On the 5th of October, Intel will officially launch its 8th-generation processors into retail and OEM. These desktop chips offer more cores than Intel’s 7th-gen processors did, at a slightly higher power cost and with a small price increase.
Since rival chip-makerAMD brought out its own new Ryzen processors earlier this year that offered more cores at a lower cost, and superior performance over Intel’s 7th-generation processors in certain circumstances, this is a welcome move for Intel fans who’d been hoping Intel would respond in kind.
The additional cores of these new processors offer improved performance in intensive parallel workloads, as well as improved gaming performance when compared directly to the previous generation’s processors. They’re also more overclockable than Intel’s previous-gen CPUs were. Intel says they will offer “up to 40%” of a performance improvement over previous-gen chips.
According to Engadget, Intel calls its top-end 8th-gen processor, the i7-8700k, its “best gaming desktop processor ever”. It’s a six-core, 12-thread, 3.7GHz monster that Intel says boosts some games’ frame rates by “up to 25%” over the i7-7700k, and does 4K video editing “up to 32% faster”.
Other improvements include faster video streaming and recording, tweaks to multitasking, smoother streaming of cutting-edge 4K/10-bit/HDR Ultra HD video, a Turbo Boost speed of 4.7GHz and the ability to push that even further without requiring liquid cooling.
Of course, Intel’s complete line-up includes Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 chips that occupy a wide range of price points, TDPs, and Smart Cache levels. Here’s a quick look at them from Intel’s official product brief:
Something to keep in mind is that these new processors will not run on Intel’s 200-series chipset – upgrading will require the acquisition of a new motherboard featuring the Intel’s new 300-series chipset. So while these processors feature the same pin configuration as their 7th-gen counterparts and thus feature same physical socket, they are incompatible with those older boards. Intel has no plans to issue a firmware patch to change this at a later date, either.
What’s more, the new chipset isn’t dramatically different, either, only sporting things like “improved power delivery for 6-core chips and better support for DDR4-2666 memory”, according to Engadget.
As with every new generation of PC tech, if you upgraded recently, these new products won’t hold much appeal. If, however, you or your business are running older hardware, like 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-gen processors, these new shiny chips should offer a stunning leap forward in performance and value.
Just don’t forget to grab new motherboards with them, and some DDR4 RAM if you’ve not upgraded beyond 4th-gen.