Redditors found a reference to Coffee Lake processors with eight cores and integrated graphics on Intel’s website. Pictured in the screenshot above, the references to “Coffee Lake S 8+2” could point to rumored eight-core mainstream desktop parts that could launch with the Z390 chipset.
We’ve posted our opinion on what we can expect from the i7-8700K’s successor, the i7-9700K, but we don’t know if this eight-core Coffee Lake will be that processor. Currently, naming and branding surrounding the Z390 and rumored eight-core mainstream desktop parts are still unclear. Given that the Z390’s name is likely confirmed, we can infer that the chipset will not be branded as part of a new generation of Intel processors.
Intel currently markets Coffee Lake on 300-series chipsets as 8th-gen products. However, being branded as 8th-gen does not necessarily imply that Z390 will not support 9th-gen products. The latter will presumably formally launch with 400-series chipsets, but they could be backwards compatible with Z390 motherboards.
All this leaves us speculating on what the first eight-core Coffee Lake processor will be called. If it is to launch with Z390, we find it unlikely that it’ll be the i7-9700K. It could slot in above the i7-8700K and be a range-topping model for Intel’s 8th-gen products. In this scenario, the processor could adopt the “i9” brand and would be both a selling point for the Z390 chipset and a stop-gap product between Intel’s 8th- and 9th-gen products. The formally labelled 9th-gen products would then probably have eight-core Coffee Lake (or Coffee Lake Refresh) parts in its lineup at launch.
Intel has undoubtedly made some significant changes to its product lines in response to AMD’s return to competitiveness in 2017. AMD’s 2nd-Gen Ryzen chips are clocked higher and are cheaper than their 1st-gen counterparts. Intel might have held back on releasing its eight-core 8th-gen processors to save them for dulling AMD’s impending release of 2nd-Gen Ryzen chips.