from the coffee++ dept.
At the top of the stack are two Core i7 Coffee Lake processors. In previous generations 'Core i7' meant that we were discussing quad-core parts with hyperthreading, but for this generation it moves up to a six-core part with hyperthreading. The Core i7-8700K starts at a 3.7 GHz base frequency and is designed to turbo to 4.7 GHz in single threaded workloads, with a thermal design power (TDP) of 95W.
[...] In the middle of the stack are the Core i5 processors, with the new generation matching the 'same configuration without hyperthreading' philosophy that followed in the previous generation. The two Core i5 parts operate at lower clockspeeds compared to the Core i7, and perhaps more so than we are previously used to, especially with the Core i5-8400 having a base frequency of 2.8 GHz. Intel sampled us the Core i5-8400 for our review, because it hits an important metric: six cores for under $200.
[...] It is interesting to note that in the last generation, Intel had processors with two cores and two threads (2C/2T), two cores with hyperthreading (2C/4T), quad cores with four threads (4C/4T) and quad cores with hyperthreading (4C/8T). This layout had staggered, regular steps. With the move to 6C/12T on the high-end Core i7, and 6C/6T on the mid-range Core i5, Intel completely skips the 4C/8T parts and moves straight to 4C/4T on the Core i3. This is likely because a 4C/8T processor might overtake a 6C/6T part in some multi-threaded tests (it would also explain why moving from a previous 4C/8T Core i7 processor to a 6C/6T Core i5 8th generation is not always an increase in performance).
However at the bottom of the stack are the 4C/4T Core i3 processors, where Intel is pushing out an overclockable Core i3 processor again. This is a little bit of a surprise: in our testing of the previous generation overclockable Core i3, the fact that it was dual core was a setback in a lot of testing. With the Core i3-K now being quad-core, and overclocking it to try and beat a six-core chip for less money, for certain things like gaming we might see less of a difference between the two.
Previously: AMD's Ryzen Could be Forcing Intel to Release "Coffee Lake" CPUs Sooner
Intel's First 8th Generation Processors Are Just Updated 7th Generation Chips
Intel Launches 8th-Gen Core Desktop Chips; Claims New Core i7-8700K is its Best Gaming Chip Ever
Over the past six weeks, AMD's Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs have been making Intel's life a bit difficult. Chipzilla's standard desktop lineup has been rattled by AMD's new chips, which offer higher core counts and better performance in many workloads for significantly less money. Intel, of course, was never going to take this lying down — and new rumors suggest the company will accelerate the launch of its Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, pulling them forward to a June Computex unveiling as opposed to the original August timeline. Meanwhile, Intel will reportedly launch its Coffee Lake refresh in August of this year rather than waiting until January 2018.
14nm Coffee Lake will include Intel's first "mainstream" 6-core chip.
The first "8th generation" Intel Core processors roll out today: a quartet of 15W U-series mobile processors. Prior generation U-series parts have had two cores, four threads; these new chips double that to four cores and eight threads. They also bump up the maximum clock speed to as much as 4.2GHz, though the base clock speed is sharply down at 1.9GHz for the top end part (compared to the 7th generation's 2.8GHz). But beyond those changes, there's little to say about the new chips, because in a lot of ways, the new chips aren't really new.
Although Intel is calling these parts "8th generation," their architecture, both for their CPU and their integrated GPU, is the same as "7th generation" Kaby Lake. In fact, Intel calls the architecture of these chips "Kaby Lake refresh." Kaby Lake was itself a minor update on Skylake, adding an improved GPU (with, for example, hardware-accelerated support for 4K H.265 video) and a clock speed bump. The new chips continue to be built on Intel's "14nm+" manufacturing process, albeit a somewhat refined one.
Source: Ars Technica
In the past we are used to a new numbered generation to come with a new core microarchitecture design. But this time Intel is improving a core design, calling it a refresh, and only releasing a few processors for the mobile family. We expect that Intel's 8th Generation will eventually contain three core designs of product on three different process design nodes: the launch today is Kaby Lake Refresh on 14+, and in the future we will see Coffee Lake on 14++ become part of the 8th Gen, as well as Cannon Lake on 10nm.
[...] So when is Coffee Lake on 14++ (or Cannon Lake) coming? Intel only stated that other members of the 8th Generation family (which contains Kaby Lake Refresh, Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake) are coming later this year. Desktop will come in the autumn, and additional products for enterprise, workstation and enthusiast notebooks will also happen. As for today's 8th Generation U-series announcement, Intel tells us that we should start seeing laptops using the new CPUs hit the market in September.
Intel's new 8th-gen Core chips now include six cores on the high end, attacking one of AMD's Ryzen advantages.
[...] Orders for the Intel's new Core desktop chips will begin on Oct. 5, Anand Srivatsa, general manager of the desktop platform group at Intel, said. They will begin shipping later in the fourth quarter. Though Intel executives didn't use the term, the new chips have been referred to as part of the "Coffee Lake" family.
Of the six new desktop chips that Intel announced, the flagship offering is clearly the Core i7-8700K, which Srivatsa touted as its best gaming processor ever. The new Core i7-8700K will offer an additional 25 percent in frames per second running Microsoft's Gears of War 4, versus its 7th-gen Core i7-7700K—a 4-core, 8-thread part. Multitasking, though—such as gaming, streaming, and recording using the popular Player Unknown: Battlegrounds—will be a whopping 45 percent faster than a 7th-gen part, executives said.
Intel indicated that this 8th-generation part is built on what it calls a 14nm++ process. The company would not comment on the die size or transistor count at this time…
The company has added a few more knobs for the overclocking crowd to turn, as well. Turbo Boost 2.0 is still supported, but you now get per-core overclocking, a maximum memory ratio up to 8,400 MT/s, memory latency control, and PLM Trim controls. We've included a slide from Intel's press deck below. It lists some of the key specs and pricing. Notably, the high-end Core i7 part is $20 higher than initial Kaby Lake pricing; the Core i5 sits $15 higher. This move is likely designed to cover the additional costs of the silicon along with avoiding cannibalizing the existing Kaby Lake models. Cache sizes are higher and base clocks are lower, comparatively, but the single-core max frequencies are higher. TDP is also higher, presumably to support the higher core count.
2017 has been a great year for the tech enthusiast, with the return of meaningful competition in the PC space. Today, AMD announced their third quarter earnings, which beat expectations, and put the company's ledgers back in the black in their GAAP earnings. For the quarter, AMD had revenues of $1.64 billion, compared to $1.31 billion a year ago, which is a gain of just over 25%. Operating income was $126 million, compared to a $293 million loss a year ago, and net income was $71 million, compared to a net loss of $406 million a year ago. This resulted in earnings per share of $0.07, compared to a loss per share of $0.50 in Q3 2016.
[...] The Computing and Graphics segment has been a key to these numbers, with some impressive launches this year, especially on the CPU side. Revenue for this segment was up 74% to $819 million, and AMD attributes this to strong sales of both Radeon GPUs and Ryzen desktop processors. Average Selling Price (ASP) was also up significantly thanks to Ryzen sales. AMD is still undercutting Intel on price, but they don't have to almost give things away like they did the last couple of years. ASP of GPUs was also up significantly, and the proliferation of cryptocurrency likely played a large part in that. Operating income for the segment was an impressive $70 million, compared to an operating loss of $66 million last year.
Previously: AMD Ryzen Launch News
AMD GPU Supply Exhausted By Cryptocurrency Mining, AIBs Now Directly Advertising To Miners
AMD Epyc 7000-Series Launched With Up to 32 Cores
Cryptocoin GPU Bubble?
Ethereum Mining Craze Leads to GPU Shortages
Used GPUs Flood the Market as Ethereum's Price Crashes Below $150
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 Announced
First Two AMD Threadripper Chips Out on Aug. 10, New 8-Core Version on Aug. 31
Cryptocurrency Mining Wipes Out Vega 64 Stock
AMD Expected to Release Ryzen CPUs on a 12nm Process in Q1 2018