Intel upped the core depend on its mainstream processors with Espresso Lake. This needed to occur, and admittedly, would have been unthinkable if Staff Blue launched yet one more technology of quad-core chips in gentle of how AMD has redrawn the battle traces with Ryzen and Threadripper.
The Intel Core i7-8700Okay sits comfortably on the prime of the Espresso Lake pile, with six cores, 12 threads and better frequencies than any of AMd’s Ryzen processors. After utilizing this processor for per week, 2017’s mainstream flagship is every thing we might ask for: with otherworldly gaming efficiency and hyperthreading numbers that put Ryzen as a replacement. It could even overclock like a champ.
Base clock: 3.7Hz
Enhance clock: 4.7GHz
L3 cache: 12MB
Pricing and availability
Priced at $359 (about £270, AU$460), the Intel Core i7-8700Okay takes on AMD’s greatest Ryzen 7 processors together with the $399 (£319, AU$499) 1700X and $499 (£399, AU$649) 1800X.
Even when this CPU has two fewer cores than its Purple-colored rivals, the 8700Okay pulls forward with increased base and increase clocks of three.7 and 4.7GHz, respectively.
A hexa-core mainstream processor is an enormous step ahead for Intel, who beforehand positioned something with greater than four-cores inside its high-end-desktop (HEDT) E- and X-series ranges.
Talking of which, Intel’s i7-7800X hexa-core Skylake X chip may come shut in value at $379 (£349, AU$495), however these X299 motherboards will value a bit greater than the brand new Z370 chipset. And, if you happen to’re enthusiastic about transferring on as much as Espresso Lake Refresh, you’ll undoubtedly must pony up for a brand new motherboards, because the older Z270 platforms don’t help the newest technology’s increased energy supply calls for.
Whereas we’re including up all the additional prices, bumping up the core depend has resulted in a small value premium. Its predecessor, the Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7700Okay, was a bit extra reasonably priced at $349 (£299, AU$459).
The Core i7-8700Okay brings Intel’s multi-core efficiency as much as and effectively above the excessive benchmark Ryzen has set this yr.
This chip soundly overtook AMD’s competing Ryzen 7 1700X in Geekbench 4, with a rating a number of hundreds of factors increased – by extension, this makes the previous-generation Intel Core i7-7700Okay’s multi-core numbers seem like a joke.
What’s much more spectacular is Intel’s newest half beat the pants off its predecessor in all our single-core exams, too.
All of this processing energy additionally finally ends up serving to the 8700Okay convert video as quick as a few of the business’s most overpowered CPUs, just like the Intel Core i9-7980XE and AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X – although these aforementioned chips will nonetheless win any hyper-threading race via sheer brute power.
In the case of gaming, in our testing, there’s not going to be an enormous enchancment over final technology. In comparison with final yr’s Core i7-7700Okay, the shiny new hexa-core CPU elevated body charges throughout the board, with the best enhancements seen in titles operating at Full HD and Extremely high quality settings.
Options and chipset
Intel labored some black magic to squeeze 18 cores into the tiny Intel Core i9-7980 XE, and a few of that witchcraft has discovered its manner into the Intel Core i7-8700Okay. Reasonably than packing in two extra cores than we ever noticed on Kaby Lake, the processor package deal hasn’t grown by a single millimeter.
Whereas that’s spectacular, it’s additionally barely annoying that this new technology of CPUs nonetheless calls for us to purchase into an entire new motherboard.
Nonetheless, the Z370 isn’t truly a lot of an enchancment over last-gen’s Z270 chipset. It nonetheless solely helps dual-channel reminiscence and, out of the 40 out there PCIe lanes, solely 16 are straight related to the processor. The opposite 24 PCIe lanes share a single DMI 3.Zero connection to the processor – which suggests you may solely squeeze out the complete potential of two GPUs – or one graphics card and two M.2 NVMe SSDs.
Fortunately, Z370 does have a silver lining of including official help for DDR4 2,666MHz reminiscence – up from the two,400MHz frequency seen on Z270 – and improved energy supply for a few of the best overclocking we’ve seen on a mainstream processor.
Overclocking and warmth
Clearly, with a core depend enhance comes the inevitable rise in energy consumption. Nonetheless, we weren’t anticipating the Intel Core i7-8700Okay to be twice as energy hungry as its Kaby Lake predecessors. Nonetheless, at idle, the 6-core chip sips electrical energy at a mean of 5 wats, manner lower than the 12 watts the AMD Ryzen 1700X gulps, so Intel hasn’t fully deserted vitality effectivity.
On the flipside, the 8700Okay is more than pleased to absorb additional present and push itself past its rated most 4.7GHz frequency.
We simply achieved a 5.0GHz frequency throughout all of the cores simply by giving the processor an additional 0.02 volts of juice, and solely noticed the utmost temperature bounce to 85-degrees Celsius and 152.84 watts of energy consumption. One other additional dab of juice allowed us to additional clock up the Intel Core i7-8700Okay to five.1GHz throughout all cores with out considerably detrimental results.
Pushing the six-cores to five.2GHz sadly proved to be too unstable to even get Home windows 10 to load correctly. Whereas this may appear disappointingly brief from the 8700Okay’s most pace of 4.7GHz, we’re impressed with how little additional warmth and energy calls for overclocking created.
On the finish of the day, the Intel Core i7-8700Okay stays comparatively cool, maxing out at simply 76 levels, whereas working usually and comfortably underneath a Thermaltake triple radiator as its cooling blanket. The one time it received a bit scorching underneath the covers was after we overclocked the processor to that 5.1GHz mark, the place it reached a peak temperature of 87 levels.
Intel Core i7-8700K proves Staff Blue remains to be the highest canine within the processor world. Espresso Lake is a transparent enchancment over Kaby Lake with impressively increased single-core and multi-core numbers, and ever-so-slightly higher gaming efficiency. What’s extra, the staggering hyper-threading efficiency places it effectively above AMD’s octo-core Ryzen processors and even into the realm of some high-end desktop (HEDT) components.
The Intel 8700Okay will get somewhat hotter and extra energy hungry than we wish, however that was considerably anticipated with the bump up in cores. What we didn’t count on as a pleasing shock was the benefit of overclocking the processor to five.1GHz, to not point out the comparatively low-impact of doing so.
The hardest capsule to swallow out of all of that is having to get a brand new motherboard to even use Espresso Lake-S. However, if you happen to’re keen to spend the cash to improve each elements, the Intel Core i7-8700K is the perfect mainstream processor available on the market, and it comes with all of the bragging rights of getting the very best benchmark numbers in its class.