Today marks a milestone for Intel with the release of the first mainstream six-core CPUs in the Core i5 and Core i7 segments and the first quad-core Core i3 CPUs. Core counts have skyrocketed this year across the board, first with High-End Desktop segments hitting a staggering eighteen cores, and now mainstream platforms finally breaking away from a quad-core ceiling. We have Intel’s six-core, six-thread Core i5-8400 on hand, and we’ll put it through its paces and see if more cores actually matter to anything more than benchmarking.
Today Intel releases their new 8th generation Core Processors, known as Coffee Lake-S. While socket LGA 1151 is retained for this generation, Intel has tweaked so much to deliver the ultimate mainstream desktop experience, 8th gen CPU’s can only function on new 300 series motherboards. Intel’s mainstream offerings have topped out at 4 cores for many generations now, but 8th generation CPU’s give that a 50% increase to 6 cores on Core i5 and i7 offerings. Eighth generation Core i3 CPU’s see doubling of the core count to quad-core, and all three segments offer fully unlocked SKU’s for maximizing performance. Technologies such as Hyper-Threading and Turbo-Boost remain, but several new features make their appearance in this segment as well.
At Computex this year, Intel officially announced its new HEDT (High-End Desktop) platform based on a new 2066 pin socket and X299 chipset. Intel, with a lineup extending from quad-cores up to an unheard of 18 core CPU, had enthusiasts and professional users foaming at the mouth only to end up crestfallen to learn these high core count parts would not be available at launch or even shortly after. Team Red managed to steal the spotlight for a few weeks with the first 12 and 16 core consumer-oriented CPU’s landing on store shelves, but today Intel retakes the throne. With the official launch of the long-awaited last three SKU’s in the lineup, the fourteen core i9-7940X, sixteen-core Core i9-7960X and the monster eighteen-core Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition, Intel once again hold the title of “The most cores and threads in a consumer CPU”.
Nearly six years ago in November of 2011, Intel divided its lineup by releasing its first HEDT (High-End Desk-Top) in the form of the X79 platform and a trio of Sandy Bridge-E CPU’s with the flagship 6-core Extreme Edition Core i7-3960X. The platform eventually received an update to Ivy Bridge-E with three new CPUs. Three years later, the updated X99 platform was launched with another trio of Haswell-E CPU’s with the 8 core i7-5960X, later to be trumped with Broadwell-E’s 10-core i7-6950X. Fast-forward just under 3 years and Intel brings us X299. This time however, Intel changed the game and announced NINE different CPU’s over a stagger launch. Spanning 2 architectures at the same time, Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X, X299 hits the ground with a starting lineup from quad core to 18 cores, up to quad channel ddr4 memory and up to a hefty 44 PCIe lanes.
While we wait for the remaining Sky Lake-X CPU’s to arrive, we’ll take a look at one offering near the middle of the shotgun pattern launch with the 8 core, 16 thread Intel Core i7-7820X. Does it compare to the retiring 8 core champion of X99? We certainly aim to find out!
The new X299 platform brings a number of new features and enhancements over the previous X99 platform. It also brings with it a new line of processors. They range from 4 cores all the way up to 18 cores. Skylake-X handles the 6 core to 18 core variants, while Kaby Lake-X handles the 4 core models. We recently reviewed the top dog Skylake Core i9 7900X. Today we will be looking its little brother, the Kaby Lake Core i7 7740X.
At Computex this year Intel announced its new high-end desktop (HEDT) platform. All the architecture changes meant that Intel needed a new socket, Socket 2066. The new X299 platform brings a number of new features and enhancements over the previous X99 platform. It also brings with it a new line of processors. They range from 4 cores all the way up to 18 cores. Skylake-X handles the 6 core to 18 core variants, while Kaby Lake-X handles the 4 core models.
Upon release, we reviewed the flagship of the Kaby Lake lineup, the Core i7-7700K. We came away rather impressed. Not only did it outperform the previous generation Core i7-6700K, it also proved to be a more capable overclocker. This time we have the Core i3-7350K. The Core i3 has half the hyperthreaded cores of a Core i7 and half the L3 cache at 4 MB. However Turbo Boost is disabled. Like its bigger brother, it features an unlocked multiplier though, for easy overclocking. This is something we haven’t seen since the 1st generation Core processors.