Intel’s upcoming Coffee Lake refresh is expected to boost core counts in response to AMD’s Ryzen launches from earlier this year. Now we’ve got some benchmark results on the upcoming Core i7-8700K, at least if the leaked data is accurate. (As always, take such information as rumor, pre-release data, etc, etc).
There are two sets of results, both rounded up by VideoCardz. In Cinebench R15, the Core i7-8700K (six cores, 12 threads, 3.7GHz base clock, and a Kaby Lake-standard cache distribution rather than the new core design that debuted with Skylake-SP or Core X) scores a 196 single-core score and a 1230 multi-core score. That’s very slightly slower than our single-core score for the Core i7-7700K (201), and significantly faster than that CPU in multi-core (985). It’s not, however, what you’d expect if the 8700K was holding the same clock speed as the 7700K. The 8700K has 1.5x more threads, but it’s only 1.25x faster. This suggests that in at least some tests, the 8700K holds a significantly lower top clock speed than the 7700K does. These results are also tied with our Ryzen 5 1600X’s multi-core score of 1253.
This graph of results from our Ryzen 7 1800X review shows scores from a wider range of cores. The eight-core Core i7-6900K is still significantly quicker than the 8700K and the Ryzen 7 1800X is even faster, but this would still be a significant improvement to Intel’s top-end mainstream product performance.
The other set of leaks comes from Geekbench 4.1.
The fastest Ryzen 5 1600X is 5038 / 24751; the fastest result logged in Windows is 4862 / 22850. Geekbench’s results, however, should be taken with a grain of salt. I don’t normally use the test because I’ve never been enamored with it on desktops (and its mobile versions have also come in for their fair share of criticism). Geekbench scores also float a great deal, making it difficult to use the database to find a representative score for comparison. Collectively, these figures suggest that Coffee Lake will be a straightforward upgrade for Intel and its Core i7 family. Two more cores, slightly lower base clocks, and somewhat lower full-core turbo modes make for a potent multi-threaded boost, but limited single-threaded gains.
We’ll have to wait and see how competitive positioning shakes out, but AMD seems likely to keep its strong multi-threaded positioning. Intel’s single-threaded performance has been better than AMD’s from day one; the Core i7-7700K is still the fastest single-threaded CPU you can buy today. That hasn’t kept AMD from significantly improving its overall revenue so far this year, and a comparatively small boost to 12 threads at the top of Intel’s stack won’t change the Ryzen 5 1600X’s strong position around the $250 price point. If Intel wants to dethrone that core, it’ll need to cut the price on the i7-8700K by about $100, and that’s unlikely to happen.