Intel’s new top CPU is the Core i7-8700K. That K on the end is important as it represents the processor is ‘unlocked’ meaning its an overclocker’s dream and Intel’s best gaming desktop processor. It features no less than 6 cores and 12 threads. It’ll clock in at up to 4.7Ghz in speed, which is kind of insane and will slot into motherboards with the 1150 processor socket. Its designed to deliver the best performance for 4K gaming and video editing, VR and well basically anything you want to throw at it.
This new processor is a response to the increased demands gamers are placing on the CPU. Megatasking as Intel calls it, is the multitasking that is now commonplace where gamers with not only expect to game in 4K, but also capture and stream video out to networks like Twitch at the same time.
There are now more than 320 Million people who watch eSports and those that play eSports need performance in-game and out as they stream their gameplay to the world.
“80% Increase in unlocked CPU sales Q2’14 vs Q2’17”
The new chip is of course much faster and Intel likes to compare against their 7th-gen processor which may be living inside your computer. In terms of real-world performance, games like Player Underground’s Battlegrounds can be played at a smooth 80fps while streaming, representing 45% jump over 7th gen product. If you’re considering an upgrade, from a 7th-gen chip, you’ll see a 25% boost in FPS (up to 195) on games like Gears of War 4.
“There are 524 Million active PC game players.”
The new chip also features native hardware support for 4K HDR video playback and Intel says its 32% faster for editing 4K footage. Editing a 4K 360-degree videos is also one of the most intense compute tasks you can throw as a PC and Intel says the i7-8700K will do it with ease, managing a boost of up to 32% faster compared with the previous generation. If you’re machine is a few years old, this thing will improve your machine up to 65% with a 3-year-old PC. Note, you likely will be up for a motherboard upgrade as well.
When it comes to overclocking, we often think about speeding up all cores equally, but Intel will now offer per-core overclocking in a more stable method, meaning cores operate at lower frequencies.
Intel describes the manufacturing process as 14nm++, likely the last before we see the new 10nm process (Canon Lake), won’t arrive until 2018. There’s some serious magic happening in this chip as the significant performance leap forward in multithreaded performance occurs in the same power envelope.
In terms of the processor lineup, Intel now offers 6-cores for Core i5 and Core i7 and a new quad-core for the Core i3.
The K series of processors are designed for performance enthusiasts who are comfortable bolting on their own cooling solution (usually liquid) so they don’t come with coolers. The retail packaging for the non-K variants do ship with with thermal solutions.
Release date: The new chips will be out October 5th, 2017, with OEM Systems coming with the chips built-in from Q4 17.