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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  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    You should upgrade from Sandy Bridge for the new features.
  • A5 - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Depends on what you're doing, but if you're going i5 2500K->i5 8600K I'd expect a significant improvement in single-thread and absolute domination in multi-thread.

    Not to mention you get USB3, M.2 SSDs, DDR4, etc.
  • azazel1024 - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Yeah, as it stands today in most single threaded workloads an i5 7600k is going to give you about a 25-40% increase in single thread performance depending on the workload. Stepping up to i5 8600k is likely to be more than that for single thread and multithreaded with that larger cache plus the extra cores there are likely to be some edge cases were you might see 100% increase in performance. More likely in the 60-75% range in multithread.

    That is a pretty substantial increase, especially once you include all of the other stuff you get. DDR3, USB3.1, etc.

    Intel may have made it harder for me to decide between Zen and Core architecture for my next processor. Going to depending on what the pricing structure is on these new 8th gen processors. If their pricing structure stays the same, jumping from my i5-3570 to an i7-8700k might be the way to go.
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    Everything you said was true, but if I asked myself, 'would my mother notice / care'?

    The answer would be NOPE, again.

    And I'm betting her usage scenario is typical for the majority of home users.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    SB has had a good run and there's no denying the fact that those old processors can still offer up enough CPU performance to handle contemporary demands. Aside from the platform features that others have already pointed out, there's also a point about the age of components like the motherboard, RAM, and processor to consider. I'm not saying a Sandy Bridge system is absolutely going to fail, but it is worth thinking about. (Then again, I'm only just getting around to replacing a Penryn laptop that I use on a daily basis and it's not hardware failure that's driving my upgrade so I don't really have room to talk.)
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    Fair comment, but I don't worry / expect the failures, as I only fit expensive PSUs.

    I tried a Raidmax 1000AE, and it died, taking out two very expensive GPUs with it, and I only risked it, as it had two of them to hand, from a disused Litecoin miner. It was the only thing that wasn't 'top shelf' in my rig, and it phucked me over. Oh, and you can't say 'it was stressed out due to mining', it was a BRAND NEW replacement for one that had died mining. Enter my AX1500i. So time will tell if I was right.

    But again, for the office PCs I manage, I only fit expensive supplies.
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Yeah, time to start eating ramen, it's about to be upgrade time for me.
  • CaedenV - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Not too sure about that...
    We no longer live in a world where you ever 'upgrade'. I have sort of come to the conclusion that for my use (light video editing/transcoding, and games) my SB i7 is still 'good enough'. There is just no new load where the chip is the major bottleneck for these use-cases yet. Right now my SSDs and GPU are still the bottleneck most of the time.
    Now, this all changes rather quickly if it is a work scenario. If the speed of my computer was limiting the amount of money I can make and projects that I can do, even then this would not be a good upgrade because an i9 or threadripper would pay for itself. But as my projects don't make me any money, there is no motive to upgrade for the sake of speed.

    But there are other factors other than speed to be considered...
    Thunderbolt, USB-C/3.1 ports, 10gig Ethernet (when it really becomes a thing), m.2 SSDs... heck, I was reminded the other day that my system is still on PCIe v2 instead of v3. These are all nice things. The question in just HOW nice are they? Is it worth spending ~$1000+ to upgrade the core of my system? I am just not sure that it is. Again, these are all nice things to have, but I am not sure that I would see any real-world benefit for the particular things that I do. Stardew Valley, Minecraft, EVE online, and 1080p/4k movies are all going to play just as well on a new system as my old one. Video editing would render a bit faster... but I typically tell it to export and let it chew overnight, or during my work day, so it isn't a big deal. The difference between a 4-6 hour render vs a 2 hour render really makes no difference for how I do things (as long as it is under 10 hours).

    And that is the thing. Someday my computer will die... what do I replace it with? Do I go for another monster i7 with 32GB of RAM and dual SSDs in RAID0? Probably not. My next system will probably be a cute little i3 or i5 with an m.2 SSD, a nice GPU, and maybe a 10gigE card (because 1gbps is the true bottleneck I face all the time!). It won't really be an 'upgrade' it will be a replacement that is smaller, quieter, and more power efficient than my current rig.

    The real issue is that after 6 years of rendering video... I am not sure my SB i7 will ever actually die! The thing just keeps chugging along as fast as it ever has. Every few years I give it some fresh thermal paste and a GPU upgrade, and it is all good.
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    For most people, just doing office tasks, browsing & paying bills, and Skyping the grandkids - NOPE.

    It is just down to your usage / requirements.

    For mobile, that is a different story.
  • edlee - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Core i3 should have been 3/6 better tha. 4/4

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