Core i7-8700K Review: Coffee Lake Brews A Great Gaming CPU

How We Test

The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

MSI continues its Z-series Gaming Pro motherboards, giving the latest implementation similar features as previous models. Pricing should also end up similar. The exact board details and specifications can be found on the manufacturer's website.

Comparison Products

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Test Systems

We introduced our new test system and methodology in How We Test Graphics Cards. If you'd like more detail about our general approach, check that piece out.

In this case, only the hardware configuration with CPU, RAM, mainboard, as well as the new cooling system are different, so the summary in table form gives a quick overview of the systems used:

Test System and Configuration
Hardware

Germany

Intel Socket 1151 (Z370):
Intel Core i7-8700K
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 @ 2666

Intel LGA 2066

Intel Core i7-7800X
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 4GB G.Skill RipJaws IV DDR4-2600

AMD Socket AM4 Workstation
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 5 1600X
MSI X370 Tomahawk
4x 8GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 @ 2667 and 3200

Intel LGA 1151 (Z270)
Intel Core i7-7700K, Core i5-7600K
MSI Z270 Gaming 7
2x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 @ 2400 and 3200

All Systems
GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition (Gaming)
Nvidia Quadro P6000 (Workstation)

1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System)
2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, 850W Power Supply
Windows 10 Pro (Creators Update)

US

Intel Socket 1151 (Z370):
Intel Core i7-8700K
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200

Intel LGA 2066

Intel Core i7-7800X
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200

AMD Socket AM4
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 5 1600X
MSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium
2x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2667 and 3200

Intel LGA 1151 (Z270)
Intel Core i7-7700K, Core i5-7600K
MSI Z270 Gaming M7
2x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200

All
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE
1TB Samsung PM863
SilverStone ST1500, 1500W
Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703
Cooling
Germany
Alphacool Eiszeit 2000 Chiller
Alphacool Eisblock XPX
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (For Cooler Switch)
Monitor
Eizo EV3237-BK
PC Case
Lian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods
Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case
Power Consumption Measurement
Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
2x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100kHz, DC)
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz)
1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Thermal Measurement
1x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Acoustic Measurement
NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)
Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H)
Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm
Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA)
Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise

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160 comments
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  • cknobman
    Looks like it might be time for AMD to lower prices.

    AMD really has shaken Intel up, never would I have dreamed (before this year) I'd see Intels best gaming cpu (especially a K model) release at $360.
  • AgentLozen
    AMD's price per core is still very strong. It struggles in gaming at 1080p but Tomshardware didn't provide data in 1440p or 4K.

    I'm not yet convinced that AMD is in trouble.
  • saunupe1911
    Hmmm is it worth a skylake 6700K that's stable at 4.6 Overclock to upgrade? Probably not. I wouldn't mind 6 cores though. I wonder how many will hit 5.0!
  • jroc188
    8700k is $480ca got the R5 1600 for $255ca and mobo for $120ca. $375 all together and more then happy with the gaming results. But the 8700k dose look sweet on the benchmarks. AMD with a price drop will still sell well
  • shrapnel_indie
    Quote:
    Of course, while Intel's accelerated Coffee Lake-S launch makes it look today's unveiling is a direct response to heated competition, in reality, the long incubation period for new processors means it’s more likely the result of 10nm manufacturing delays.


    Ummm... Yeah, the design may have been kicking around, and ready to go before Ryzen, but when it is released months earlier than scheduled.... Saying that it wasn't a response to Ryzen seems more like misinformation more than pure fact. Yeah, I don't doubt 10nm manufacturing delays played a part in the previous release date, but Ryzen forced its release a little earlier than planned.
  • bloodroses
    To AMD fanbois who claimed that Intel was toast and couldn't respond to Ryzen's release, here's Intel's Mic drop. *thud*

    For the rest of us consumers, this is great news for continued strong competition at reduced prices from both companies. :)
  • massacre.h4te
    Nearly 90 degrees Celsius when overclocked gaming on an AiO. Prettttttty toasty!
  • saunupe1911
    1069610 said:
    To AMD fanbois who claimed that Intel was toast and couldn't respond to Ryzen's release, here's Intel's Mic drop. *thud* For the rest of us consumers, this is great news for continued strong competition at reduced prices from both companies. :)


    Z370 motherboards are expensive though...sheesh. And you gotta reach out to liquid cooling companies for attachments for mounting to this socket. Canon Lake may be out before you can get everything situated for a nice 8700k upgrade lmao.
  • FormatC
    2565805 said:
    Nearly 90 degrees Celsius when overclocked gaming on an AiO. Prettttttty toasty!

    The reason is simple:
    The built-in frying fat between IHS and die :)
  • LilDog1291
    1069610 said:
    To AMD fanbois who claimed that Intel was toast and couldn't respond to Ryzen's release, here's Intel's Mic drop. *thud* For the rest of us consumers, this is great news for continued strong competition at reduced prices from both companies. :)


    I don't know if I would call 90C+ on a chiller cooler (granted its a high overclock but the 7700k had the same problem) a mic drop but it is definitely a step in the right direction. If they can get their temperatures under control in the next generation they will win my vote back.
  • FormatC
    @LilDog1291:
    A delidded i7-8700K is around 15-20 degrees cooler. The problem isn't the architecture, but the TIM instead of solder.
  • garba78
    Disappointed :(
  • madmatt30
    @Billy Gatez - Its $360 , amd have no reason whatsoever to drop their prices at the moment.

    The ryzen 1600 is less than $200, Intel don't have an answer to that pricepoint .

    The only chips that should (& will) worry amd is the cheapest locked quad i3 , & the cheapest locked 6 core i5

    Nothing else is relevant to them price wise.
  • JCFca1992
    I have a 6600K which I can't overclock past 4.2ghz without lots of heat (lost the Silicon Lottery).

    I play lots of 64 player BF1 and regularly see 100% CPU usage.

    Is this worth the upgrade long term?
  • Aspiring techie
    I'm waiting to see what happens when AMD releases Ryzen on a better process. Maybe Intel's clock speed advantage will be shrunk.
  • saunupe1911
    482859 said:
    @LilDog1291: A delidded i7-8700K is around 15-20 degrees cooler. The problem isn't the architecture, but the TIM instead of solder.


    90% of consumers aren't purchasing delidded processors. Only extreme enthusiasts.
  • Aspiring techie
    I find it interesting that an 8-core, overclocked Ryzen 7 1800X is using less power than a stock i7 8700K.

    Also, it would be interesting to compare a Kaby Lake i7 vs a Coffee Lake i5 at the same clock rates. Does a 4 core 8 thread CPU beat a 6 core 6 thread CPU?
  • dstarr3
    Well, AMD didn't wear that crown for very long. But thanks to them for shaking up the market!
  • LilDog1291
    482859 said:
    @LilDog1291: A delidded i7-8700K is around 15-20 degrees cooler. The problem isn't the architecture, but the TIM instead of solder.


    Yeah I have thought about delidding my 7700k but if I wanted to do it myself, and safely, I'm looking at an additional $50-$70 right out of the gate to buy the tool and liquid metal. If Intel would only take a page from AMD and solder their IHS like they did in the Sandy Bridge days I would be ordering their CPU on day 1.
  • ingtar33
    this article is filled with subtle comments about all the extra stuff they needed to do to keep this thing from melting through the floor.

    If you had to take all these extra steps on an AMD cpu you'd have written an expose on how hot the chip is. But you just brush it off like its nothing in this article.

    BTW: if you can't run prime95 for half a day stable on an overclock, it's not a real overclock. It's just a silly benching number. Check my sig. Thats a silly benching number. Could I get a fx8320 to run at 5.3ghz? sure, windows booted and i validated it. But could I DO anything with that clock speed? nope. I've seen a number of review sites today post 5.0-5.1 ghz overclock numbers for coffee lake, yet not a single one of them could run a serious prime run on those numbers. Heck, can you even run prime at stock on this chip? I'd like to know that before I consider this chip for purchase to replace my i5.
  • kinggremlin
    I don't understand why the conclusion keeps bringing up you needing to buy a motherboard if you want to use your new cpu. Especially when comparing it to AMD. Is AMD giving away free motherboards with the purchase of a Ryzen CPU? You're going to have to buy a new motherboard regardless of which cpu you decide to go with.
  • FormatC
    2231890 said:
    90% of consumers aren't purchasing delidded processors. Only extreme enthusiasts.
    This is the reason why I hate their TIM and wrote my reply to the other post. I can compare both solutions very often and it makes no sense for me to use this cheap grease. It's Intels built-in brake to stop the end-users and to lower the RMA, nothing else :D
  • Wisecracker
    Chipzilla !

    :lol:

    Unless you're living off a big trust fund or have incredibly low self esteem in need of epeen, 'general computing and gaming' works just dandy on a Kaby i5 or Ryzen 5 --- either with great combos between $300-$400.

    And stay away from overhead power lines ...
  • karma77police
    Best CPU for $350+ price range. Kudos to Intel.