The Core i7-8700 Review
Intel's Core i7-8700 packs all of the Coffee Lake architecture's goodness into a 65W envelope, including six Hyper-Threaded cores, the benefits of 14nm++ manufacturing, and higher Turbo Boost clock rates than previous-generation CPUs. Although it's handicapped somewhat by a locked ratio multiplier, stymieing enthusiasts looking for a 5 GHz+ overclock, Core i7-8700 does feature operating frequencies that come close to the flagship -8700K. As a result, its performance is often similar in real-world tasks. And yet, the vanilla -8700 costs $50 less. That's a win if you weren't planning to overclock anyway.
Great benchmark results and an attractive price also put Core i7-8700 up against AMD's revamped Ryzen 7 line-up. Specifically, it's forced to contend with Ryzen 7 2700's eight cores, 16 threads, unlocked multiplier, affordable motherboard support, and capable cooler. Particularly on that last point, Intel's solution is severely deficient.
You see, Intel's thermal design power specification applies to the CPU's base frequency. But its processors exceed that rating when they jump to higher Turbo Boost bins. We found that the Core i7-8700 can overwhelm Intel's bundled heat sink and fan during certain heavily-threaded workloads, negatively affecting performance. You'll have to purchase a better thermal solution for any chance at realizing Core i7-8700's highest Turbo Boost frequencies. Naturally, the CPU loses some of its luster as a result.
Intel Core i7-8700
Core i7-8700 may be destined to live in the -8700K's shadow. But again, it does feature the same complement of six cores, 12MB of L3 cache, and DDR4-2666-capable memory controller. Like all of Intel's Core i7, i5, and i3 models, the i7-8700 comes with an integrated UHD Graphics 630 engine that gives Intel a leg up over competing Ryzen 7 and 5 processors without any on-die graphics.
Unfortunately, due to Coffee Lake's lack of backward compatibility, you do need a 300-series motherboard if you're upgrading from an older platform.
|IntelCore i7-8700K||IntelCore i7-8700||AMD Ryzen 7 2700X||AMD Ryzen 7 2700||AMD Ryzen 5 2600X||Intel Core i5-8600K||AMD Ryzen 5 2600||Intel Core i5-8400|
|Process||14nm++||14nm++||GloFo 12nm LP||GloFo 12nm LP||GloFo 12nm LP||14nm++||GloFo 12nm LP||14nm++|
|Base Freq. (GHz)||3.7||3.2||3.7||3.2||3.6||3.6||3.4||2.8|
|Precision Boost Freq. (GHz)||4.7||4.6||4.3||4.1||4.2||4.3||3.9||4.0|
|Integrated Graphics||UHD Graphics 630 (1200 MHz)||UHD Graphics 630 (1200 MHz)||No||No||No||UHD Graphics 630 (1150 MHz)||No||UHD Graphics 630 (1150 MHz)|
|Cooler||No||Intel Stock||105W Wraith Prism (LED)||95W Wraith Spire (LED)||95W Wraith Spire||No||65W Wraith Stealth||Intel Stock|
Intel is infamous for aggressively segmenting its portfolio, meaning it trims frequencies, only makes overclocking available on premium models, turns Hyper-Threading on and off, and disables cores to create lower-priced models. Of course, the company did this with its seventh-gen Core CPUs, too. The Core i7-7700 was multiplier-locked, while the -7700K catered to enthusiasts. But Intel capped the -7700's top Turbo Boost bin at a mere 4.2 GHz. Core i7-8700 isn't as constrained. Its four-core ceiling is 4.4 GHz, while six active cores reach up to 4.3 GHz, just like Core i7-8700K. In most workloads, the 500 MHz base frequency difference between Core i7-8700 and -8700K quickly disappears as Turbo Boost kicks in.
|Intel Core i7-8700K||3.7 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.3 GHz|
|Intel Core i7-8700||3.2 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.3 GHz|
|Intel Core i7-7700K||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.4 GHz||-|
|Intel Core i7-7700||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.1 GHz||4.0 GHz||-|
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