Initial GeekBench Scores For 6-Core Intel Coffee Lake Leaked
Intel may be able to remain closed-mouthed about the specific performance of their upcoming lineup, but the select few who have access to early engineering samples appear to be slightly more lose-lipped than their patrons. Via HotHardware comes news that GeekBench have published benchmark scores for one of their planned desktop CPUs - the 6-core with Hyperthreading variant of the 8th Generation Core processor no less.
You may know the 8th Generation Core lineup by it's slightly more exotic codename - Coffee Lake. It's not currently clear how large a revision Coffee Lake will be over Kaby Lake and Skylake; most sources indicate that it is an optimisation of Kaby Lake rather than true architectural revision. Intel are claiming 30% performance improvement in the low power segment compared with Skylake, but that will not scale to the mainstream segment on a pure core-by-core basis. Their trick to achieving tangible benefits on this platform will be to release a 6-core model for the first time outside of HEDT.
We do know that Coffee Lake is manufactured using an optimisation of the same 14nm produiction processed used on Skylake, and will be launched alongside a new Z370 chipset.
First up, a couple of points to note. The CPU is an engineering sample operating at a frequency of 3.19 GHz, but this may not be the final speed for this chip. Intel's silicon is generally capable of numbers well in excess of 4GHz, so 3.19 seems a little low for a flagship part. An expected 95W envelope (the same as the quad-core i7-7700K) will tend to put a damper on stock speeds though.
Furthermore, the cache quantities are very similar to Kaby Lake and Skylake before it: 256kb L2 cache per core (1.5MB total) and 2MB L3 cache per fore (12MB total). It seems that Coffee Lake will not inherit any DNA from Skylake-X's novel new caching system.
Also, the motherboard is listed as having an LGA1151 socket. It's possible that Coffee Lake will be backwards compatible with Z270 and Z170 (as well as Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs working with Z370 motherboards) but it's too early to be certain on that score. We also can't be sure if Geekbench isn't using placeholder information from Kaby Lake in some of these fields.
So, about those scores. Comparing with the GeekBench user-submitted aggregate a single-core score of 4619 is roughly on par with the Haswell-era i7-4770K (4526), and better than AMD's own 6-core Ryzen 5 1600X (4183); that's to be expected given the low clock speed. Multi-score performance is strong, relatively speaking; 20828 handily out-paces the i7-7700K (18752) and even surpasses AMD's 8-core Ryzen 7 1700X (20617). If Intel are preparing Coffee Lake as a powerful multi-core mainstream platform early indications are that they're on track.
The hurdle that Intel will need to overcome with Coffee Lake is TDP. Cramming 6-cores within a 95W envelope is going to be difficult without moving to next-generation 10nm production, which may mean that stock clock speeds are somewhat compromised. If that's the case, expect Intel to be very aggressive with Turbo Modes to improve single-core performance when cores are not fully loaded.
However, before we get too carried away a cautionary note should be sounded. These are preliminary results with an Engineering sample which may not adhere too closely to retail specifications. It's also only one benchmark; an entire suite or more are generally needed to properly assess a CPU's capabilities.
Desktop 4- and 6-core Coffee Lake CPUs and Z370 motherboards are expected to launch this August.