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The Core i7-8086K Review: 40 Years Of x86

Silicon Lottery, Overclocking & Test Setup

Alternately, Silicon Lottery procures batches of processors and delids them to replace Intel's thermal paste with liquid metal Thermal Grizzly Condoctonaut. According to the company, this reduces operating temperatures by 15°C to 25°C, depending on the workload. The improved thermal transfer material helps facilitate more aggressive overclocks. Silicon Lottery sells the modified processors at a premium price, and with a one-year warranty (rather than Intel's standard three-year coverage).

Core i7-8700K - December 2017Core i7-8700K - June 2018
4.9 GHz1.387-2Top 99%4.9 GHz1.385-2Top 99%
5.0 GHz1.4-2Top 72%5.0 GHz1.4-2Top 86%
5.1 GHz1.412-2Top 43%5.1 GHz1.41-2Top 50%
5.2 GHz1.425-2Top 16%5.2 GHz1.425-2Top 17%
5.3 GHz1.437-2Top 3%5.3 GHz---

Silicon Lottery compiles statistics about the samples it modifies and shares them publicly, giving us a reasonable gauge of what's coming out of Intel's foundries. Some enthusiasts speculate that reserving the highest-quality silicon for Core i7-8086K would hurt the chances of scoring a higher-clocking -8700K. But as we can see, the percentage of -8700Ks able to hit anywhere from 5 to 5.2 GHz actually increased during the period of time we would have expected Intel to set aside top-binned dies for its -8086K. Then again, it looks like samples able to hit 5.3 GHz disappeared entirely, possibly representing those precious -8086K-capable dies.

Core i7-8086K - June 2018
5.0 GHz1.4-2Top 100%
5.1 GHz1.41-2Top 92%
5.2 GHz1.425-2Top 60%
5.3 GHz1.435-2Top 14%

Silicon Lottery also shares statistics on the Core i7-8086K, and its probability of receiving top silicon is markedly better than what we see from the latest round of Core i7-8700K data. Nearly all of the company's -8086Ks reach 5 GHz, and the top 14% are capable of reaching 5.3 GHz.

Our own Core i7-8086K achieved 5.1 GHz with a 1.35V Vcore and default load line calibration settings. In addition, we adjusted our AVX offset by -1 and saw a peak temperature of 86°C during AVX-heavy workloads using Corsair's beefy H115i closed-loop cooler. Although we successfully dialed in DDR4-3466 rates with 14-14-14-24 timings, we feel we could have pushed even higher with more time for tuning.

Instead of splurging on a Core i7-8086K, you could always purchase a modified Core i7-8700K from Silicon Lottery capable of hitting the same 5.1 GHz that we achieved. Unfortunately, those models sell for $479, making the -8086K's $425 price tag attractive in comparison. If you're chasing the highest overclock possible, the company does sell a Core i7-8086K capable of 5.3 GHz for $849. As with all Silicon Lottery chips, however, you lose two years of warranty coverage in the exchange. 

Comparison Products

Test Systems

Like many other vendors, MSI motherboards feature a default Enhanced Turbo feature that allows the processor to run at its maximum Turbo Boost bin on all cores, at all times. For the Core i7-8086K, you're looking at 5 GHz across all six cores.

This setting modifies the CPU's clock rate and voltage to deliver higher performance, which is basically factory-sanctioned overclocking. Again, MSI enables it by default in the BIOS, similar to most of the competition. But performance, power consumption, and heat are all affected when it's on. We manually disable the feature for our stock CPU testing to best reflect Intel's specifications.

Test System & Configuration
HardwareAMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)AMD Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 5 2600X, Ryzen 5 2600 MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2933, DDR4-3466Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):Intel Core i7-8086K, Core i7-8700K, Core i5-8600K, Core i5-8400, Core i7-8700MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-2400, DDR4-2667, DDR4-3466All EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE 1TB Samsung PM863 SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500W Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703 - All Spectre and Meltdown mitigations
CoolingCorsair H115iIntel stock thermal solution (Core i7-8700)


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Paul Alcorn

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