Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅05-10-17
Intel Z370 Chipset Quick Overview

Coffee Lake CPUs are being launched alongside the Z370 motherboard range, a set of motherboards which can at best be viewed as Kaby Lake Refresh. They do not incorporate significant new functionality compared to Z270, but have been optimised to better support the more sensitive power requirements of the high-end 6-core CPUs.


Socket: LGA 1151 (Coffee Lake Only)
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
USB 3.1 Gen1 (5 Gb/s)
C8 Power State Support
No Support for Intel Kaby Lake or Coffee Lake CPUs

The Z370 chipset is believed to incorporate the same Kaby Lake Platform Controller Hub as the Z270, whereas the upcoming Z390 motherboards (scheduled for 2018) should feature an updated Cannonlake PCH supporting new features such as native USB 3.1 Gen 2. This may be a good argument for holding off on an upgrade until the new year, unless your requirements are particular pressing.

Once again dual-channel DDR4 RAM is the order of the day, but the supported reference memory standard has been increased to DDR4-2666 from DDR-2400. For consumers who rely on stock system configurations any improvement in the reference specification is welcome, although it will naturally also require the installation of higher-rated memory to take advantage of the new speed.

One curious point is marketing material which indicates the inclusion of updated Intel SmartSound Technology with new quad-core DSP (optional, not necessarily present on partner designs). SmartSound is utilised for voice command functionality and improved audio playback and effects incorporating 3rd-party technologies. Z270 made use of a dual-core DSP, and a quad-core version wasn’t expected to debut until Cannonlake.

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