Intel earlier this month unloaded a slew of mobile- and desktop-based 8thgeneration Coffee Lake processors. Range-topping SKUs featured 6 physical cores capable of executing 12 threads. However, new technical documents uncovered on Intel’s website suggest that 8-core Coffee Lake parts could be arriving later this year.
Current Coffee Lake parts are referenced as “Coffee Lake S 6+2”, which refers to 6 physical cores and the integrated GPU (in this case, GT2 graphics). The new listing is shown as “Coffee Lake S 8+2”, which would should translate into 8 cores along with GT2 graphics. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as we’ve already seen engineering samples of this processor hit the 3DMark database.
Unfortunately, we can’t actually download the documents from Intel’s website (we don’t have the necessary login credentials, of course) to get more specifics on the processors. However, given that the documents are all listed on a page that is entitled “8th Generation Intel Core, Pentium and Celeron Processor Families (Coffee Lake S)”, we expect that these processors will be built on Intel’s 14nm++ architecture.
What is unknown, however, is what motherboards this new 8-core chip will actually be compatible with. Intel has a wide range of chipsets that support the current Coffee Lake family including the Z370, H370, B360, and H310. For those that have already invested in those platforms — especially the Z370 — it might be prudent for Intel to extend support for this new flagship processor. However, we know that Intel doesn’t often “play nice” when it comes to backwards/forwards compatibility, and there’s also the fact that we’ve heard rumors of an incoming Z390 chipset, which could bring exclusive support for 8-core parts.
Whatever the case, Intel’s 8-core part will be going toe-to-toe with AMD’s second-generation 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 2700/2700X processors along with whatever the company has planned for a second-generation 8-core Ryzen Threadripper part.