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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  • smilingcrow - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    They also have the i7-7700 for £272 and the i7-8700 for £292 which is more inline with the price increases mooted previously.
    They have the i7-7740X for £284 for another perspective.
    The i7-7700K is coming down in price which is not a surprise and is £300 at one place.
  • jardows2 - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    If these tracked at the price point of the previous two generation model equivalents (I'm looking specifically at i3-6100, i3-7100, and now i3-8100) these would be a spectacular value, and could be the absolute better choice over a Ryzen system. If these price increases hold true to actual MSRP (at least in the USA), then I'll have to take another look once the Ryzen APU's come out.
  • Stochastic - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Does Brexit factor into this at all? I live in the US, so I don't know how Brexit has impacted prices in the UK.
  • asmian - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Sterling devalued almost 10% lower after the referendum against the Euro and Dollar, but has bounced back partially. A number of respected economic commenters (ie. not the ones who falsely predicted financial armageddon before and even since the vote) felt that this revaluation was actually overdue and necessary in the long term anyway to help mitigate our bad balance of payments problem, so it's not necessarily all bad. The latest figures for UK exporters (who are helped by a lower Pound) are indeed excellent and getting better, so the institutional wailing and gnashing of teeth is somewhat more muted now except in the scaremongering and Remoaning media who are determined to find Brexit "issues" everywhere. (You'd think they were cheering on Barnier and the EU Commission to make a bad deal inevitable, just so they could say "we told you so".)

    So yes, our prices have spiked here since, especially on imported tech and most other goods. Unlike supermarkets, which have buffered some of the price rises to protect consumers (and defend their volatile market share), the tech retailers generally track the exchange rate. And it is exacerbated for end consumers by 20% sales tax (VAT) on that higher price... Needless to say, the sensible among us are rediscovering the joy of buying British products, seasonal food produce instead of expensive convenience imports and "staycations". ;)
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    And of course, as you say, for any sensible small business run by someone with half a brain, the joys of exports, something that was previously rather held back. :) In the week after Brexit, I literally made a sale to someone in Spain because for them it had become enough of a better deal due to the change in exchange rate.
  • TesseractOrion - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    More like 20% devaluation which has provided a temporary boost to exports for a few manufacturers while making imports far more expensive for the majority of the population.

    Rabid Brexiteers grasping at straws to present a positive spin on a self-inflicted disaster LOL...
  • mkaibear - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    We haven't Brexited yet so it's up in the air as to what will happen.

    The devaluation of sterling has solely occurred because the markets are trying to price in what they expect the impact of Brexit to be.

    No-one actually knows what will happen, despite the rabid Brexiteers predicting a land of milk and honey and the rabid Remainers predicting apocalypse, doom and destruction.
  • oranos - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    They are following Apple's steps. "This incremental upgrade is substantially more incremental than previous ones, so lets charge more"
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Pretty disappointing to see a graph where the lowest Y point is not zero. It's distorting reality. This is a very misleading way to represent the data and it should be corrected.
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    No, it's perfectly valid as long as you clearly label the axis as it is. Personally I'm even strongly against scaling logarithmic axes until 0.

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