Skip to main content

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

Civilization VI, Battlefield 1 & Dawn of War III

Civilization VI AI Test

Our Civilization VI AI test measures performance in a turn-based strategy game, and it tends to favor high frequencies and physical cores.

The -8700K's Turbo Boost frequencies yield surprisingly good results. At stock settings, the processor essentially ties Core i7-7700K, but leads a little more definitively after tuning.

Core i5-7600K fares respectably in Civilization VI at its stock settings. But after a 5 GHz overclock, it yields a 15.1-second result (not pictured) that even beats Intel's fastest CPUs.

Civilization VI Graphics Test

Image 1 of 6

Image 2 of 6

Image 3 of 6

Image 4 of 6

Image 5 of 6

Image 6 of 6

The Ryzen processors are much more competitive during Civilization VI's graphics test, but Intel's overclocking headroom proves insurmountable. Compared to Core i7-7700K, the -8700K offers 3.9% more performance in stock form, and a 3% advantage after tuning. Those slim leads mean there is still good value in a Kaby Lake-based platform, particularly in light of the higher price on Coffee Lake K-series SKUs.

Battlefield 1 (DX11)

Image 1 of 6

Image 2 of 6

Image 3 of 6

Image 4 of 6

Image 5 of 6

Image 6 of 6

A graphics bottleneck limits the frame rates of our Battlefield 1 benchmark, so with the exception of Ryzen 5 1600X and Core i5-7600K, the differences between models are slight.

Intel's Core i7 processors lead. More specifically, though, the -8700K does beat its predecessor.

It’s easy to see the workload's more threaded nature during its opening phase, where a quad-core Core i5-7600K trails the test pool.  

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Image 1 of 6

Image 2 of 6

Image 3 of 6

Image 4 of 6

Image 5 of 6

Image 6 of 6

Dawn of War III scales well on CPUs with more execution resources. Naturally, then, the Core i7-8700K dominates in stock and overclocked trim.

The Core i7-7800X posts another surprisingly low score. Considering the costs associated with Intel's premium X299 platform, Skylake-X generally doesn't make much sense for gaming.


MORE: Best CPUs


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy


MORE: All CPUs Content

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.