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Intel announces its eighth-generation Coffee Lake desktop processors

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Confused yet?

Intel announced its first wave of eighth-generation Core processors for laptops back in August, and now it’s time for desktops to get their own turn at Intel’s latest processors.

The biggest change in the eighth-generation Core line is that Intel is upping core count across the entire eighth-generation range on desktop. The entry-level i3 model now comes with four cores (up from two); the midrange Core i5 has six (up from four); and Core i7 chips now offer six cores with hyper-threading.

According to Intel, the new chips are up to 32 percent faster compared to the previous generation, and up to 65 percent faster than a three-year-old machine when it comes to tasks like video editing or content creation. Intel is also touting big improvements on the gaming side of things, calling out the top-of-the-line i7-8700K as the company’s “best gaming desktop processor ever."

As AnandTech reports, Intel is offering six, eighth-gen desktop chips at launch, two for each processor class:

  • i3-8100, with four cores / four threads and clocked at 3.6GHz for approximately $117
  • i3-8350K, with four cores / four threads and clocked at 4.0GHz for approximately $168
  • i5-8400, with six cores / six threads and clocked at 2.8GHz (with a boost of up to 4.0GHz) for approximately $182
  • i5-8600K, with six cores / six threads and clocked at 3.6GHz (with a boost of up to 4.4GHz) for approximately $257
  • i7-8700, with six cores / 12 threads and clocked at 3.2GHz (with a boost of up to 4.6GHz) for approximately $303
  • i7-8700K with six cores / 12 threads and clocked at 3.8GHz (with a boost of up to 4.7GHz) for approximately $359

The new eighth-generation chips are designed for the average consumer, though, so users looking for the absolutely highest performance level on desktop at any cost may want to still consider Intel’s Core X family of ultra-powerful processors. Some of the higher-end eighth-gen chips do give the Core X models a run for their money, however, at least on paper.

As noted by AnandTech, the improvements in the eighth-generation line aren’t coming cheap, either. While prices aren’t finalized for retail just yet, expect to pay something to the tune of $30 to $50 more for a comparable eighth-generation chip than you would have for a seventh-generation model at launch. And, as is usually the case with these generational changes, you’ll need to invest in a motherboard built off Intel’s new Z370 chipset to actually use the eighth-gen chips, which is another cost to consider if you’re looking to upgrade.

Intel referred to the eighth-generation Core laptop processors as the revised editions of the seventh-generation Kaby Lake models (known as Kaby Lake-R), which were built on the same 14+nm node. Unlike those, the eighth-generation desktop chips are a proper step forward, moving to the 14++nm node, known as Coffee Lake. That said, it’s still not quite the jump that Intel had likely been hoping for to the 10nm architecture (Cannon Lake), although the company is still promising that later eighth-generation products will be built on 10nm architecture, too.

The eighth-gen Intel Core desktop processors will launch on October 5th.