Intel announced its 8th-generation Core CPU lineup for desktop PCs last week, and now they have officially been launched. The lineup consists of six new models, two each in the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 families. For the first time since Intel began using the Core branding and stratification, the company has increased the number of cores in each category. Core i3 CPUs now have four cores, rather than two cores with Hyper-Threading; Core i5 CPUs now have six cores instead of four, and Core i7 CPUs now have six cores plus Hyper-Threading, rather than four with Hyper-Threading prior to now.
The move could be seen as a response to AMD's Ryzen R3, R5 and R7 lineup which offer between four and eight cores, nearly all with multi-threading, and have proven to match or exceed the performance of Intel's 7th Generation parts at lower prices in multi-threaded aplications. Intel is claiming significant performance benefits because of its architecture, design and manufacturing capabilities. The top-end Core i7-8700K model is described as the "best ever" CPU for gaming, and will live alongside Intel's higher-end but older Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X based Core X-series processors.
The Core i7-8700K has base and boost speeds of 3.7GHz and 4.7GHz respectively, and the Core i7-8700 runs at 3.2Ghz to 4.6Ghz. The Core i5-8600K runs at 3.6Ghz to 4.3GHz, while the Core i5-8400 runs at 2.8GHz to 4GHz. The Core i3 models do not support Turbo Boost clock speed scaling, and so the Core i3-8350K runs at a constant 4GHz while the Core i3-8100 runs at 3.6GHz. Intel has not yet announced Indian pricing, but the US prices range from $117 (approximately Rs. 7,582 before taxes) to $359 (approximately Rs.23,265 before taxes).
The new CPUs are based on an architecture called Coffee Lake. In another first for Intel, architectures don't correspond to a single product generation anymore. The 8th Generation will comprise of parts using the previously announced Kaby Lake Refresh architecture as well as Coffee Lake which both use 14nm manufacturing processes, and the upcoming (after numerous delays) 10nm Cannonlake.
Despite having the same number of pins as the previous Kaby Lake and Skylake generation parts, Coffee Lake CPUs will not work in the same motherboards, primarily due to Intel reworking the power delivery and RAM connectivity requirements because of the higher core counts. Intel has also released the companion Z370 platform controller, and Asus and Gigabyte have already announced new motherboards based on it.
Asus has launched eight new models in its Prime, TUF, Strix and ROG Maximus lines, ranging in price from Rs. 11,690 to Rs. 22,380 (including taxes). The company says that its top-end ROG Maximus X Hero has achieved a new overclocking record with the Core i7-9700K, reaching 7.3GHz on all six cores with DDR4 RAM also overclocked to 5529.2GHz. While the ROG series is aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts who want absolutely everything, the Strix series aims to be more affordable, and the Prime series covers the essentials. Gigabyte has teased its Aorus gaming lineup with high-end audio, RGB LED lighting, advanced fan controls, and high-quality power circuitry. Details of the number of models coming to India and their prices haven't yet been announced.