Intel reveals its 8th-gen desktop CPU rollout early dubbed as Coffee Lake-S

Coffee Lake-S
Intel first introduced its line of eighth-generation “Coffee Lake” processors at the end of August, but those chips were only slated for notebooks. Now, thanks to someone spilling the coffee all over the internet (aka breaking the embargo), we can now reveal Intel’s plans for the next stage in its eighth-generation rollout without getting in trouble — its new desktop processors. Dubbed as Coffee Lake-S, these chips will arrive on October 5 alongside compatible motherboards.

Here is the lineup:

Cores /
Cache Power
Unlocked Price
i7-8700K 6 / 12 3.7GHz 4.7GHz 12MB 95 watts Yes $359
i7-8700 6 / 12 3.2GHz 4.6GHz 12MB 65 watts No $303
i5-8600K 6 / 6 3.6GHz 4.3GHz 9MB 95 watts Yes $257
i5-8400 6 / 6 2.8GHz 4.0GHz 9MB 65 watts No $182
i3-8350K 4 / 4 4.0GHz N/A 6MB 91 watts Yes $168
i3-8100 4 / 4 3.6GHz N/A 6MB 65 watts No $177

For starters, Coffee Lake-S introduces Core i7 chips with six cores, and Core i3 processors with four cores to the mainstream desktop market. They are based on what Intel calls 14nm++ process technology, a method of reducing the size of billions of transistors, and cramming them into a single, optimized chip.

The new chips promise improved single-threaded performance over the previous generation. As a refresher, a “thread” is the line of communication between an application and processor core. All versions require motherboards based on the company’s new Z370 chipset, and will not work on any other motherboard. What remains unchanged is the processor’s throne, the LGA 1151 socket, which Intel used for its sixth-generation (Skylake) and seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) desktop processor families.

The reason Coffee Lake-S chips are locked specifically to the Z370 chipset is due to power. Having up to six cores, 12 threads, and 12MB in cache simply pulls more from the motherboard, so Intel made changes in the power delivery on the package level to accommodate the extra needs. That means the Z370 motherboards will not support sixth and seventh-generation Intel desktop processors. Adding to that, the ‘K’ models are unlocked, allowing you to overclock all those cores for added performance at an additional power requirement.

Coffee Lake-S

And that was Intel’s proudest moment during a conference call on Friday, September 22: Talking about Coffee Lake-S overclocking. The new processor architecture includes per-core overclocking for maximum control, a maximum memory ratio of up to 8,400MT/s, real-time latency control, and more. Backing all this overclocking goodness is support for Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0 technology, and the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU). Intel will provide an optional Tuning Protection Plan just in case tweaking goes haywire.

All six chips will have integrated graphics. The architecture remains the same, but Intel promises better performance through higher frequencies and driver optimizations. The processors will also include built-in support for DisplayPort v1.4, and USB 3.1 Gen1 technology — there is no built-in support for the newer USB 3.1 Gen2. The overall Coffee Lake-S platform supports up to 40 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, with the processors specifically providing up to 24 of those 40 lanes.

According to Intel, the Core i7-8700K is the best desktop processors for pure PC gaming. Sure, Intel is still rolling out its X-Series chips for the enthusiast market, and they are ideal for those who want high-definition graphics while simultaneously streaming live 1080p gameplay to Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer. But if you ask Intel, the Core i7-8700K provides 25 percent more frames per second and 45 percent better mega-tasking than its seventh-generation desktop processors.

Ultimately, Intel’s Coffee Lake-S family targets the “premium performance” market consisting of gamers, overclockers, and content creators. The chips themselves will be made available on October 5 alongside new motherboards supplied by Intel’s partners. Dell also plans to make available a new Alienware Aurora desktop packed with the Core i7-8700K on the same day. Solutions from other original equipment manufacturers using the new Coffee Lake-S chips will arrive throughout the fourth quarter of 2017.

Product Review

Long live the king! Dell’s new XPS 13 defends its throne with ease

The redesigned Dell XPS 13 doesn’t reinvent the laptop’s winning formula, but does offer much-needed tweaks including the latest Intel hardware and a thinner, lighter body. Is it enough to keep Dell’s laptop at the top of our ratings?

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Everything you need to know

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, this is a small update. If you've been eyeing a Surface Pro, you may want to wait…

AMD is pulling ahead in the die shrink race with 7nm CPUs and graphics cards

AMD might have played second fiddle to Intel and AMD for a long time, but it has the potential to leapfrog both when it debuts its new 7nm CPUs and graphics cards in 2019, leading the die-shrink race for the first time in years.
Product Review

This is the best budget laptop you can buy

One of our favorite laptops, the Asus Zenbook UX330UA, has been updated to feature the 8th-gen Intel Core CPU. It's still the best budget laptop on the market, offering great battery life and zippy performance at a discounted price.

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mail client goes freemium with the introduction of ads

Microsoft Windows Insiders are finding a nasty surprise inside the Mail app on the latest Windows 10 preview build in the form of banner ads. These ads will appear in the Mail app regardless of the webmail service you use.

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.