Intel Coffee Lake Tastes Bittersweet
The 8th generation of desktop processors from Intel have been formally unveiled and gamers seem to be the focus.
4 Core CPU’s are last year’s fashion and it’s all about 6 core processors now. Intel is providing 4 new options for consumers that want six cores. It can’t be a coincidence that Intel is releasing new processors in the midst of AMD’s launch year. Sadly it appears as though they are still holding on to 4 cores as an option within their gaming orientated CPU line-up.
The unfortunate element of these great sounding CPU’s is that they won’t be supported on the Z270 Platform. That’s right; anyone choosing to take advantage of these CPU’s will need to buy a new motherboard. Consumers will need to purchase a Z370 motherboard with this new chipset. This comes across as either Intel is cashing in, in a bad way or they weren’t expecting to have to compete with Ryzen from AMD. Z270 boards are for enthusiast and have been out for less than a year which is very disappointing. There has been no formal reasoning or statement given as to why consumers have to buy a new motherboard for the 8th gen CPU line-up.
One of the positive takeaways from this news is that Intel is finally pushing the lower end Core i3 processors to 4 cores and 4 threads. This means you will only have to spend $117 to get onto the 8th gen platform excluding the cost of the board. This can only mean that lower spec CPU’s with less than 4 cores will fall below $117 for those on a real tight budget.
The lowest end 6 core CPU is priced at $182 which is also multi-threaded but not unlocked. The Intel Core i5-8600K sits right in the middle with all the features including being unlocked for over-clocking. The price is $257 for what most consumers will want as an entry point.
The release of the 8th Gen CPU’s unfortunately falls short of the expectations that most would have expected. With little reasoning or rhyme given for the decision to launch two enthusiast motherboards within a short span of one-another is problematic and worrying to say the least. The other problem that stands out is their branding. The lay person to tech will have a lot of problems discerning what they need and want. The introduction of the core i9 series adds to the complexity with no boundaries drawn up. Without a clear pathway for upgrading and less coherence in messaging, these impressive 8th Gen CPU’s may lose potential sales as a result.