An online retailer in the UK has started to take pre-orders on Intel’s upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs, specifically the socketed 'S' parts for desktop computers. As reported previously, the new processors will have more cores than their direct predecessors, but if the published pre-order prices are correct (and are not inflated because of their pre-order nature) then Intel’s new chips will also have higher MSRPs than the company’s existing products.

Lambda-Tek, the UK retailer, is currently taking pre-orders on six Coffee Lake CPUs which are expected to hit the market in the coming weeks. The CPUs in question are the Core i7-8700K, the Core i7-8700, the Core i5-8600K, the Core i5-8400, the Core i3-8350K, and the Core i3-8100. Each segment will get an upgrade over the previous generation in core counts: the Core i7 parts will run in a 6C/12T configuration, the Core i5 parts will be 6C/6T, and the Core i3 parts will be 4C/4T (similar to the old Core i5). The flip side of this is that, if data from the retailer is correct, each element of the stack will cost quite a bit more than their direct predecessors.

For example, the store charges nearly £354 for the Core i7-8700K, which converted to USD (and without tax) equals to around $400. This will be a substantial uptick in cost over the $340 that the Core i7-7700K retails for today. $400 may be too high for Intel's top mainstream CPU, as Intel sells its six-core Core i7-7800X for $375. The HEDT requires a more expensive X299 motherboard and an appropriate DRAM kit, but might have an overall build cost similar to the $400 part.

The new quad-core Core i3 products will also get more expensive than their predecessors, with the calculated US price taken from the UK retailer coming to nearly $200 for the Core i3-8350K, up from $180. The per-core price will drop, which is perhaps not surprising, but the alleged price hike would put the Core i3 SKUs deeper into the Core i5 territory (the Core i3-7350K is already in the $190 ballpark), which will make it harder for many people to choose between different new i3 and older i5 models.

Prices of Contemporary Mainstream CPUs from Intel
Base Freq.** UK
(inc tax)*
(no tax)
Price per Core
Coffee Lake-S CPUs
i7-8700K 6/12 3.8 GHz £353.86 $400 n/a $66.70
i7-8700 6/12 3.2 GHz £298.52 $338 $56.30
i5-8600K 6/6 3.6 GHz £250.50 $284 $47.30
i5-8400 6/6 2.8 GHz £177.40 $201 $33.50
i3-8350K 4/4 4.0 GHz £174.35 $197 $49.25
i3-8100 4/4 3.6 GHz £115.45 $130 $32.50
Kaby Lake-S CPUs
i7-7700K 4/8 4.2 GHz £312.95 $354 $339 $88.50
i5-7600K 4/4 3.8 GHz £213.18 $241 $242 $60.20
i5-7400 4/4 3.0 GHz £166.49 $188 $182 $47.00
i3-7350K 2/4 4.2 GHz £162.06 $183 $168 $91.50
i3-7100 2/4 3.9 GHz £105.88 $120 $117 $60.00
High-End Desktop CPUs
i9-7920X 12/24 2.9 GHz £1109.40 $1255 $1189 $104.50
i9-7900X 10/20 3.3 GHz £958.36 $1084 $989 $108.40
i7-7820X 8/16 3.6 GHz £608.21 $688 $589 $86.00
i7-7800X 6/12 3.5 GHz £379.03 $429 $383 $71.50
i7-7740X 4/8 4.3 GHz £304.01 $344 $339 $86.00
i5-7640X 4/4 4.0 GHz £225.32 $255 $242 $63.75

* UK prices, listed online, are always quoted with 20% sales tax included. US prices are typically listed without sales tax due to different tax rates in each state. Most of the world does not have this issue. Our UK prices are all taken from Lambda-Tek, US prices from Amazon on 9/15.
** Speeds of Coffee Lake CPUs have not been directly confirmed by Intel

If the pricing published by the UK retailer is correct, Intel will likely quote increased MSRPs. This would not the first time Intel has hiked prices of its mainstream parts: For example, Intel boosted the price of the Core i7-4770K to $339, up from $313 for the Core i7-3770K in 2013. The company did the same for the Core i5-4670K: it was priced at $242, up from $212 for the Core i5-3570K.

Historical Prices of Intel's Core i7 Mainstream CPUs
  µArch Cores/
Base Freq. Socket Launch Date Launch Price
i7 870 Lynnfield 4/8 3.6 GHz LGA1156 Q3 2009 $562
i7 860 3.46 GHz $284
i7-2600K SandyBridge 3.4 GHz LGA1155 Q1 2011 $317
i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5 GHz Q2 2012 $313
i7-4770K Haswell 3.5 GHz LGA1150 Q2 2013 $339
i7-4790K 4.0 GHz Q3 2014 $339
i7-6700K Skylake 4.0 GHz LGA1151 Q3 2015 $350
i7-7700K Kaby Lake 4.2 GHz Q1 2017 $339
i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6/12 3.8 GHz* LGA1151 Q4 2017 $400*
Note: *Intel Coffee Lake specifications and prices have not been confirmed.

Increases and decreases of mainstream CPU MSRPs are not extraordinary events. Companies have different costs for different parts (because of different die sizes, yields, and other factors) and in a bid to maintain profit margins, they fluctuate prices. Since Coffee Lake chips are bigger than their predecessors because of the higher core count, it is logical for Intel to rise their MSRPs. However, the competitive landscape on today’s CPU market is different than it was from 2011 to 2016 as Intel could have to target AMD’s Ryzen in performance per dollar. 

Historical Prices of Intel's Core i5 Mainstream CPUs
  µArch Cores/
Base Freq. Socket Launch Date Launch Price
i5 750 Lynnfield 4/4 2.66 GHz LGA1156 Q3 2009 $196
i5-2500K SandyBridge 3.3 GHz LGA1155 Q1 2011 $216
i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4 GHz Q2 2012 $212
i5-4670K Haswell 3.4 GHz LGA1150 Q2 2013 $242
i5-4690K 3.5 GHz Q3 2014 $242
i5-6600K Skylake 3.5 GHz LGA1151 Q3 2015 $243
i5-7600K Kaby Lake 3.8 GHz Q1 2017 $242
i5-8600K Coffee Lake 6/6 3.6 GHz* LGA1151 Q4 2017 $284*
Note: *Intel Coffee Lake specifications and prices have not been confirmed.

Related Reading

Source: Lambda-Tek

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  • mczak - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    I think just focusing on the price increase for the "equivalent" model is quite a negative point of view.
    With previous new intel cpus, you basically got a cpu which was minimally faster than the former version, at the same price. Now you get one which is substantially faster, but at a slightly higher price.
    You could, however, instead focus on comparisons to former cpus based on performance. For instance, that i3-8100 looks like a very good deal compared to previous core i5. Sure it won't have turbo, but it's got a base frequency of 3.6Ghz - the core i5-7400, while costing 50 bucks more, has a max turbo frequency of 3.5Ghz, so that new little core i3 should always beat it (I would in fact expect that i3 to be closer in performance to the core i5-7500, which has base freq of 3.4Ghz and turbo freq of 3.8Ghz).
    So imho that little i3 looks very promising (this should also help to differentiate the i3 again against the latest pentiums, which also were 2 cores, 4 threads, and nearly the same performance as the i3).
  • Intelfanboi69 - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    The i5-8400 is also a good deal it can boost clock to 3.8 ghz and will probably beat ryzen in gaming
  • Ahnilated - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Where is your proof on it being "substantially faster"? It isn't out in public yet so how do you know this?
  • mczak - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    How could they not be faster? These chips are pretty much all the same as the previous ones (they aren't really a new generation), they've just got more cores. And while for some models the base clock may be lower, the turbo clock rates will be similar or higher (so if not all cores are used they will reach slightly higher clocks than the old ones).
    So, single-threaded, there won't really be much of an improvement. Multithreaded, you can however definitely expect a substantial increase (even if the achieved actual clock rates may be slightly lower in this case)
  • fourier07 - Saturday, September 23, 2017 - link

    Well, for sure this is an ironic claiming. Due an obvious better technology now we get a more powerful CPU but also the cost of manufacture has been improved. Just probably the cost of researching increases. Even so, if we take as an example the i7 since Sandy Bridge to Coffee Lake, we see an increase of 26.18% which seems to me high for an economy like the United States, I never has lived in the States, though. If AMD succeed, we shall see more stable prices at the future. Just my impression.
  • faric22 - Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - link

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  • edzieba - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Better to compare with UK retail prices than US prices, because we get gouged above the norm. For example, Lambda-tek sell the i7-7700k for £310 retail and £313 tray. Yes, their tray price is higher, because Lambda-tek's pricing is infamous for being all over the place. They're possibly one of the worst sources to pick if you want to try and guess MSRPs.
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Yeah, the best way to do this is to measure everything in the currency of the leak.

    If the 8700K is 5% costlier than the typical #700K price, then expect the USD price to increase 5%. It's that simple.
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Yeah, it's a bit dodgy to judge what will happen in the US based on UK pricing. There are some whacko price markups here, and they're never consistent, eg. compare the MSI 1080 Ti Gaming X on newegg vs Scan in the UK, the difference is enormous, but differences for other types of product can be higher or lower, it varies. And indeed, Lambda-tek's pricing is often weird; I normally check Scan for a sense of typical pricing, cross check with Amazon, Aria, OCUK and others for best price.
  • PenguinJim - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Agreed. Lambda-tek had their Vega 64 pre-order for £703 - and now it's £620! Or looking at the last CPU launch, their 1700X was a whopping £380 pre-order. They're not a particularly reliable or sizeable retailer from which to spin a whole article like this!

    Although if we use these actual historical prices to try to gauge how much Lambda is off by, it seems to be almost a 1:1 conversion. In other words, the 8700K will cost US$354.

    But while that is a more thorough and less knee-jerk method of applying Lambda's prices to the real world, it's still absolute nonsense - because it's only Lambda-tek anyway! The only real takeaway from this article is that the 8700K will not cost MORE than $400.

    It's so strange - I was sure I was trying to visit anandtech, but I seem to have just read a WCCFTech article instead! :P

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