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Intel Core i3-8350K Review

Office & Productivity

Adobe Creative Cloud

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Most of the Adobe Suite responds well to high clock rates and IPC throughput, favoring Intel's CPUs. InDesign scales well with core count, but Intel's Coffee Lake models cling on to a lead nonetheless.

Web Browser

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The web browsing tests are largely organized into per-core performance, so frequency and IPC throughput clearly matter most. These results mirror what we found in Adobe's suite: mainly, Intel's Coffee Lake processors offer higher performance.

Productivity

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The application start-up metric measures load-time snappiness in word processors, GIMP, and Web browsers, under warm- and cold-start conditions. Intel's Core i3-8350K scores well in the test, though the -7350K's 4.2 GHz clock rate also facilitates impressive performance. It even beats Core i5-8400.

Video conferencing measures performance in single- and multi-user applications that utilize the Windows Media Foundation for video playback and encoding. It also performs facial detection during the workload to model real-world usage. As you might imagine, cores and cache play a big role in determining the outcome of this benchmark. The Ryzen 5 1600 leads the default-configured CPUs, and overclocking improves its standing. A stock Ryzen 5 1500X leverages its eight threads to beat the stock Core i3-8350K, but they switch places after overclocking. Surprisingly, the Core i5-8400's two extra cores don't translate to a big lead over the -8350K.

The photo editing benchmark measures performance with Futuremark's binaries that use the ImageMagick library. A tuned Ryzen 5 1600 tops the chart again, though the overclocked -8350K lands in second place. It's not as fast at Intel's factory-set frequency, and AMD's Ryzen 5 1500X even scores a win over the stock -8350K. Similar to what we saw in the video conferencing test, Core i3-7350K shows us the liability of its dual-core design in heavily-threaded workloads.

A spreadsheet-heavy test emphasizes clock rates most, though we do see the impact of a less successful memory overclock from our tuned Ryzen 5 1400. It might be surprising to see Ryzen 3 1300X on top of the other Ryzen CPUs at stock settings, but it and the 1500X have the highest boost frequencies (4.7 GHz) of our AMD models. 


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  • Brian_R170
    Newegg shows the Core i3-8350K in-stock right now for $189 (still $10 higher than "recommended customer price" from Intel), but well below the pricing button that says it costs $250 on Newegg. I thought those pricing buttons were updated real-time now?
    Reply
  • salgado18
    Intel made a mess of a rushed launch to answer Ryzen, but there is one thing they are unbeatable: low price. I know, they have always been expensive, but given the circunstances, it's very easy for them to underprice their chips to have better value.

    Well, sounds bad, but then again AMD triggered this, and consumers are the winners, right?
    Reply
  • Quaddro
    How to block permanently the ad video..?
    Dude, i'm in limited quota here..

    I dont want to waste every bit for some useless video..
    Reply
  • mhokett
    So my I7-4790K is now being beat in cinebench by an OC i3. At stock speeds it gets a Cinebench score of 830 and the OC i3 gets 840. So glad i can still OC it and at least beat the i3.
    Reply
  • 1_rick
    "It's only a shame that, as with all K-series processors, you're on the hook for your own thermal solution."

    Translation: "We're disappointed that Intel didn't bundle in the usual under-powered fan that you'll need to replace if you want to overclock."
    Reply
  • rgrigio
    Should i assume it to be as fast as a STOCK i7 4790k? At least when only 4 cores are required?
    Reply
  • East17
    I believe we need to stop putting so much emphasis on <current> single threaded performance. As long as the difference is not over 20%, for gamers and power users this matters less now.

    All games, all apps and even browsers are going Multi-Threaded so what's the point in putting so much emphasis on Single Threaded performance ?!?

    Sure, if AMD or Intel launch a new gen of CPUs that double or triple the single threaded performance, that's worth the talk, but differences between 0% and 15% are not worth to fill entire pages of a review with.

    Anyway, I'm not an expert reviewer :) It's just my opinion after 20+ years in IT hardware industry.

    I generally want a very capable processor at a good platform price with modest IDLE power consumption. The rest is arguable. If it can game, good. If it can game well, even better, but I'm never going to chose a less productive CPU just because I get 10% higher FPS. That's just me :)

    The graphics can be a bit misleading .... I would really like to see them full scale.

    Because the way they are now, you get the impression that (in Gaming Price Efficiency - Platform Cost) AMD Ryzen 1300 is 10 times less capable than the i8400 which is not.

    When you look at the dot placement on the table, you'll see that i5 8400 appears to be 1000% the performance of AMD Ryzen 1300 while only being 2 times the price.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    I've been waiting for this review. I'm looking to replace my dying i5 2500K backup gaming rig using a 1080p monitor that was built in Jan. 2011. It's severely showing its age. The price of the 8350k is a little higher than I expected, but since that rig is only for gaming and nothing else, the overclocking capability of it is impressive for improved FPS performance. And as the game benchmarks show, we are still not seeing most AAA title games really taking advantage of more than four cores over an overclocked four core CPU.

    If I was wanting to build a combination of both a gamer and multi-threaded video rendering box I'd still probably go with the Ryzen 1600 or 8400, but for a strict gaming box and going for a killer overclock, this wins hands down in the price segment. RIP to my faithful and trusty Sandy Bridge. You served me well for seven years - a chip that I successfully overclocked to 5.0GHz as well but never kept it that high due to the at-the-time rather weak Zalman 9700LED cooler...weak by today's higher end cooler standards. And thank you AMD for putting the pressure on Intel to add more cores to their i3 and i5 chips.
    Reply
  • why_wolf
    20384951 said:
    Newegg shows the Core i3-8350K in-stock right now for $189 (still $10 higher than "recommended customer price" from Intel), but well below the pricing button that says it costs $250 on Newegg. I thought those pricing buttons were updated real-time now?

    shows $189 for me. I doubt the button is updating it's pricing in real real-time. Probably more like once an hour.
    Reply
  • Llorelie
    20385554 said:
    "It's only a shame that, as with all K-series processors, you're on the hook for your own thermal solution."

    Translation: "We're disappointed that Intel didn't bundle in the usual under-powered fan that you'll need to replace if you want to overclock."

    I know, this has bothered me in every review on this site that I have seen. I understand that its important that you inform consumers that you will need to purchase a heatsink, but if you are buying a -k chip and a z- motherboard, it seems likely that you'll want an aftermarket cooler. I would MUCH rather intel prices these chips $10 lower and not include a paperweight.
    Reply