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Intel Announces 5GHz Core i7-8086K, Is Giving Away 8,086 Processors

Intel announced that it is releasing the Core i7-8086K, a special edition processor that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 8086, which debuted as the first x86 processor on June 8, 1978. Intel confirmed rumors that the processor will feature a 5.0 GHz turbo frequency, which is a record frequency for Intel's modern processors. In addition, the company also announced that it will give away 8,086 of the processors in a sweepstakes, which you can enter at www.intel.com/8086sweepstakes.

Word of the 40th-anniversary processor leaked last week due to listings at several retailers, and follow-up reports speculated that Intel would only produce 50,000 units. Our sources have confirmed that this is a limited-edition chip, so Intel isn't positioning it against AMD's competing Ryzen processors.

The Core i7-8086K is widely thought to be a binned Core i7-8700K, and like all K-series processors, it will have an unlocked multiplier to facilitate overclocking and will not come with a bundled heatsink. The processor does leverage Intel's UHD Graphics 630 integrated graphics.

Intel 8086 Die Shot

Many enthusiasts also hoped the processor would feature Indium solder to facilitate much higher overclocking headroom, but we're told the processor features Intel's standard thermal transfer material. That means the Core i7-8086K features many of the same characteristics, such as cache allocations and memory support, as the Core i7-8700K. Due to its higher bin, we expect the Core i7-8086K to easily hit 5.1 to 5.2 GHz when overclocked, but this falls within the range of some existing upper-tier Core i7-8700K SKUs.

According to the retail listing, the processor is compatible with the LGA 1151v2 socket, so it will drop into existing 300-series motherboards. The 5.0 GHz boost speed sets a new watermark for modern Intel processors, but multi-core turbo frequencies can be a more important component to overall performance. Intel no longer shares multi-core turbo frequencies for any of its processors, but the Core i7-8068K is rumored to have a 100 MHz advantage compared to the -8700K. In either case, the Core i7-8086K should eclipse the Core i7-8700K as the fastest gaming chip on the market.

ProductIntel 8086Core i7-8086KCore i7-8700K
Release DateJune 8, 1978June 8, 2018October 5, 2017
Processor GenerationFirstEighthEighth
Cores/Threads1 / 16 / 126 / 12
Frequency Base / Boost5 - 10 MHz4.0 / 5.0 GHz3.7 / 4.7 GHz
Transistors20,000~3 billion~3 billion
Manufacturing ProcessnMOS/HMOS 3 micrometerCMOS 14nm++CMOS 14nm++
Word Size16-bit64-bit64-bit
Die Size33mm2149mm2149mm2
Memory Support1MB64GB64GB
Memory Bus Speed4.77 MHz2966 MHz2966 MHz
Socket40-PinLGA 1151v2LGA1151v2
Price$86.65 (1978)?$359

Intel is making a general announcement of the processors at Computex 2018 and isn't sharing specifications for the limited-edition processor, but we compiled some comparisons between Intel's original 8086 and projected Core i7-8086K specifications. Processor technology has advanced exponentially since the original 16-bit 8086, which was fabbed on an HMOS process with a minimum feature size of 3 micrometers. In contrast, today's 64-bit CMOS Intel processors come with the 14nm++ process. The Core i7-8086K's 5.0 GHz clock speed is also 1000 times faster than the original 8086. Of course, the Core i7 models also profit handsomely from the increased parallelism that comes with five extra cores.

We'll know more about the Core i7-8086K once it hits our labs, but they will be rare chips indeed. It will be a challenge to find them on the open market, although we are sure that they will pop up at resale with eye-watering premiums. Intel hasn't shared pricing or other information, but we'll update as more information becomes available.