Intel has announced its eighth-generation Coffee Lake CPUs to compete with AMD’s Zen chips. The new desktop chips from Intel come just 10 months after the Kaby Lake chips.  Intel will release its eighth-gen Coffee Lake CPU on October 5.

Intel Coffee Lake
blickpixel / Pixabay

The new chips include the Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs in both locked and unlocked versions. O the three variants, the Core i5 and i7 will both have six cores, whereas the i3 will have four cores. Intel touts its new 6-core/12-thread Core i7-8700K as the best gaming chip ever.

Intel has been pitching its Coffee Lake chip as the best gaming desktop processor ever. The company knows very well that there is a dedicated user base of PC gamer enthusiasts who will prefer this category of processors. Intel says that its X-series chips are good for “megatasking” applications such as gaming, streaming and encoding videos simultaneously, but the Core i7-8700K is now better for just gaming.

As far as the clock speed goes, the Coffee Lake base clock slid a little from its predecessor, Kaby Lake, but the Turbo clock compensates for that. The 8700k offers slightly more TDP to work with than the chip’s predecessors did. Put simply, Coffee Lake is a superior version of Kaby Lake built on the latest 14nm++ process node. Intel repeated over and over throughout its presentation that Coffee Lake retains Kaby Lake’s architectural levels, notes wccftech.

“We are extremely excited to be able to offer best in class single-threaded performance and a significant leap in multithreaded performance in the same power envelope as our previous generation,” said Anand Srivatsa, general manager of the desktop platform group at Intel.

In order to be compatible with the new processors, the CPU will require the new Z370 chipset and new motherboards. The chip maker already made it clear that the new chipsets will not work with the previous-generation CPUs. Further, Intel stated that there will be over 50 new Z370 motherboards which will be compatible with these CPUs, notes Tom’s Hardware.

Intel’s decision to step up the core counts and change the definitions for its Core i7, i5 and i3 chips could also be a reaction to AMD’s Ryzen 7, 5 and 3 lines. AMD has hit success lately by eroding Intel’s pricing model and delivered more cores per dollar for its lower-end products. Intel is claiming that its latest processors are capable of 32% faster 4K video editing times than to its seventh-generation CPUs and up to 7.8X improved speeds in content creation tasks versus a three-year-old Core i7-4790K.

Pricing, however, could be an issue as Intel has kept the price of its latest generation chips quite high compared to its predecessors, specifically for the high-performance K models. The 8800K comes with a price tag of $359, compared to $305 for the 7700K. For the high-end i5, one will have to pay $257, compared to $217 for the 7600K. Non-K processors also get a price jump, although not that steep, notes AnandTech.

Further, these prices are per chip in a 1000 unit order, meaning that actual retail prices will be higher by several percentage points. Thus, there are good chances that the 8700K will be priced closer to $400.