The 8th Generation Intel Core processors, codenamed Coffee Lake, are the first Intel processor family to garner so much interest in recent history. Thanks to the Ryzen Effect, Intel is finally increasing the number of processor cores across the board. FINALLY. In this review, we are going to take a close look at the new Intel Core i7-8700K processor that boasts 6 cores capable of handling 12 simultaneous threads.
The 8th Generation Intel Core Processors
The Intel Core i7-8700K headlines the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor family. Here is a table comparing their key specifications :
|Specifications||Core i7-8700K||Core i7-8700||Core i5-8600K||Core i5-8400||Core i3-8350K||Core i3-8300||Core i3-8100|
|Base Clock||3.7 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.5 GHz||2.8 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||3.9 GHz||None||None||None|
|L1 Cache||384 KB||384 KB||384 KB||384 KB||256 KB||256 KB||256 KB|
|L2 Cache||1.5 MB||1.5 MB||1.5 MB||1.5 MB||1 MB||1 MB||1 MB|
|L3 Cache||12 MB||12 MB||9 MB||9 MB||8 MB||6 MB||6 MB|
|TDP||95 W||65 W||95 W||65 W||91 W||65 W||65 W|
The Intel Core i7-8700K Hexa-Core CPU
The Intel Coffee Lake (8th Gen) processors are built on the same 14 nm process technology as the Intel Skylake and Kaby Lake processors, albeit refined. In addition to the two extra processor cores, it packs a 50% larger L3 cache and support for faster DDR4-2666 memory.
Even with the two additional cores and a larger L3 cache, the Intel Core i7-8700K looks like any other LGA 1151 processor that have come out of Intel’s factories in years past. However, it cannot be used in older Intel 100-series or 200-series motherboards. Even though it uses the same LGA 1151 socket, its pin configuration has changed. It must be installed in an Intel 300-series motherboard.[adrotate group=”1″]
Benchmarking The Intel Core i7-8700K
In this review, we will take a look at the work and gaming performance of the Intel Core i7-8700K processor. We will compare it to the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), the Intel Core i7-6700K, the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) and the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) processors. Here is a table comparing their key specifications.
|AMD Ryzen 7 1800X||Intel Core i7-8700K||Intel Core i7-6700K||AMD Ryzen 5 1500X||AMD Ryzen 3 1300X|
|Cores / Threads||8 / 16||6 / 12||4 / 8||4 / 8||4 / 4|
|Base Clock||3.6 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.0 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.7 GHz|
|L2 Cache||4 MB||1.5 MB||1 MB||2 MB||2 MB|
|L3 Cache||16 MB||12 MB||8 MB||16 MB||8 MB|
|Current Price||US$ 499||US$ 339||US$ 298||US$ 189||US$ 129|
Here are the specifications of the testbeds we used :
|Intel Testbed||AMD Testbed|
|Processors||Intel Core i7-8700K
Intel Core i7-6700K
|AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F-Gaming
ASRock Z170 Extreme4
|GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming-5
ASRock AB350 Gaming K4
|Memory Speed||Corsair Vengeance LPX
DDR4-2666 (4 GB x 2)
|Corsair Vengeance LPX
DDR4-2666 (4 GB x 2)
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon RX 480||AMD Radeon RX 480|
|Storage||Western Digital Black²||Western Digital Black²|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)||Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)|
The Intel Core i7-8700K has 2 extra cores and handles 50% more threads than the Intel Core i7-6700K, but has a slightly lower base clock speed. However its boost clock goes all the way to 4.7 GHz, if a single core is used. Let’s see how it performs against the field!
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3D Rendering Speed – CINEBENCH R15
CINEBENCH R15 is a real-world 3D rendering benchmark based on the MAXON Cinema 4D animation software. This is a great way to accurately determine the actual performance of a processor in 3D content creation.
CINEBENCH R15 Single Core
This Single Core test is not reflective of real world performance, but it is useful to find out the performance of the individual core.
We already knew from our Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) reviews that the Intel Skylake core is about 8% faster than the AMD Ryzen core. Intel made improvements to the Coffee Lake core but do not let the results fool you – most of it is due to the higher clock speed.
When it runs with a single core, the Intel Core i7-8700K has a turbo boost clock of 4.7 GHz – a full GHz over its base clock speed. If we adjust the results to account for the higher clock speed, the Intel Coffee Lake core is about 9.4% faster than the AMD Ryzen core.
CINEBENCH R15 Multi Core
This shows the real-world 3D rendering performance of the five processors. Impressively, the 6-core Intel Core i7-8700K came within 5% of the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), which is an 8-core, 16-thread processor!
Even more impressive is the fact that the Intel Core i7-8700K was 72% faster than the Core i7-6700K in this test. That is a double-digit improvement worth crowing about!
CINEBENCH R15 MP Ratio
The analysis of the Multi-Processing Ratio is useful in checking the efficiency of the SMT implementation. The MP Ratio is independent of the processor’s clock speed.
After adjusting for their clock speed differences, we estimate that the SMT implementation in the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) is about 12% more efficient than Hyper-Threading in the Intel Core i7-8700K.[adrotate group=”1″]
Video Transcoding Speed – HandBrake
HandBrake is a free, open-source video transcoding utility. Video transcoding basically converts a video file from one resolution / format to another. As you can imagine, it’s very compute-intensive. In our test, we converted a 4K video of 1.3 GB in size into a 1080p video (HQ1080p30).
Radial Blur Speed – Photoshop CC 14
The radial blur filter adds the perception of motion to a picture. This is a compute-intensive operation that benefits from multiple processing cores. This radial blur test was performed on a single 13.5 megapixel photo, with a filesize of 4,910,867 bytes.
The Intel Core i7-8700K did very well in this test, applying the radial blur filter in just 8 seconds – less than a second (9%) slower than the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check)! It was 57% faster in this test than the Core i7-6700K. Very impressive!
Next Page > 3DMark & Ashes of the Singularity Performance
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3DMark – Time Spy (DirectX 12)
In the Time Spy CPU test, the Intel Core i7-8700K was 19% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and 30% faster than the Core i7-6700K. However, its overall score was actually a tad higher than that of the Ryzen 7 1800X .
Ashes of the Singularity (1080p)
In the RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity, the single core CPU performance has a significant effect on the actual frame rate.
The performance of the Intel Core i7-8700K in this game perplexed us. Despite reinstalling the drivers and benchmarking over and over again, we kept getting the same results. For some reason, the Core i7-8700K was actually 4% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), 14% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), and 18% slower than the Core i7-6700K.[adrotate group=”1″]
Ashes of the Singularity (4K)
When we bumped up the resolution to 4K, the performance difference was greatly reduced. Even so, the Intel Core i7-8700K continued to underperform, basically matching the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) in performance.
Next Page > Warhammer & The Witcher 3 Performance
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Total War: Warhammer (1080p)
Like Ashes of the Singularity, the single core performance appears to be crucial in Total War: Warhammer.
With an average frame rate of just 66.7 fps, the Core i7-8700K was 19% slower than the Core i7-6700K, 15% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), and 13% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).
Let’s remember that these are the actual frame rates, not the actual CPU performance.
Total War: Warhammer (4K)
When we increased the resolution to 4K, all other four processors delivered practically the same average frame rates. Naturally, at this high resolution, the graphics card was the most important factor in delivering high frame rates.
However, the Intel Core i7-8700K continued to buck the trend by delivering noticeably lower frame rates. Its average frame rate was 9% lower than the other four processors.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (1080p)
The CPU performance has a smaller effect with FPS games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. On the other hand, it supports multi-core processors. In any case, the Intel Core i7-8700K continued its trend of underperforming with games. Its average frame rate was roughly on par with the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).
The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (4K)
When we bumped up the resolution to 4K though, all five processors were virtually equivalent in performance. That’s not to say that they are equally fast, just that the graphics card mattered far, far more at such a high resolution.
Next Page > Summary & Verdict On The Intel Core i7-8700K
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Summary & Verdict On The Intel Core i7-8700K
The Intel Core i7-8700K is a breath of fresh air. Finally, Intel has a new processor worth boasting about. Thanks to the two additional cores, and the consequently larger L2 and L3 caches, it is significantly faster than its predecessor, even those built on the same microarchitecture and process technology.
The multi-core applications we tested just lapped up the extra cores and deliver significantly better performance. Even its single-core performance was improved, mostly due to the higher clock speed.
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 72% faster than the Core i7-6700K in 3D rendering
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 46% faster than the Core i7-6700K in video transcoding
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 57% faster than the Core i7-6700K in applying the radial blur filter
The Intel Core i7-8700K was just 4.8% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X in 3D rendering
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 13.3% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X in video transcoding
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 8.8% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X in applying the radial blur filter
But when it came to games, everything turned on its head. Perplexingly, it performed poorly in all of our game tests, delivering frame rates that were slower than the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), and even the Ryzen 3 1300X (Lowest Price)!
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 18% slower than the Core i7-6700K in Ashes of the Singularity
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 19% slower than the Core i7-6700K in Total War: Warhammer
The Intel Core i7-8700K was 3.4% slower than the Core i7-6700K in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
As those frame rates are heavily influenced by the graphics card, we think it is likely an issue with the motherboard. We will need to take more time to figure out what’s wrong. We will retest and update this review as soon as we can.
But based on the raw performance of the processor in the applications we tested, we feel safe to say that the Intel Core i7-8700K is definitely the Core i7 processor that Intel fans have been waiting for.
Don’t forget to also read our other Intel Coffee Lake and AMD Ryzen-related articles :[adrotate group=”2″]
- Everything You Need To Know About The Intel Coffee Lake CPUs!
- The 8th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor Tech Report
- The 11 New ASUS Z370 Motherboards Revealed!
- Thank The Ryzen Effect For Better Intel Processors!
- The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Octa-Core Processor Review
- The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor Review
- The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X Quad-Core Processor Review
- The 15 New AMD Ryzen CPU Coolers Revealed
- The 34 New AMD Ryzen Motherboards Revealed
- All You Need To Know About AMD Ryzen Threadripper!
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