The core wars are heating up, and right now AMD has the upper hand, as it pertains to providing more cores for mainstream consumers to play with. Conventional wisdom says it is only a matter of time before Intel releases an 8-core chip that is not part of its high-end desktop (HEDT) or Xeon product lines. The question is, when will that happen? Well, rumor has it that Intel is prepping an 8-core Coffee Lake processor for a September launch.
There was no such announcement at Computex earlier this month, so take all this with a pinch of salt. Word of the upcoming launch comes by way of an author at PCWatch, who claims to have heard the news from several OEM makers at the show. What they supposedly said and are apparently privy to is Intel’s plan for a “Coffee Lake Refresh,” similar to when it introduced its Kaby Lake Refresh (Kaby Lake-R) processors.
What’s different, of course, that Coffee Lake-R will consist of at least one 8-core CPU. It’s also presumably aimed at the desktop, not mobile. As with the regular Coffee Lake lineup, this 8-core part will slip into socket LGA1151 motherboards. We suspect that includes the current crop of LGA1151 motherboards with a simple BIOS update.
While none of this is official, it would not be surprising is Intel did in fact launch an 8-core chip in the mainstream sector. AMD is already there, and has been with its first- and second-generation Ryzen processors, such as the Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 7 2700X, priced at $290 and $320, respectively. It doesn’t matter all that much for gaming, but for multi-threaded workloads that can take advantage of the extra cores and threads, AMD’s latest processors get the job done a bit quicker than Intel’s 4-core and 6-core CPUs, for the most part.
Pricing is also a consideration. At present, Intel’s Core i7-8700K goes for $350, while the non-K model sells for $300. It also recently introduced a limited edition Core i7-8086K anniversary edition CPU that sells for $425.