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Intel Core i5-8600K Review: Coffee Lake's Jolting Value

Workstation 2D & 3D 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.

The Intel processors are the fastest in this test, particularly after tuning.

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, but AMD can keep up.

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 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, as the Core i5-8600K achieves near-parity with Intel's quad-core -7600K at its stock settings.

Given that Ryzen 7 1700 is slower than Ryzen 5 1600X operating 100 MHz higher, we can safely conclude that Cinebench doesn't scale well across multiple cores during the OpenGL benchmark.

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.

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 and 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. The Core i5-8600K leverages its two extra cores to carve out a lead over Core i5-7600K in stock and overclocked trim.

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.

As expected, Hyper-Threading does little for the Core i7, while overclocking nudges Core i5-8600K into a narrow lead.

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.


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  • logainofhades
    Great CPU, but the overall platform cost is a bit of a turn off, for me. I'd rather get a 1600, and a B350 board, to allow for a better GPU, if buying new. As stated in the review, even a 1700, with a less expensive board, is a very compelling option.

    Reply
  • AS118
    Seems like a good product, but I'd like to see what the 8600 and 8500 non-k offers, and perhaps next year with the B360 boards that give them a more budget "locked cpu" option.

    I also feel that the availability will be low for Coffee Lake until the end of this year, particularly throughout the holiday season. Due to that concern (as well as the total cost of platform ownership) I think that Ryzen with its 1600 and 1700 CPU's along with the 1600x will be the value kings this year, with Coffee Lake not hitting it's stride until early next year.

    The fact that AMD's stuff doesn't have the same availability issues makes it a strong contender, imho, although Black Friday and Christmas sales will also like make Kaby Lake (and even Sky Lake) stuff at clearance prices appealing too, despite the lack of cores you'll find in Ryzen and now Coffee Lake.
    Reply
  • almostdecent
    Since the chart shows the i5-8600k and the i5-8600K@4.9GHz at the same $260, I presume that means you achieved the overclock with the stock cooler.
    Reply
  • ammaross
    It's kind of disappointing to see so many benchmarks where an i5 does as well or better than it's i7 counterpart. It just shows how poorly threaded some of these applications really are and almost necessitates running two benchmarks simultaneously to really judge the merit of these multi-core CPUs. Maybe run the photoshop test while rendering with After Effects or run a game benchmark while doing CPU h.265 handbrake.
    Reply
  • almostdecent
    It is worth mentioning that this is essentially a paper launch at the moment, since none of the Coffee Lake processors are available anywhere.

    http://www.nowinstock.net/computers/processors/intel/

    and the rare place that has any, such as Microcenter, have gouging prices. Such as selling the plain i7-8700 (not the K version) with an MSRP of $300 for sale for $429.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/486087/Core_i7-8700_Coffee_Lake_32_GHz_LGA_1151_Boxed_Processor
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    20281291 said:
    I also feel that the availability will be low for Coffee Lake until the end of this year, particularly throughout the holiday season.
    On September 20, Intel responded to a story about yet another 10nm schedule slip by saying that Cannon Lake will begin shipping in limited quantities to some laptop manufacturers with production ramping up in 1H2018. Limited Coffee Lake volume could be due to Intel deciding to upgrade production lines to 10nm for Cannon Lake instead of 14++.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    20281420 said:
    Since the chart shows the i5-8600k and the i5-8600K@4.9GHz at the same $260, I presume that means you achieved the overclock with the stock cooler.
    Not sure if you were being sarcastic, but the 8600K doesn't have a stock cooler.

    There are two different sets of graphs, one that looks at CPU only costs and the other that considers CPU, mobo, and cooler costs. In the latter, the 8600K at 4.9GHz is clearly shown to cost more.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    20281420 said:
    Since the chart shows the i5-8600k and the i5-8600K@4.9GHz at the same $260, I presume that means you achieved the overclock with the stock cooler.
    Intel hasn't included a stock HSF with their unlocked CPUs since Skylake so on top of paying more for the unlock, you also get shafted by the price of a stock cooler which you no longer get on top of it. You need an aftermarket cooler for both stock and OC.

    Same thing with AMD's Ryzen nnnnX CPUs.
    Reply
  • YoAndy
    20281216 said:
    Great CPU, but the overall platform cost is a bit of a turn off, for me. I'd rather get a 1600, and a B350 board, to allow for a better GPU, if buying new. As stated in the review, even a 1700, with a less expensive board, is a very compelling option.

    A better GPU?//Why would you do that. at 1080p Ryzen will (bottleneck) hold back powerful GPU's, It won't give you equal performance. I bought a Ryzen for pure gaming and i ended up selling it..
    Reply
  • acosta.87
    20281216 said:
    Great CPU, but the overall platform cost is a bit of a turn off, for me. I'd rather get a 1600, and a B350 board, to allow for a better GPU, if buying new. As stated in the review, even a 1700, with a less expensive board, is a very compelling option.

    B350 VRM's are pretty low quality for any sort of OC unless it's a mild one so for me that's a no go. If you're primarily into gaming then the 1600 has nothing on the i5, it simply trails it whether at stock settings or OC'd and even at productivity it beats a 1600 Ryzen processors in most task even with a 6 thread deficit so it's a pretty good investment overall.
    Reply