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Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs Could Be Available Before the End of 2017

A leaked Geekbench test result indicates that the six core Intel Coffee Lake CPU may hit the market before the end of the year.

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It has been less than one year since Intel released it’s Kaby Lake line of processors and their successors could be arriving sooner than you think. Coffee Lake is Intel’s codename for the CPU line produced from its 2nd refinement of the 14nm process. According to a leaked Geekbench result, Intel is planning on releasing a 6-core CPU that will use the 1151 socket, previously used for the Skylake and Kaby Lake platforms. While any unofficial information must be taken with a grain of salt, previous Intel leaks have proved true in the recent past. Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs from those product lines have been very popular with PC gamers for the past 24 months. The top-level CPUs from those product lines, the Core i7 6700K and Core i7 7700K, were quad core CPUs that featured hyper-threading. 

Hyper-threading allows games and applications to run additional threads on the CPU. In the case of the Skylake and Kaby Lake Core i7s, hyper-threading allowed games to use up to 8 threads for processing. These additional threads allow games that take advantage of the feature to run much faster than what is capable on a conventional quad-core CPU. This is especially important for achieving higher minimum frame rates and for pushing for refresh rates in excess of 120Hz. Many PC gamers swear by the fast speeds offered by high-refresh displays. A few of the most popular PC gaming monitors can even run at refresh rates of up to 165Hz. When trying to hit performance levels required for gaming that fast, every thread matters.

The PC version of Watch Dogs 2 shows gains of 20% or more when comparing a 4-thread CPU to an 8-thread CPU The PC version of Watch Dogs 2 shows gains of 20% or more when comparing a 4-thread CPU to an 8-thread CPU

Most PC gamers have come to expect a new Intel CPU line every year or two, but Coffee Lake looks to bring something different. A 6-core CPU with hyper-threading will allow up to 12 threads. Intel CPUs with 6 or more cores have typically been available only to the ultra-enthusiast markets prior to Coffee Lake. Gamers on a budget are typically unable to spend the extra money needed to purchase the CPUs and motherboards that have traditionally offered this kind of performance. The Coffee Lake CPU spotted on Geekbench could be the first time mainstream PC gamers will be able to get 6-core Intel chips at mainstream prices that work with mainstream motherboards.

With AMD launching it’s new Ryzen platform earlier this year, Intel finally saw some real competition for their mainstream gaming CPUs. The Ryzen R5 and R7 series CPUs offered more cores and threads than comparable Intel offerings at several price points. In games that are able to efficiently use those extra threads, Ryzen is offering an incredible value that potential buyers have not seen from a competitor since Intel released the legendary Sandy Bridge platform. 

Motherboard manufacturers have confirmed that new boards featuring the new Intel Z370 chipset will be available in the fourth quarter of 2017. These boards will support the new Coffee Lake offerings from Intel. Because they use the 1151 socket seen on the Z170 and Z270 motherboards, there is some hope that these new Coffee Lake CPUs might be able to run on older boards by way of a BIOS update. A majority of Skylake Z170 motherboards received BIOS updates that allowed for compatibility with the Kaby Lake CPUs. While inter-generational compatibility is unconfirmed at this time, the possibility of an upgrade to Intel’s newest CPU without having to spend on an whole new platform has many PC gamers waiting with bated breath.

Contributing Tech Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 6, 2017 5:45 PM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs Could Be Available Before the End of 2017

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 5:58 PM

      It's about damn time we saw something more than Quad core in the mainstream CPUs!

      • reply
        July 6, 2017 6:01 PM

        We already have been since March.

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      July 6, 2017 5:59 PM

      So if I have a 2500k will I be able to upgrade to the new cpu?

      • reply
        July 6, 2017 6:07 PM

        Not without a motherboard and ram upgrade. The best case scenario is that Skylake (6600K/6700K) and Kaby Lake (7600K/7700K) user will be able to get a BIOS update to allow compatibility. There is still zero guarantee that this happens, though.

        Historically, most process refinements in the old Intel tick/tock release cycle allowed older CPUs to work on the newest motherboard revision. For example, the Sandy Bridge chips like the 2500K could be run on the P67, Z68, and Z77 boards. Some Z68 boards could be updated to run Ivy Bridge chips (3570K). Once Haswell rolled around (Z87), Intel was using a different socket, ending the chance at compatibility with older boards.

        • reply
          July 6, 2017 6:09 PM

          Ah, forgot it was sandy bridge and not Skylake. Damn.

          • reply
            July 6, 2017 6:11 PM

            I'd wait till the Z370 boards release. If they are simply a newer revision of the existing boards (as Z270 was to Z170), there should be plenty of great boards available that are stable right off the bat. I upgraded from the 2500K the Kaby Lake this year and the motherboard improvements and features were by far that part I've been most impressed with.

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 6:14 PM

      Great first article, Chris!

      • rms
        reply
        July 6, 2017 6:18 PM

        Hopefully a counterpoint Threadripper article is in the works?

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          July 6, 2017 6:32 PM

          Until we see some pricing info, I'm not 100% sure that Threadripper will be a CPU that makes sense for gaming. I'd guess something with that many cores would be for the workstation crowd.

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            July 6, 2017 7:30 PM

            HEDT CPUs have never made sense for gaming. Games are rarely designed to take advantage of more cores than the average mainstream CPU has. In fact games rarely even stress the top-of-the-line mainstream CPUs. HEDT is just adding even more overkill.

      • foo
        reply
        July 6, 2017 6:33 PM

        what's a sense of humor

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 6:22 PM

      wut, Crabs is a shack writer now?

      congrats dude!

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 7:09 PM

      Woohoo! That ShackTech tack.

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 7:31 PM

      Knowing nothing about the market, is Ryzen its competitor? It also seems weird to me that they're announcing a new generation of cpus when they really haven't released the current gen.

      Also, you have a typo in the blurb: 'Coffe Lake' .

      • reply
        July 6, 2017 7:49 PM

        It competes with Ryzen, yes. But there will likely be Ryzen 2 at that time.

        • reply
          July 7, 2017 5:15 AM

          Will threadripper compete with Intel better on IPC? Or is it the same as ryzen just more cores?

          • reply
            July 7, 2017 6:57 AM

            We don't have any idea what Threadripper will do at this point.

            • reply
              July 7, 2017 11:10 AM

              It'd gonna rip threads to shreds

          • reply
            July 7, 2017 12:06 PM

            Threadripper is literally two Ryzen dies in one package, so IPC is going to be the same as Ryzen. What threadripper gets you is more cores, more memory bandwidth, and more PCI-E lanes.

      • reply
        July 6, 2017 7:52 PM

        Fixed.

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 7:33 PM

      I read this article three times and now I'm pregnant in all my holes.

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 8:03 PM

      Literally the first article I've actually read on the site. Good job crabs.

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 8:21 PM

      If you have a coffee lake, you might want to try switching to decaf

      • reply
        July 6, 2017 10:09 PM

        fuck that I'm going to swim in it and use a giant bagel as my life preserver

    • reply
      July 6, 2017 10:14 PM

      Nice! Im planning my new PC build for my birthday in January.

    • reply
      July 7, 2017 4:50 AM

      Intel is in full panic mode, I guess this is what happens when you become complacent.

      • reply
        July 7, 2017 5:06 AM

        The Coffee Lake launch is business as usual. The recent X series chips were definitely what you described.

    • reply
      July 7, 2017 6:51 AM

      Intel can get bent they stifled innovation for almost a decade. If nvidia tried that bullshit Id drop them too. Iv been running a ryzen 1700 for almost 2 months now and its worked absolutely flawlessly. Hopefully amd can keep it up and we can have a legit core war. I think that would be best for everyone.