I'm just a small-time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.
Intel Coffee Lake Processors
In this article, I am going to review Intel’s top-end consumer processor, the Core i7-8700K. I ordered this processor a week after release and just received it via FedEx on Friday evening. I have waited for this and am happy to finally have it with some benchmarks for you guys. I hope you enjoy it. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. So, let's get to it.
The Core i7-8700K processor was released in the United States on October 5, 2017 and carried an MSRP of $359-$370. The 8700K is built on the 14nm lithography and comes with 6 cores and 12 threads. The 8700K runs at a 3.7GHz base clock speed and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.7GHz. The 8700K is an unlocked processor and can be overclocked on a Z370 motherboard. The Core i7-8700K offers 12MB of cache and draws just 95 watts TDP. The processor features Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated graphics and supports DD4 RAM at speeds ranging from 2666MHz in dual channel configuration up to 64GB total RAM. The processor is the flagship processor of Intel’s new 8th Generation of processors known as Coffee Lake. Just how much of an improvement is it over the 7th generation Kaby Lake processors? Well, I have compared it in a few tests head to head with the Core i7-7700K processor in a few games and CPU benchmark tests. So, let’s do this.
First, let’s talk about the test systems. For the Core i7-8700K system, I am using an MSI Z370 Gaming Plus motherboard with 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM clocked at 2666MHz and an MSI GTX 1080 Duke. The 8700K has been overclocked to 5.0GHz and is cooled by the Corsair H100i AIO liquid CPU cooler. For the Core i7-7700K, I am using an MSI Z270 Tomahawk motherboard with the same 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM clocked at 2666MHz and an MSI GTX 1080 Duke. The 7700K is overclocked to 4.9GHz with the Corsair H60 AIO liquid CPU cooler. Now, for the results:
First, I started with the Cinebench R15 test. I tested using the CPU test on both single core and multi-core. For the Core i7-7700K single core score, I got a score of 203 whereas the 8700K scored 225, a 22 point increase or 11% improvement over the 7700K. For the Core i7-7700K multi-core score, I got 1062 while the 8700K scored 1684, a 622 point improvement or just over 58% bump. When looking at these numbers, for productivity, it’s a nice improvement over the 7700K. Now, what about gaming? Let’s find out.
For the testing, I tested everything in 1080p on the highest settings attainable in each game per the games’ options menus. Minimums are the 1% low minimums and the maximums are the maximum FPS attained.
- The first game tested was Battlefield 1 on Ultra settings. The 8700K and the 7700K were virtually identical in gaming performance with the 8700K scoring 130 minimum FPS and 147 maximum FPS while the 7700K had a 129 minimum FPS and a 147 maximum FPS. I then tested F1 2017 on high. The 8700K had a minimum of 126 FPS with 157 maximum FPS while the 7700K came away with 125 minimum FPS and 152 maximum FPS.
- Civilization VI was then chosen because of its dependence of CPU power more so than on GPU power. I got a minimum of 69 FPS and a maximum of 92 FPS with the Core i7-8700K and the Core i7-7700K came away with a minimum of 68 FPS and a maximum of 92 FPS.
- Overwatch was the last game tested and achieved 131 FPS minimum and 165 FPS maximum on the Core i7-8700K and 130 FPS minimum, 166 maximum FPS on the Core i7-7700K at Ultra quality.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
So, as can be seen from the testing, the Core i7-8700K can be a force to reckon with in productivity programs. In gaming, if you already have an i7-7700K or even an i5-7600K, it probably isn’t worth the upgrade. Now, why do I say this? Well, because you have to buy a whole new motherboard given the Z270 boards do not support the 8700K. So, you’re spending an additional $120+ for a new motherboard to be able to use the 8700K, which in the price to performance measure, nullifies the improvements. However, if you are into streaming games and creating content, then yes, this is a good buy and upgrade, which I would highly recommend. At this point, however, just for gaming, it is not worth the overall price between the processor and new board. This is still a great processor and a lot of power and should you be upgrading from Skylake or an earlier line of processors, then go for it. You will not be disappointed.
Intel Core i7-8700K Specifications via Intel's ARK website
- Intel Core™ i7-8700K Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz) Product Specifications
Intel® Core™ i7-8700K Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz) quick reference guide including specifications, features, pricing, compatibility, design documentation, ordering codes, spec codes and more.
Is it worth it?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.