Intel has announced that it will launch its 8th generation Core processors, codenamed ‘Coffee Lake’, at 8:00am PDT (8:30pm IST) on August 21. The launch will be streamed to the public using Facebook Live, and has been timed to precede the much-talked-about total solar eclipse which will occur the same morning. No specifics are known yet, such as the number of models that will be launched and which market segments Intel is targeting first.
Intel’s teaser claims that the 8th generation Core processors will be “blazing fast”, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The company has previously stated that Coffee Lake will improve upon the 7th generation Kaby Lake by 30 percent. Coffee Lake will be the fourth generation to use the 14nm manufacturing process, breaking the three-year Process-Architecture-Optimisation cycle that Intel tried to introduce only last year. Prior to Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake, Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ strategy dictated that the manufacturing process would shrink every alternate year.
Intel was supposed to have launched its first 10nm generation, codenamed Cannonlake, last year, but this was deferred, with Kaby Lake and now Coffee Lake filling in. Intel could move to a “fluid” model using both 14nm and 10nm processes for Coffee Lake processors in different segments. Rumors also point to Intel introducing six-core mainstream desktop processors with this generation, either thanks to thermal and power design improvements, or because of strong competition from rival AMD after years with the highly rated Ryzen CPU line. It is also therefore likely that Coffee Lake will break compatibility with Intel’s current motherboard socket and platform controllers which are common to Kaby Lake and Skylake.
Intel has stated that the launch event on August 21 will include demos of VR and “immersive experiences” that show the power of upcoming 8th generation Core processors. PC manufacturers are expected to demonstrate desktops, laptops and 2-in-1 systems based on these CPUs. Intel is also keen to grab the attention of anyone looking to buy a new PC this holiday season, indicating that products will become available in retail shortly after the launch event.
Intel has also released the full specifications and launch dates of its top-end Core i9 X-series desktop processors, which offer up to 18 cores. The 12-core/ 24-thread Core i9-7920X will become available on August 28, with a base speed of 2.9GHz, a boost speed of 4.3Ghz on all cores, and 16.5MB of cache memory. The 14-core i9-7940X, 16-core i9-7960X and flagship 18-core i9-7980XE will all become available on September 25. Base/boost speeds are 2.9/4.3GHz, 3.1/4.3GHz, 2.8/4.2GHz, and 2.6/4.2GHz respectively, and the cache amounts come in at 19.25MB, 22MB and 24.75MB respectively.
All four upcoming Core i9 parts can raise their speeds up as far as 4.4GHz on one or two cores if the workload demands it, and official RAM support goes up to quad-channel DDR4-2666 for each. They also share the same 165W TDP, and all have 44 PCIe lanes. Prices range from $1199 (approximately Rs. 76,362) for the i9-7920X to a whopping $1999 (approximately Rs. 1,27,313) for the i9-7980XE.
To see how these new processors stack up against the rest of the Core-X series, check out our complete guide to Intel’s Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, Motherboards, and Coolers.