half 2018 

9th 

Icy Lake 

10nm+ 

Q4 2018 

9th 

Tiger Lake 

10nm++ 

2019 

 In addition to the processor listings, the benchmarks also show that new motherboards are on the way based on Intel’s unannounced Z390 chipset. The listing describes the motherboard as “Intel Corporation CoffeeLake S82 UDIMM RVP,” indicating it’s an engineering sample leaked straight from Intel. Motherboards based on Intel’s B360 (business), H370 (mainstream) and H310 (value) chipsets are supposedly on the way too. The Z390 chipset will join the current Z370 for enthusiasts. 

When Intel introduced its eight-generation “Coffee Lake-S” processors in the fall, the company boasted about how it brought six-core processors to the mainstream market. Meanwhile, AMD’s three Ryzen 7 processors already packed eight cores for the mainstream market with a starting price of $330 (now $280). Meanwhile, the six-core Intel Core i7-8700K landed on store shelves for $380. 

Intel could introduce its next wave of eighth-generation desktop processors during the Computex technology convention in Taipei in June, or possibly the E3 gaming show that same month. Until then, we expect to see additional leaks to give us a better glimpse into Intel’s next CPU rollout. 

Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Computing

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…
Gaming

Brace yourself. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is going to be expensive

How much will Sony's PlayStation 5 cost? Official pricing will stay under wraps for months, but early details provide enough information to make a guess. Our estimate suggests the price will be higher than fans expect to pay.
Gaming

Everything we know about the PS5, including its impressive hardware specs

PlayStation 5 rumors have circulated for over a year, but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Trash

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Product Review

You won't buy Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S, but it could still change your life

The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S wants to change the way you collaborate at work. That’s a lofty goal most devices fail to achieve, but the unique Hub 2S could be an exception. And trust us – you’re going to want it.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Computing

Meet the mastermind behind Microsoft's massive new Surface Hub

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gives us an exclusive peek at the 85-inch Surface Hub 2, and explains how innovation and collaboration will transform your workplace.
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Deals

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.
Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.