Rendering, Encoding & Compression
We expected to see more variation from Intel's stock cooler during our Cinebench multi-core test. Given its relatively short run time and our open-air bench, however, we didn't see much difference between our two configurations. Interestingly, the stock Core i7-8700K and -8700 performed almost identically.
Similar trends emerged through the other threaded rendering tasks. While Core i7-8700's stock heat sink and fan imposed slightly lower performance than the liquid cooler in certain cases, we still think the -8700 is a solid alternative to the pricier flagship if you don't plan to overclock and cooling inside your case is sufficient.
Encoding & Compression
LAME is a single-threaded workload that typically illustrates the advantage of higher clock rates and IPC throughput. Case in point: Core i7-7700K and -7700 were separated by a larger delta than the two Coffee Lake-based Core i7s, which we know feature similar single-core Turbo Boost bins.
Our threaded compression and decompression tests work directly from system memory, removing storage throughput from the equation. These workloads are especially intensive. Yet, we didn't record any surprising variations between the -8700 cooled by Intel's stock thermal solution and the Corsair all-in-one. Both of our HandBrake benchmarks, on the other hand, exploit AVX instruction, generate lots of heat, and illustrate a wider performance gap between the two configurations.
Surprisingly, y-cruncher, a single- and multi-threaded program that computes pi using AVX instructions, didn't expose any variation between the two coolers we tested atop Core i7-8700.
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