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Intel Core i3-8350K Review

Rendering, Encoding & Compression

Rendering

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Core i3-8350K performs well, as expected, during the single-threaded Cinebench test. But it isn't nearly as impressive when the workload spreads out over more cores. We do observe a big performance speed-up compared to Intel's Kaby Lake models, including the quad-core Core i5-7400. And the overclocked -8350K is surprisingly competitive with AMD's Ryzen 5 1500X after overclocking. However, the stock 1500X offers more performance due to its higher thread count.

Heavily-threaded workloads are AMD's forte these days, so its Ryzen 5 1600 fares unsurprisingly well in our rendering tests. Even at stock settings, the Ryzen 5 1600 leverages its 12 threads to lead almost all of the threaded benchmarks. On the flip side of the coin, Ryzen 5 1600 rocks the third-lowest boost frequency among our Ryzen line-up, so the stock configuration loses steam during the lightly-threaded tests. The value of AMD's unlocked multiplier is undisputed. But even after overclocking, we're still trading quite a bit of single-threaded performance to gain the impressive performance in rendering applications.

Core i5-8400 provides a solid mix of performance in both lightly- and heavily-threaded workloads.

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LAME responds well to higher frequencies, as evidenced by the tight grouping of overclocked models at the top of the chart. Core i3-7350K leads the group at stock settings, with Core i3-8350K close behind. Intel's Core i5-8400 trails most of the test pool, suggesting that it might not be hitting its peak Turbo Boost frequency consistently through our benchmark.

AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 dominates the compression and decompression workloads, but all of the Ryzen processors excel in our integer-heavy decompression workload after tuning. Core i5-7400's relatively low 3.5 GHz ceiling hinders performance significantly during the 7-Zip workloads.

A quick reminder: we tested the overclocked -8350K with a 4.8 GHz AVX offset, which is particularly important in the HandBrake and y-cruncher tests. There's a larger delta between the Intel and AMD processors during our HandBrake x265 test than the x264 test, and it's likely due to the former's heavy use of AVX instructions. Core i3-8350K is surprisingly adept in both workloads, even challenging the Ryzen 5 1500X at stock frequencies during the x264 test run. A quick glance at Core i3-7350K again speaks volumes of the huge step forward Intel took with Coffee Lake.

We also provide results from y-cruncher, a single- and multi-threaded program that computes Pi using AVX instructions. We tested with version 0.7.3.9474, which includes Ryzen optimizations. Despite a 4.8 GHz AVX offset, the tuned -8350K offers stellar AVX performance.


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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