A leaked slide from China has confirmed much of the speculation we’ve heard about Intel’s upcoming Coffee Lake. Much of what we’ve previously heard is accurate, at least according to this slide, with Coffee Lake bringing quad-core i3’s, six-core i5’s, and a Core i7 with six cores and 12 threads. The graph below is, as best I can tell, understood in the following way:
The horizontal lines between the two columns of CPU shows performance improvements in single-thread and multi-thread applications. The vertical lines are improvements when moving between chip families.
For now, it doesn’t look as if Intel is bringing its Skylake-SP/Skylake-X core design to Coffee Lake; the Core i7-8700K is listed with 12MB of RAM, which is what we’d roughly expect from a chip with two extra cores. A CPU with the same cache architecture as the Skylake-SP chips would have more cache overall, relative to the Core i7 we see above.
Multi-threaded performance will improve substantially, thanks to Intel’s decision to step up to six cores, from four cores, and these improvements will filter through the entire product stack. Core i5 CPUs are now six-core chips without HT and the Core i3 is a quad-core CPU, also without HT. Intel predicts substantial uplift at every segment and based on what we’ve seen, it’s reasonable to think the company will hit that point.
Coffee Lake is the single biggest shake-up to Intel’s products that we’ve seen in years. The company is overhauling its entire product stack after five years of holding static, and it’s no coincidence that AMD launched Ryzen 7, 5, and 3 this year. Competition is emphatically good for the market, and while Intel may not cut its prices, if you buy into the 8th Gen family you’ll be buying a much more powerful CPU for the same amount of money.
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