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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  • guidryp - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    You are doing the math wrong.

    The best result I have seen from i7 with HT off/on is ~30%.

    That is 30% for 4 HT cores already counted. Typically it is Much less(sometimes even negative). And you don't multiply it by 4, all 4 cores are already counted in that best case 30% boost.

    Adding two real core is a full 50% boost.
  • smilingcrow - Sunday, August 20, 2017 - link

    Well said.
  • ltcommanderdata - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    That assumes the 4C/8T and 6C/6T CPUs are clocked the same. It's likely the 4C/8T CPU will be clocked higher and depending on how high, there could be cases where hyper-threading combined with higher frequency wins.
  • guidryp - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    That's kind of red herring. 4C/4T can beat 6C/6T if the clock speed difference is high enough.

    If want to talk about HT cores vs Real cores we should leave clock speed out of it.
  • peevee - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    On Intel CPUs since Sandy Bridge (if not Pentium 4) HT adds about 20% on average (sometimes even slows things down), because Intel speculatively schedules core's resources very aggressively even in a single thread per core (and the threads are going to fight for this core's cache).

    On AMD Zen it adds 50%. So with HT/SMT enabled, IPC disadvantage of AMD in multi-thread applications disappears as SMT picks up the slack.

    High-performance applications need to care about SMT/HT though, in particular halve their assumptions about caches (if they ignore existence of caches they are incompetently written to begin with).
  • Dug - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    Would be nice if people could use same motherboard. If getting a new motherboard is required, any word on possibility of raising pcie lanes (with bandwidth to support them)
  • qlum - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    I know this is not final but they did drop the freqency of the i7 part by 400mhz. If this goes without any real improvements in ipc or overclocking headroom we may very well see a performance loss for games and other applications that do not use the extra cores.

    Or in other words the area's where intel is winning against amd right now. If zen 2 manages to increase ipc and clock speeds we may end up in a situation where amd actually wins on all fronts be it to a lesser degree.

    Of course if they do increase the ipc it may just become a very level playing field assuming you don't care about the igp.
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    I'd expect the lower base clock to be countered by higher turbo levels for 4 and fewer loaded core configurations. Unless TDPs go up by 50% or the cores use 33% less power at load; going from 4-6 cores necessitated a drop in the base frequency to keep power in check.
  • peevee - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    What is it with Intel and AMD and disabling HT/SMT? Intel will disable HT for most of their lineup. After all, the hardware is there, Intel has paid for it during development and production, why cripple your own product?

    Marketing people need to be shot.
  • Jhlot - Friday, August 18, 2017 - link

    I predict no turbo on the i3s so their single threaded performance will see no gain or even small step back from prior generation.

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