Intel’s 6-core 8th era Core i7-8700K CPU is a existence check to high-performance, cost CPUs like a $2,000 Core i9 and $1,000 AMD Ryzen Threadripper. The genuine conflict for a desktop and consumer’s wallets is with this amazingly affordable (for Intel anyway) $359 CPU, code-named Coffee Lake.
In fact, a Core i7-8700K is Intel’s initial genuine response to AMD’s breakthrough array of Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs, and a viable choice to a Zen-based CPUs. But usually how quick is it, and that CPU should we buy? Read on to find out.
What is Coffee Lake?
Moore’s Law isn’t dead, yet a ability to cringe CPU circuits and boost firmness has drastically slowed down. Coffee Lake, for example, is formed on a same 14nm routine a association introduced with a Broadwell line of laptops CPUs in 2014. Since then, Intel has used a 14nm routine on Skylake, Kaby Lake, and now Coffee Lake.
Despite a identical process, however, Intel says it’s done adequate improvements along a approach to call Coffee Lake a “14nm and plus” chip. A easier approach is to consider of Coffee Lake as an softened 7th-generation Kaby Lake chip with dual some-more cores, yet there are some subtler changes.
So yes, cynics, a usually loyal “8th-generational” partial might be a name itself. Folks of a some-more forgiving mindset will see 8th-gen chips as a large breakthrough for Intel, that has offering quad-core CPUs as oppulance models exclusively for a final 10 years. Consider that Intel once charged $1,000 for 6-core CPUs. With Coffee Lake, you’re removing dual some-more cores for a scarcely a same cost as Kaby Lake and Skylake.
Why Coffee Lake requires a new motherboard
Although Coffee Lake is radically an softened Kaby Lake CPU, some pivotal changes will expostulate Intel fans simply batty. The categorical one is a disfavour with comparison motherboards, notwithstanding regulating a accurate same earthy LGA1151 socket.
Why, Intel, why? The association cites several changes. The initial is central support for DDR4/2666 instead of of DDR4/2400. The higher-clocked RAM compulsory some-more firmly tranquil blueprint of a wires or “traces” on a motherboard, that mandated new designs.
Coffee Lake also adopts a nifty “per core” overclocking initial introduced with a Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E. This allows a user to overclock usually particular cores formed on a workload.
All this combined adult to a Z370 chipset you’ll find on new motherboards, a association said. One thing that isn’t clear, however, is because Z370 won’t work with comparison CPUs. Because both a Z270 and Z370 use a same hollow and flattering many a same chipset pinout, because can’t we put your comparison 7th-gen Kaby Lake into a newer Coffee Lake Z370 mobo? All Intel would contend is a house partners indeed requested a purify mangle from a past with a new chipset.
How we tested
For this review, we looked during a tip chip of a lineup: a Core i7-8700K. We compared it essentially to a nemesis: AMD’s Ryzen 7 1700X. Although technically labelled during $399, we simply found a chip for $359 during Amazon.com or even cheaper when on sale.
Our strange review of a Ryzen 7 was focused on a tip CPU, a Ryzen 7 1800X, yet a lot has altered given March. So we took a strange Asus Crosshair VI Hero build, updated to a latest accessible BIOS, commissioned a uninformed duplicate of Windows 10, and a latest AMD drivers and Ryzen energy plan.
We also altered out a RAM. Our strange Ryzen exam filled all slots with DDR4 RAM, that singular a memory speed to JEDEC customary DDR4/2133 (a reduction of Ryzen during a time). For a Coffee Lake showdown, we forsaken in 16GB of DDR4/3200 instead, to give a Ryzen 7 chip each event to shine. If we don’t follow stream events, we should know Ryzen’s memory controller and Infinity Fabric have a unequivocally tighten relationship, and a higher-clocked a memory we use, a aloft a opening potential.
For GPU we again used a Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 card, updated with a latest Nvidia drivers.
On a Intel side, we used a Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 house with a relating Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 card, a purify implement of Windows 10, and a same indication of Kingston SATA SSD for a primary foot drive.
For RAM, we primarily used a relating set of 16GB DDR4/3200 from a Ryzen build. When calibrating a complement opposite numbers supposing by Intel, we found a complement indeed achieved slower when selecting a XMP form for 3,200MHz. In a end, we substituted in another span of modules rated during 2,400MHz and got closer to a numbers Intel pronounced we should expect.
Core i7-8700K Application Performance
To puncture into a opening characteristics of Core i7-8700K, we ran a CPU by a gauntlet of rendering, encoding, and other capability tests. If we use mostly Office applications, a browser and gaming, a single-threaded opening formula matter more. If we revise video or perform other CPU-intensive tasks on your PC, compensate closer courtesy to a multi-threaded performance.
Cinebench R15 performance
Our initial exam is Maxon’s Cinebench R15. It’s a popular, giveaway benchmark formed on a same engine used in a company’s veteran Cinema 4D program. Professional 3D digest tends to like CPU cores and threads, and a default environment for Cinebench exploits all accessible cores.
The multithreaded formula bear this out, as a CPUs we’ve tested arrange out formed on a thread count. In a crazy range, we have Intel’s Core i9 chips and AMD’s Threadripper. From there a list sorts out simply formed on a series of cores and either a CPUs have Symmetric Multithreading (SMT), or what Intel calls Hyper-Threading.
In multi-threaded tests, a new Core i7-8700K (the second orange bar in a draft above) straddles a line between a opening of a 6-core CPU and an 8-core CPU. In Cinebench, that beam unequivocally good with a series of cores, it comes unequivocally tighten to a opening of an 8-core. The Ryzen 7 1700X simply walks divided from a Core i7-8700K, yet if we have any doubts as to either Core i7-8700K is improved left to contest with AMD’s 6-core Ryzen 5 chips, a outcome above should answer that.
We also run Cinebench in single-threaded mode to magnitude a opening of a CPU when an app or diversion usually uses one core. For a many part, such a exam favors CPUs with aloft time speeds and larger efficiency. With Core i7-8700K (see a pinkish bar below), we get that in spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds.
With a boost time of 4.7GHz, a Core i7-8700K slides past a prior tip dog, a Core i7-7700K that has a tip boost time of 4.5GHz. Intel indeed dominates a single-threaded opening with 8th-gen, Kaby Lake and Skylake-X backing adult in an nurse conform forward of a container of comparison Intel CPUs and AMD’s chips.
AMD fans will criticism that single-threaded opening doesn’t matter in a multi-threaded world, yet a oppressive law is a outrageous swath of applications and games don’t feat some-more than one CPU core during a time. Despite holding a backseat to Ryzen 7 1700X in a multi-threading test, Core i7-8700K wins this one in a big, large way.
Our second exam is another 3D describe app called Blender. It’s an open-source, giveaway focus that sees complicated use in many eccentric movies. Like Cinebench, it favors some-more cores and some-more threads, yet we’ve found that it doesn’t always scale that good with core count.
Blender’s opening can change severely with a effort thrown during it. For a test, we use a giveaway BMW CPU test. The outcome (see a navy-blue bar in a center of a chart, below) shows a perfect strength of this lively small 6-core Coffee Lake chip, that isn’t calm to dive it with a 6-core Ryzen 5 and Core i7 Broadwell-E chip. Its score, in fact, is passed even with a 8-core Ryzen 7 1700X. A 6-core chip that can hang with a 8-core chips is something to be respected.
The Persistence of Vision Raytracer (POV-Ray) is a ray tracer that dates behind to a days of a Commodore Amiga. Like Blender and Cinebench, it generally favors fit CPU cores. Once again we see a 6-core Core i7-8700K (the second orange bar, below) unresolved closer to a 8-core CPUs than a 6-core chips regulating a inner benchmark.
We also run POV-Ray’s inner single-threaded test. No surprise, a high-clocked Core i7-8700K (light blue, below) and Core i7-7700K (light pink, below) are in a passed heat. The lineup reinforces Intel’s lead in single-threaded apps, usually as we saw in Cinebench. The initial AMD CPU straggles in during 9th place. If you’re wondering because a Ryzen 7 1700X indeed loses to a cheaper 6-core Ryzen 5 1600X, it’s expected due to a somewhat aloft time speeds of a bill 6-core chip.
Our final 3D digest exam is sincerely new to us and indeed came to a courtesy by AMD. Our representation set is smaller, yet it again shows a Ryzen 7 1700X usually can’t shake a Core i7-8700K (the blue bar during a bottom). The Ryzen 7 wins—but by an uncomfortably slim domain deliberation it packs 4 some-more threads than a Core i7-8700K.
The universe isn’t all about digest 3D models, of course. More people are expected to be encoding video instead, that is where a giveaway and renouned Handbrake encoder comes in. For this test, we use an comparison chronicle and modify a 30GB, 1080p MKV record regulating a Android Tablet preset. Handbrake tends to preference CPUs with some-more cores and threads, and we see that informed pattern: Core i7-8700K (the second orange bar, below) unresolved right there with a 8-core CPUs, rather than with a 6-core chips. It’s not adequate to overtake a 8-core Ryzen chips or a a 8-core Broadwell-E, yet it’s closer than you’d expect.
Adobe Premiere Creative Cloud 2017
Our subsequent video exam uses Adobe’s veteran Premiere Creative Cloud 2017 to encode an tangible video plan shot by a video organisation in 4K on a Sony Alpha camera.
For this test, we keep a video plan on a Plextor PCIe SSD and write a plan to a same device, in sequence to mislay storage variability from a test.
We use Premiere to encode it regulating a Blu-ray preset and name a Maximum Render peculiarity option, that ups a picture peculiarity when changing fortitude (which we also do.) We mention that Premiere use a CPU for encoding rather than a GPU.
Some video professionals will sneer during regulating many slower CPUs for a video job, yet image-quality snobs will disagree that a best outcome is achieved regulating a CPU.
The formula again put a 6-core Core i7-8700K in a regulating with a 8-core chips. But we still hear those video pros tsk-tsking a choice of CPU encoding, so we also ran a exam regulating a GeForce GTX 1080 for CUDA-based encoding. Though some trust a CPU creates no difference, it’s transparent that core count still matters even on a GPU encode. It’s also transparent a Core i7-8700K can hang with those 8-core CPUs.
Core i7-8700K Gaming Performance
For a Threadripper and Core i9 tests, we didn’t dwell on gaming performance. Although important, those who buy $1,000 and $2,000 CPUs need them for digest and encoding, not gaming.
When you’re articulate about $360 mainstream chips (albeit higher-end mainstream chips), gaming matters a whole lot more. Because we wanted to use a unequivocally latest GeForce drivers on a tests, we also limited a formula to a Ryzen 7 1700X and Core i7-8700K, as we don’t have each singular CPU on record regulating a newest GPU drivers.
3DMark Time Spy Performance
Our initial exam is Futuremark’s 3DMark Time Spy test. Futuremark knows how to emanate pleasing exam scenes, and Time Spy doesn’t let us down. For this test, we record Time Spy’s CPU score, that apparently focuses on a CPU rather than a GPU. Time Spy also favors some-more cores, good news for AMD, whose 8-core Ryzen 7 1700X lands a nose in front.