Evidence Mounts Of An 8-Core Intel Coffee Lake CPU
We're inching our way towards Computex 2018, the huge trade expo that takes place in Taipei every June, and many of the biggest names in tech. are keeping their cards very close to their chest this year. The likes of Intel, AMD and NVIDIA have yet to disclose their plans for the event, but in Intel's case it's possible that - accidentally or otherwise - info. is starting to leak out.
Of course, we were already aware of the planned Z390 chipset, a successor to Z370 for enthusiast-class Intel 8th Gen. Core CPUs that features a new PCH in addition to more minor improvements. However, indications are that their trump card to drives sales of the updated motherboard platform may well be a monster new Coffee Lake CPU: the rumoured 8-Core, 16-Thread model supplanting the Core i7-8700K at the top of the range.
Evidence that this CPU is on its way built this week with the uncovering of a listing within SiSoft Sandra's results database. Labelled simply as a 'Genuine Intel(R) CPU' without SKU, the result indicates the number of physical cores (8), threads supported (16), base clock speed (2.6GHz) and cache levels.
It's those cache levels which provide compelling reasoning that this isn't a misidentified HEDT Skylake-X CPU listing. The eight core Core i7-7820X features 11MB L3 cache, whereas this unknown CPU has a much larger 16MB pool. It also matches the per-core cache levels of the Core i7-8700K, i.e. 2MB each. Underlying architectures differ, but either way this unknown CPU bears the hallmarks of an 8-Core Coffee Lake chip.
An 8-core Coffee Lake would be a brute of a CPU, designed to go toe-to-toe with the top end of AMD's mainstream desktop Ryzen (currently the Ryzen 7 2700X) and also rival Intel's own 8-core Skylake-X platform. A monolithic design however would incur heavy costs, and demand a premium price. TDP and power delivery would be a concern as well, likely resulting in aggressive Turbo modes when fewer than eight cores are utilised to push single core performance (and retain Intel edge in single-core perf. in this segment). Don't be surprised if Z390 is explicitly marketed towards pairing with this 8-core beast, and designs are augmented by motherboard manufacturers to explicitly handle overclocking the new flagship.
Of course, that's mostly guesswork. We'll probably know more come Computex, which begins on June 5th.