A bit earlier than expected but Intel just officially announced its 8th generation "Coffee Lake" desktop processor family. Not a lot of surprises here, we already knew Intel would be upping its core count as the firm needs to up its game versus AMD. We now have the first Core i7 and Core i5 processors with six cores, and the first Core i3 models with four cores. Availability is slated for October 5 but OEM availability will take a bit longer.
One big caveat is that there's no backwards compatibility of any kind. You need a Z370 motherboard for Coffee Lake-S and you can't use Kaby Lake (or older) processors with the Z370. Oddly enough, Intel is also no longer sharing details about the per-core Turbo clockspeeds. It seems the firm now considers this proprietary information. Similarly, Intel continues its recently introduced policy of refusing to share data about the die size and the number of transistors on this chip.
Intel claims the Z370 platform offers improved power delivery to support six-core processors, enhanced package power delivery for overclocking, and support for DDR4-2666. It also rocks up to 40 PCIe lanes.
A list of all new Coffee Lake-S processors can be found below, there are six parts and three of them are unlocked K-series parts. The new flagship is the Core i7-8700K, this is a six-core, twelve-threaded processor with a 95W TDP. It has a 3.7GHz base clock, 4.7GHz Turbo, 12MB cache, 95W TDP and DDR4-2666 memory support. Intel prices the 8700K at $359, which is about $10 higher than the regular price of the 7700K (which currently has big promos at Newegg and Amazon, which push the price $40-$50 lower).
The Core i7 parts are the only models with Hyper-Threading, the six-core Core i5 and the quad-core Core i3 versions do not feature extra threads. Coffee Lake-S is basically still the same architecture as Kaby Lake-s, but with with more cores and some new features.
The integrated graphics are also still the same, just with higher frequencies. Due to the higher number of cores, the base clockspeeds are a bit lower but Intel did manage to achieve higher Turbo clockspeeds. Intel makes the new generation on its 14nm++ process and claims the 8700K is up to 25 percent faster in games like Gears of Wars 4 versus the 7700K. To sum it up, Intel delivers higher performance thanks to more cores and clockspeed tweaking.
These processors are intended for premium consumers and overclockers, the commercial and broad consumer 8th Gen Intel Core processors will follow in the first half of 2018.