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

2D & 3D Workstation Performance

2D Workstation Performance

Our GDI/GDI+ tests are used to test two different output methods that can be found in older applications and printing tasks. Today, they, or at least a modified version of them, are commonly used to display the graphical user interface (GUI). They are also great benchmarks for direct device write throughput and memory performance when handling gigantic device-independent bitmap (DIB) files.

Synthetic 2D Benchmarks

We take a look at direct device write throughput first. The graphics driver uses the CPU heavily for this task, but doesn’t employ many threads.

There hasn’t been true 2D hardware acceleration since the introduction of the unified shader architecture, after all. Microsoft's Windows driver model provides a huge obstacle for 2D hardware acceleration as well.

We up the ante by introducing memory to the mix. This is done with the help of the only remaining 2D hardware function: generating the graphics output in memory and then copying it to the output device all at once. The benchmark’s the same as before. We just plot a bitmap in memory, as opposed to sending the information directly to the monitor. The bitmap’s copied to it only once it’s complete. This pushes the CPUs, since they’re no longer platform-bound. The results prove interesting: frequency rules, AMD can keep up, and Skylake-X brings up the rear.

AutoCAD 2016 (2D)

Even though AutoCAD does use DirectX, ultimately it just duplicates every single draw function in software. The results are exactly as expected, and IPC throughput is emphasized due to AutoCAD’s limited scaling with additional cores.

3D Workstation Performance

Most professional development applications have been optimized and compiled with Intel CPUs in mind. This is reflected in their performance numbers. Still, we include them in order to motivate developers to focus their efforts on AMD’s Ryzen processors as well. This would give users more than one choice. The same goes for an emphasis on multi-core processors, at least where that’s feasible and makes sense.

AutoCAD 2016 (3D)

Clock rate trumps core count. Intel’s Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake land fairly close to each other, with clock rate determining the winner. AutoCAD’s performance turns out to be close to that of older games, since it uses DirectX and isn’t really optimized to take advantage of multiple cores.

Cinebench R15 OpenGL

Frequency is (almost) everything in the Cinebench R15 OpenGL benchmark. However, Intel’s Core i7-7800X does better than usual.

Our overclocked Ryzen 7 1800X lands behind the stock configuration, regardless of how many times we re-run the benchmark, and we don't have a good explanation as to why.

SolidWorks 2015

SolidWorks 2015 also emphasizes clock rate. At the same frequency, Coffee Lake and its predecessor end up in the same place. This doesn’t come as a surprise though, since SolidWorks 2015 typically doesn’t use more than four cores. The exceptions are a few very specific tasks, which we’ll see tested when we get to the CPU composite score on the next page.

Creo 3.0

Creo 3.0 paints a similar picture; a high core count just doesn’t provide any benefits when it comes to drafting using real-time 3D graphics output.

Blender & 3ds Max (Real-time 3D Preview)

The Blender and 3ds Max real-time 3D previews yield similar results: frequency is everything. Of course, final rendering is a different story, and we'll get to that shortly.

The 3ds Max results aren’t based on time to completion. Rather, this benchmark generates a composite index based on CPU performance during a set time period.

Catia V6 R2012

This is one of the graphics benchmarks that has been optimized time and again (it’s part of the free SPECviewperf 12 suite). However, it still provides a fairly good measure of CPU performance, with an emphasis on clock rate. Based on the previous benchmark results, you can guess how this story ends.

Maya 2013

At the risk of beating a dead horse, our chart paints a picture we've seen several times already. The real-time 3D output numbers don’t tell a complete story, though. As we're about to see, core count reigns supreme when it comes to final rendering.

What we can say is that two additional cores don't hurt Intel's Coffee Lake-based flagship. That's good news for a six-core chip trying to prove itself against a smaller quad-core design. The test results should only get better from here.

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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.