At a closed-session partner in China, Intel revealed a number of preliminary details about its upcoming 8th generation Core processors for desktops. As expected, Intel is telling its business customers that is increasing core count of its CPUs for mainstream PCs in a bid to drive performance, catalyze upgrades and better compete against its rival.

Intel has previously unveiled that they're working on what will be their 8th Generation Core processors. What has been rumored for a while (and what Intel yet has to publicly confirm) is increased core counts for the 8th Gen desktop parts. This week Chiphell, a China-based website, published a picture taken from a partner briefing event, which briefly describes the advantages of Intel’s 8th gen Core CPUs vs the company’s 7th gen Core chips.

According to two separate external sources with knowledge of the matter, the slide is up-to-date and genuine.

Intel is stating that the increased number of cores and enlarged caches will be the key improvements of the 8th Gen desktop parts, compared to their direct predecessors. In particular, the event speaker explained that the next-gen Core i7-8000 series CPUs will gain two additional cores to give six cores with Hyper-Threading. At the top end, it was stated that these will be at 95W and 65W TDPs for unlocked and regular SKUs respectively. The Core i5 series will also get two additional cores, but no Hyper-Threading. As for the Core i3 parts, these parts will lose Hyper-Threading, but instead move into the traditional i5 space, giving four cores only. Intel stated that they will also continue to offer unlocked CPUs within its i7, i5 and i3 families, and such processors will feature higher frequencies and a 95 W TDP (compared to the 65 W thermal envelope for their regular parts).

Update 9/15: Adding previously unknown frequencies.

Basic Specifications of Intel Core i5/i7 Desktop CPUs
7th Generation 8th Generation
  Cores Freq.
L3 TDP   Cores Freq.
i7-7700K 4/8 4.2GHz 8 MB 91W i7-8700K 6/12 3.8GHz 12MB 95W
i7-7700 3.6GHz 65W i7-8700 3.2GHz (?) 65W
i5-7600K 4/4 3.8GHz 6 MB 91W i5-8600K 6/6 3.6GHz (?) 9 MB 95W
i5-7400 3.0GHz 65W i5-8400 2.8GHz 65W
i3-7350K 2/4 4.2GHz 4 MB 60W i3-8350K 4/4 4.0GHz 6MB 95W
i5-7100 3.9GHz 51W i3-8100 3.6GHz 65W

As it stands, three things remain unclear about the 8th generation Core processors for desktops. The first one is the integrated graphics configuration of the company’s upcoming parts, as it may be important if Intel increases their GPU core counts to keep performance growing. The second one is the CPU core configuration of the future Pentium SKUs. In the case of Kaby Lake-based Pentiums, Intel enabled Hyper-Threading technology to match the Core i3 parts, blurring the line between the i3-7000 and the Pentium G4600-series parts. Third is if there are any adjustments to the pricing structure.

What will be interesting is the fact that Intel has lost the 4C/8T level of hardware. By moving the Core i5 to a six-core, any 4C/8T component has the potential to surpass a 6C/6T in certain tests. 

Intel did not supply us with this information. Intel traditionally does not comment on information it reveals to partners behind closed doors. More importantly, the information should be considered as preliminary as the company has been known to change product specifications close to launch, even on final engineering samples to retail. Even though the 8th generation Core processors would already need to be in production in order to meet Intel's 2017 goals, last minute changes are always on the table. Similarly, Intel has a lot of latitude in deciding when to actually launch their parts, particularly lower-volume desktop parts.

Related Reading:

Source: ChipHell

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  • stephenbrooks - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    As far as "fake cores" are concerned, I tried a floating-point-and-RAM-heavy simulation program on an early Intel HT system and an FX-8350 and got:

    4 cores + HT ~= 5 cores (i.e. 25% boost)
    4 Bulldozer modules (8 "cores") ~= 5.5 cores

    So I'd guess 6C/6T will be better than 4C/8T for more-or-less everything.
  • AntonErtl - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    For our LaTeX benchmark (integer, running mostly in caches), I see an SMT speedup by a factor of 1.1 on a Ryzen R5 1600X, a speedup by a factor of about 1.6 from using two cores on the same module on an Athlon X4 845 (Carrizo/Excavator), and 1.14 from HT on a Core i7-6700K over just using one core/one thread.

    (This is a single-threaded application, so I ran an instance of the benchmark on the other thread/core of a core/module while the other thread core is loaded with running the same benchmark, or on one core/thread, and from that computed the speed of running two instances on two threads/cores vs. running them back-to-back on one core).
  • edcoolio - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    My take:

    With no equal performance competition, Intel hiked prices and likely held off on release dates.

    With equal or greater performance competition, Intel equalizes/drops prices and needs to release designs on-time or earlier.

    Intel price drop+new design= WIN for the consumer, thanks to AMD.

    Thank you AMD.


  • iphadke - Monday, August 21, 2017 - link

    The very first sentence "At a closed-session partner in China" should read as "At a closed partner session in China".
  • TallestJon96 - Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - link

    4c/8t vs 6c/6t at equal clocks will be the most interesting comparison. For productivity I think it'll be a wash, but I think 6c will win in gaming (even if its a small margin). This will probably put the i5s back in the gaming sweet spot again. 6c/6t @ ~4.8ghz with maybe 3200 ddr4 will crush anything you throw at it, maybe even beating the 7700k.

    Very exciting, but my 6700 @4.4ghz will last me a while longer yet. I'll be waiting for cannon lake or Zen 2, or maybe even their HEDT counter parts.

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