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Last seen 13 days ago.

— The hex-core i5-8500 hails from Intel’s eighth generation of Coffee Lake processors, known for featuring a higher number of cores at each SKU than in previous generations and their refinement of the 14nm architecture as seen in 6th and 7th generation processors. At an estimated price of $184 it offers good multi-core value for money. Its quad core performance nearly rivals the more expensive i7-7700K (the 2017 CPU of choice for many top-end gamers). However based on preliminary benchmarks, the i5-8500 is only marginally faster (2% greater effective speed) than the i5-8400 which is also a recent and competitively priced hex-core Coffee Lake processor. Also, like the i5-8400, the 8500 features 9MB of L3 cache and a frugal TDP of 65W, leaving not much to choose between them. As is the case of all Coffee Lake processors, currently the only motherboards that the 8500 can be paired with feature Intel’s high-end Z370 chipset for overclocking. However, alternative and more suitable 300 series motherboards are long overdue and expected to be available soon.

13 days ago.

— The 8 core, 16 thread 1900X is the third and entry-level processor from AMD’s Threadripper series of high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. The 1900X is based on AMD’s 14nm Zen architecture and features 20MB of cache (16MB of which is L3) and quad channel DDR4, which is twice as many channels as in the Ryzen 7 series. It has a base clock of 3.8GHz increasing to a boost of 4.0 GHz and has an additional short-term boost of 0.2 GHz when thermals allow. Most impressively, the 1900X features 64 PCIe lanes which is the same of number of lanes in the nearly twice as expensive Ryzen Threadripper flagship, the 1950X. This facilitates the simultaneous high speed PCIe connection of up to seven different graphics or storage peripherals. By comparison, Intel’s similarly priced 8 core, 16 thread i7-7820X which, even though it has an 11% effective speed advantage over the 1900X, only has 28 PCIe lanes (down from 44 lanes as recently seen in the recent i9-7900X). Both upgrade options may require new, and not inexpensive motherboards, the 7820X requires an X299 (Basin Falls) chipset and the 1900X utilizes the premium X399 motherboard. Despite the considerable price tags attached to the CPUs and motherboards, never before has HEDT processing been so affordable.

4 months ago.

— The high-end hex core, 12 thread i7-8700 is second in Intel’s line up of 8th generation Coffee Lake CPUs that witnesses an increase in the number of cores at each SKU, as well as further refinement on the 14nm architecture as seen in the 6th and 7th generations. The i7-8700 features a TDP of 65W, 9MB of L3 Cache and 16 PCIe lanes. Although the 8700 has a base clock of 3.2 GHz it has an all core boost of 4.3 GHz and a single core boost of 4.6 GHz. These are unusually high clocks for a non-K SKU, Intel have historically clocked their non-K SKUs around 10% lower than the flagship K variants but with Coffee Lake, the 8700 is almost a match for a stock 8700K. Priced at $320, the i7-8700 offers exceptional single, quad and multi-core processing power to the mainstream market but unfortunately a new 300 series chipset will also need to be factored into the purchase. AMD’s comparably priced Ryzen 7 1700X is an 8 core 16 thread processor which is around 20% faster at multi-threaded tasks, but has around 20% slower single and quad core performance so the choice between these two processors is use case dependant but generally favours Intel for most desktop users whose workloads are typically single or dual core bound.

5 months ago.

— Intel’s i3-8100 from their 8th generation of Core processors is a mainstream quad-core CPU. It is the entry model of the latest Coffee Lake line up with a clock speed of 3.6 GHz. Previously, i3 Kaby Lake processors had two cores with hyperthreading, but now, i3 Coffee Lake processors have 4 cores and offer much better value for money in terms of dollars per core. With a performance profile that closely matches last years mid range Kaby Lake i5's (the then go-to mid range gaming choice) and a price tag of just $120, the i3-8100 represents excellent value for money. Unfortunately, like all Coffe Lake processors, the i3-8100 does require a new 300-series motherboard even though it shares the same LGA1151 socket as the previous generation of Kaby Lake 200 motherboards. Intel were clearly mindful of AMD's similarly priced quad core Ryzen 3 1200 which achieves very comparable single, and quad-core benchmarks to the i3-8100.

5 months ago.

— The unlocked hex-core i5-8600K from Intel’s latest Coffee Lake generation of processors is the new flagship of the i5 series, succeeding the Kaby Lake quad-core i5-7600K. The 8th generation of processors brings the largest performance uplift since Sandy Bridge by adding more cores at each of the i3, i5 and i7 product lines. Like the other Coffee Lake processors, the i5-8600K is built upon optimized 14nm architecture, marginally improved upon from Kaby Lake and Skylake. The 8600K has a 95W TDP and a nominal stock clock of 3.6 GHz, which boosts to 4.1 GHz for all six cores, 4.2 GHz for dual/quad and 4.3 GHz for single core. Early benchmarks put the i5-8600K’s effective speed 15% ahead of the i5-7600K. A 50% increase in multi-core speed is explained by two additional cores and thanks to the quad-core clock bump from 4 GHz on the 7600K to 4.2 GHz on the 8600K there is also an additional 5% performance boost across all workloads. All Coffee Lake processors require a 300-series chipset, making a straight CPU upgrade unfeasible despite sharing the same socket as their Z270 predecessors. Even though most games still use less than 4 cores simultaneously, the i5-8600K is a great choice for gamers (especially streamers) but for $80 less, the 8350K which is faster than last years 7600K and only marginally weaker for gaming than the 8600K is certainly well worth considering as well.

5 months ago.

— The i5-8400 is a competitively priced hex-core processor from Intel’s 8th generation of Core processors (Coffee Lake). Along with the release of the unlocked i5-8600K, this is the first time that six-core processors have featured in the i5 line-up. Like the other Coffee Lake processors, the i5-8400 is based upon an improved version of Intel’s 14nm architecture which featured in both Skylake and Kaby Lake. Early benchmarks reveal that for average quad core usage (most games employ a maximum of four cores) the i5-8400 performs way above its pay grade. It achieves quad core mixed speeds close to Intel’s outgoing 2017 flagship the $300, quad-core, 8 thread i7-7700k, which to date has been a strong favourite for high-end gaming setups. On paper, the i5-8400 has a base clock of 2.8 GHz (Intel are significantly downplaying the performance of this SKU by giving it a relatively low nominal base clock), an all core boost of 3.8 GHz (this is the effective base clock figure that counts) and a single core boost of 4 GHz. This compares reasonably well to the i5-8600K which has a base clock of 3.6 GHz, all core boost of 4.1 GHz and a single core boost of 4.3 GHz. The i5-8400 also features 9MB of L3 cache and an energy-thrifty TDP of 65W. Priced at under $190, the i5-8400 offers fantastic value for money. Unfortunately, like the other Coffee Lake processors, the i5-8400 will require a new 300 series motherboard, and at the time of writing, the only available version is Intel’s high-end Z370 which isn't an ideal pairing for the i5-8400. The Z series motherboards are designed to cater for the unlocked and overclockable "K" SKUs. Cheaper 300 series motherboards will be available in 2018 at which time the 8400 will offer even better value for money.

5 months ago.

— The i7-8700K is Intel’s latest, top of the range, 8th generation Coffee Lake processor. Like Kaby Lake and Sky Lake before that, Coffee Lake is based on Intel’s 14nm architecture which has been slightly optimized on each iteration. Following AMD’s modus operandi, Intel has upped the cores and threads across the range of their CPUs. In previous generations, a 6-core processor would have been a high-end desk-top (HEDT) processor, however the i7-8700K is the first Intel CPU with 6 cores and 12 threads to be classified (and priced) as a mainstream consumer processor. Specifically, the i7-8700K features a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz which boosts to 4.7 GHz (4.5 GHz for the previous generation i7-7700k), 12MB of smart (L3) cache and 2 channels of DDR4 RAM. The majority of the performance improvements over the 7th generation stem from the higher core count which results in a 50% increase in multi-core speed between the i7-7700k and i7-8700k. A new motherboard will need to be factored into the budget when upgrading to the 8700K as it requires a new Intel Z370 chipset which has supposedly been designed to better deliver power to CPUs with a greater number of cores. Also available in this latest release of CPUs is the 6 core 6 thread i5-8600k which is a more rational option (around $100 cheaper) for the vast majority of users that don’t require hyper-threading. Sandy bridge owners can finally justify an upgrade but with the next iteration of AMD's Zen architecture just around the corner the CPU market will be a lot faster moving now that Intel, once again, has to compete.

5 months ago.

— The quad core i3-8350K hails from Intel’s most recent (and as yet unreleased) generation of Coffee Lake processors. It has a stock clock of 4.0 GHz, 8MB of cache and a TDP of 95W. The 8350K is the first i3 processor to feature four cores (previous generations of i3s had two cores and four threads). With this eighth generation of processors, Intel has introduced a step change in their nomenclature which witnesses the old quad core i5s become the new quad core i3s. Our benchmarks show a 25% increase in effective speed between generations of i3 8350K vs 7350K and near equivalence between the outgoing i5-7600K and the new i3-8350K. Although the price points of Coffee Lake are not yet known, if Intel keep them roughly in line with the previous generations (i3 ~= $140) this will represent the best improvement in value for money since Sandy Bridge as the 8350K at $140 would be 34.8% cheaper than a 7600K at $215. Cynics among us will see this as an effort to fend off competition from AMD’s new multi-core Ryzen processors. It appears Intel may have been successful with this move as early benchmarks from the 8350K suggest that it beats the more expensive 8 core Ryzen 7 1700 in single and quad core performance by 25%. The 8350K is a great choice for gaming builds, but the budget will also need to factor in a complementary motherboard based on the new 300 series chipset. Expect the quad core i3-8100 which is the 8350K’s little sister featuring a base clock of 3.6 GHz, to follow shortly.

7 months ago.

— The Ryzen Threadripper 1920X is a 12 core 24 thread CPU, currently second only to the 1950X (16 cores, 32 threads) in AMD’s latest Zen-based line for high end desktop processors. Similarly to the 1950X, it has a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz (3.4 GHz for the 1950X) which can boost to a maximum of 4.0 GHz and features quad channel DDR4 and 64 PCI Express lanes. Also, like the other Threadripper CPUs, the 1920X sits on the latest X399 platform. Intel has a number of processors which outperform the 1920X, such as the i5-7600K which is a quarter of the price and offers around 25% better performance than the 1920X for single and quad core usage (most games only use a maximum of four cores). However, the 1920X is squarely aimed at offering value for money to multi-core workstation users and in this category, the 1920X is closer to competing with Intel’s 15% dearer 10 core, 20 thread i9-7900X. The 8 core, 16 thread 1900X, will shortly be available as the third product in the Threadripper line, featuring a slightly higher base clock of 3.8 GHz.

7 months ago.
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Intel Core i7-8700K $330Nvidia GTX 1070 $86Samsung 850 Evo 250GB $85
Intel Core i7-7700K $290Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB $69Samsung 850 Evo 500GB $139
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