Intel coffee lake socket

Intel Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake CPUs Use Different LGA Pin Config

Intel confirmed in their official Coffee Lake briefing that the new processors use a vastly different pin configuration compared to previous generation processors, and as such, there is no backward compatibility with 200 or 100 series motherboards. While Intel did mention it, they didn’t go in to much detail but today, David Schor (Engineer and Industry Analyst in the field of Semiconductor & computer architecture) has revealed that the Coffee Lake processors are indeed using a different electrical pin configuration, confirming Intel’s claims.

Intel Coffee Lake 8th Generation Desktop Processors Come With Pin Changes, More Ground and Electrical Pins Active Compared To Skylake and Kaby Lake Processors

According to David, the reason we don’t have Coffee Lake processors compatible with older series motherboards that feature the LGA 1151 socket is the change in pins. For instance, if the pin config changes on a processor, the sockets on the motherboard need to be configured as such. It’s not a process that can be done via software as its more of a hardware level change.

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When compared, the Coffee Lake processors have 391 VSS (Ground) pins which is an increase of 14 compared to Kaby Lake, 146 VCC (Electrical) pins which is an increase of 18 pins compared to Kaby Lake and about 25 pins that are reserved and a decrease of 21 pins from the 46 reserved on Kaby Lake.

Kaby Lake -> Coffee Lake

  • VSS (Ground): 377 -> 391 (+14)
  • VCC (Power): 128 -> 146 (+18)
  • RSVD: 46 ->25

Intel LGA 1151 CPU Pin Configuration (Coffee Lake vs Kaby Lake):

So one thing is clear, Intel was in fact telling the truth about electrical changes to the processors and socket in the 300-series platform. Furthermore, it’s not just the reserved pins from Kaby Lake that have simply been populated. There are pins aside the reserved ones that were swapped with VCC pins and indicate a design tweak.

While we can put many theories to rest with this new detail, I think much of the confusion could have just been avoided if Intel clarified this themselves. Of course, if you are making the boards with a new PCH and new series of processors on the same socket that ran the previous CPU line, consumers would definitely want to know more why the new platform that has the same socket cannot support their older chips. We previously heard about the LGA 1151 V2 naming scheme and that may have sorted some confusion but as we can tell, all motherboards still use the LGA 1151 naming scheme which may lead to people thinking that their 6th and 7th generation processors can run on the newer boards.

Coffee Lake H: Overview

Overview Sample and Buy Technical Library

The 8th generation Intel® Core™ processor family and Intel® Xeon® processor E-2100M family (Coffee Lake H) introduce the first 6-core processors for performance-demanding applications. These processors are manufactured on Intel's most up-to-date and optimized 14 nm technology. When paired with an Intel® 300 series or Intel® CM240 series chipset, these processors offer even greater CPU and graphics performance as compared to the previous generation and introduce native USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/s) support. The H-series processors offer thermal design power (TDP) options of 45W (with 35W cTDP- down) for an exceptional balance of power and performance. The H-series processors are ideally suited for space-constrained and purpose-built designs such as digital signage, retail transaction terminals, and kiosks, smart cities and health care.

Key Features

Multiple offerings for scalable performance, enhanced performance over previous generation with up to 6 cores

9th generation graphics engine, fast video acceleration, 3 independent 4K Ultra HD displays, extensive media codec library, HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 (w/LSPCON)

Up to 30 High-Speed I/O lanes on PCH, integrated USB-C / USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/S)

Windows* 10 Enterprise & IOT Enterprse (64b), Yocto Project*, Wind River Linux*, VxWorks*

Intel Software Guard eXtensions (SGX) 1.0, Intel® Trusted Execution Engine 3.0, Intel® Platform Trust Technology

Chipset TDP Max # of PCI Express Lanes USB Configuration Max # of SATA 6.0 Gb/s Ports IoT Options Available Order Code
Mobile Intel® CM246 Chipset 3 W 24 10 Total USB 3.1 Ports - Up to 6 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports - Up to 10 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports

14 USB 2.0 Ports

8 Yes FH82CM246
Mobile Intel® QM370 Chipset 3 W 20 10 Total USB 3.1 Ports - Up to 6 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports - Up to 10 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports

14 USB 2.0 Ports

4 Yes FH82QM370
Mobile Intel® HM370 Chipset 3 W 16 8 Total USB 3.1 Ports - Up to 4 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports - Up to 8 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports

14 USB 2.0 Ports

4 Yes FH82HM370
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OS Vendor

Operating Systems





Windows* 10  Enterprise & IOT Enterprise (64b) RS31



Intel / Microsoft*

Windows* Server 20161

Intel® Xeon® E-2100 Processor Family


Ubuntu*, SuSe*, Redhat Enterprise* 1,2 (Kernel 4.14)


Canonical Ltd.*, Attachmate Grp*, Red Hat* & open source

Yocto* 2.4 Tool-based Embedded Linux Distribution1


Yocto* project community


Wind River* VxWorks* 7


Wind River* systems

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1 Legacy boot not supported for Windows* 10 and Linux*. Customers should work with their BIOS vendors for enabling/validating legacy BIOS features. 2 Linux* supported by Intel via the upstreaming of Intel Linux* drivers to the Linux* Open Source Community. Adoption into individual Linux* distributions is dependent upon the OS vendor.

3 Yocto* BSP validated on CFL-H reference platform. The reference BSP expected to work on CFL-S as well.

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Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake 6 Core Processor Specifications Detailed

First listings of Intel’s upcoming Coffee Lake 6 core and 4 core processors have been sighted. The new processors were spotted in Sisoftware database and are part of the desktop and embedded platforms.

Intel Coffee Lake Desktop 6 Core and Embedded 4 Core Processors Detailed

With Intel pushing ahead the the launch of their next generation processor families in response to AMD’s Ryzen processors, we are finally starting to get new info on Intel’s mainstream and high-end desktop CPU platforms. The new processor platforms are scheduled to launch sometime in mid of 2017. First up will be the high-end Skylake X and Kaby Lake X CPU families which will range from 4, 6, 8 , 10 and 12 core SKUs. The more mainstream desktop oriented family will arrive after that in the form of Coffee Lake S. This line up will feature Intel’s first 6 core mainstream processor.

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Intel Coffee Lake chips were previously going to launch in January 2018 (CES). But recent AMD launches have pushed Intel to shake up their launch roadmap. The recent reports have suggested that Coffee Lake chips can launch as early as August, at GamesCom 2017. The new Coffee Lake chips will launch alongside the Z370 chipset based motherboards and would be followed by the h470 and B360/h410 chipsets at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

Intel Coffee Lake S 6 Core Part Could be a Core i5 Processors – Features No Hyper Threading, Up To 3.50 GHz Clock Speed on Engineering Sample

The first processor I think most users would be interested to learn about is the Coffee Lake S 6 core part. This is Intel’s first 6 core, mainstream and consumer oriented processor. The processor carries some very interesting specifications. First of all, it’s a 6 core part that features no hyper-threading. It comes with 3.5 GHz base clock and no turbo boost speed is mentioned. My guess is that we are looking at a engineering sample and final chip will ship with higher clock speeds.

The chip features 1.5 MB of L2 cache (6 x 256 KB) and 9 MB of L3 cache. Now the first thing someone will say is that how do we know this is an actual Coffee Lake processor? Well, it’s quite easy to tell. First, the chip we are looking at was running on a Kaby Lake-S client platform. Kaby Lake-S is the mainstream line which currently supports Skylake and Kaby Lake consumer processors. This is not the HEDT line which should have the Kaby Lake-X codename. Also, the high-end 6 core Broadwell-E parts feature up to 20 MB of L3 cache whereas this processor has less than halve of it.

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The cache also tells us a lot about this processor. We know from previous Intel architectures that each core has 2 MB of L3 cache and the entire cache is shared across all cores. A 4 core, 8 thread Kaby Lake chip featured 8 MB of L3 cache. So this chip should have theoretically featured 12 MB of L3 cache that would be shared across all cores. But since this is a disabled chip since it doesn’t feature hyper-thread, the conclusion is that we are looking at a Core i5 series 6 core chip. Intel isn’t making big changes with Coffee Lake and since the design heirarchy is mostly similar to Kaby Lake, a Core i5 chip with disabled design should feature 9 MB of L3 cache. A disable Kaby Lake Core i5-7600K chip also featured less cache of 6 MB compared to 8 MB L3 cache on the Core i7-7700K chip.

Intel Coffee Lake S 6 Core Processors Specs (Preliminary):

CPU Name Intel Core i5-7600K Intel Core i5-8600K Intel Core i7-7700K Intel Core i7-8700K
CPU Family Kaby Lake-S Coffee Lake-S Kaby Lake-S Coffee Lake-S
CPU Process 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm
CPU Cores 4 6 4 6
CPU Threads 4 6 8 12
Base Clock 3.8 GHz 3.50 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.7 GHz
Boost Clock 4.2 GHz TBA 4.5 GHz TBA
L2 Cache 1 MB (256 KB per Core) 1.5 MB (256 KB per Core) 1 MB (256 KB per Core) 1.5 MB (256 KB per Core)
L3 Cache 6 MB 9 MB 8 MB 12 MB
Unlocked Design Yes Yes Yes Yes
Socket Support LGA 1151 LGA 1151? LGA 1151 LGA 1151?
PCH 200-Series 300-Series 200-Series 300-Series
TDP 91W 95W 91W 95W

Are Intel Coffee Lake Processors Compatible With LGA 1151 Socket and 200-Series PCH?

This also brings us to the next interesting detail we are getting from this listing. The specific 6 core Coffee Lake part was tested on the Kaby Lake-S client system. Kaby Lake-S platform means that the chip was ran off a 200-series PCH based motherboard. If true, Coffee Lake would retain compatibility not only with the LGA 1151 socket but also currently available motherboards.

As with the previous generation, Skylake and Kaby Lake processors are compatible with both 100 and 200 series motherboards. While AIB partners of Intel will refresh their product stack with the new 300-series chipset, it is highly possible that they will still offer BIOS updates allowing compatibility of Coffee Lake chips on 200-series motherboards. This would allow users a very easy and affordable upgrade path to newer 6 core chips.

Intel Coffee Lake R (Embedded) Core i7 Processor Features 4 Cores and 8 Threads

Finally, we have an embedded chip based on the Coffee Lake architecture. This chip features 4 cores, 8 threads and a clock speed up to 2.11 GHz (base clock is 1.90 GHz). This chip comes with 8 MB L3 cache and was tested on a Kaby Lake R client system which refers to the embedded platform. The specifications listed for this chip confirm that it is a new processor which will be branded under the Core i7 family and come with a new 8th generation naming scheme.

These listings more or less confirm the rumors that Intel have pushed ahead the launch of their processor lineups. We can see Coffee Lake chips on consumer platforms as early as August 2017 with engineering samples of the new 300-series chipset based motherboards being shown off at Computex in June 2017.

Intel CPU Generation Comparison:

  Intel Sandy Bridge Platform Intel Ivy Bridge Platform Intel Haswell Platform Intel Broadwell Platform Intel Skylake Platform Intel Kaby Lake Platform Intel Coffee Lake Platform Intel Comet Lake Platform Intel Ice Lake Platform
Processor Architecture Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge Haswell Broadwell Skylake Kaby Lake Coffee Lake Comet Lake Ice Lake
Processor Process 32nm 22nm 22nm 14nm 14nm 14nm+ 14nm++ 14nm++ 10nm
Processors Cores (Max) 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 6/12 & 8/16 10/20? TBD
Platform Chipset 6-Series “Cougar Point” 7-Series “Panther Point” 8-Series “Lynx Point” 9-Series “Wild Cat Point” 100-Series “Sunrise Point” 200-Series “Union Point” 300-Series ICL PCH? ICL PCH?
Platform Socket LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1150 LGA 1150 LGA 1151 LGA 1151 LGA 1151 TBD TBD
TDPs 35-95W 35-77W 35-84W 65W 35-91W 35-91W 35-95W TBD TBA
Thunderbolt Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platform Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA Desktop LGA
Launch 2011 2012 2013-2014 2015 2015 2017 2017-2018 2019 2020?

Intel Coffee Lake Vs. Kaby Lake: A Side-By-Side Comparison

Intel is poised to release its 8th Gen Coffee Lake processors on October 5, which means it’s just about time to start asking if you should get yourself a cuppa the company’s latest CPUs or if you should stick with Kaby Lake. Or if you’re upgrading from a previous generation, whether the extra costs of Coffee Lake (and there are extra costs) make it a better choice than Kaby Lake. Let’s do a little comparison shopping.

Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake are similar in many ways. They rely on the same microarchitecture, with Coffee Lake being effectively (ahem) caffeinated with a slightly refined manufacturing process (14nm++) over Kaby Lake (14nm+), as well as more cores and threads across the board, a different allocation of cache resources, and a few new overclocking knobs and levers.

Each of these chip generations requires a different chipset (100-Series or 200-Series for Kaby Lake, 300-Series for Coffee Lake), and you need to factor that into your cost/benefit equation as well. You will also need to account for the extra cost of a premium “Z” motherboard to overclock the unlocked “K” SKUs. (“H” and “B” motherboards are suitable for the locked models.) Expect to wait until early next year for the value-centric 300-Series H and B motherboards (for Coffee Lake), though. In either case, connectivity options, such as the dual-channel memory support and 16 PCIe lanes from the processor, remain identical for the 300-series motherboards.

MORE: No, Coffee Lake Will Not Run In Z270 Motherboards (And Here's Why)

You don’t visit Coffee Lake for the motherboard, though. Everyone is here for more cores.

The biggest improvement between Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake is the addition of two more cores to Intel’s mainstay Core i3, i5, and i7 families. Intel’s performance projections, which primarily focus on application-level performance as opposed to synthetic benchmarks that scale linearly, appear somewhat modest. But adding 50% more cores to the i7 and i5 series and 100% more cores to the i3 lineup promises to unlock the most performance we’ve ever seen from mainstream Intel processors.

Of course, that’s needed to fend off AMD’s core-laden assault, but the benefits make a splash in the form of 25% more FPS in games (according to Intel) and 45% better “mega-tasking” performance (again, per Intel’s claims). We’ll find out if these CPUs reflect the company’s promises when we load them up on our test bench.

The Coffee Lake lineup has been in development for years, and although the changes to the chips themselves seem designed to parry AMD’s thrust, the relatively early rollout is the only real indicator that Intel is feeling the heat of Ryzen.

For now, though, we want to compare Coffee Lake to Kaby Lake. Let’s walk through the lineup.

Core i7 Coffee Lake vs. Kaby Lake

The i7 series benefits from Hyper-Threading, so the six cores schedule 12 threads in parallel.

Interestingly enough, the Intel Core i7-8700 models feature a drop in base frequency compared to the Kaby Lake counterparts, but this is largely the result of packing more cores into the same package. The additional cores consume more power, which equates to heat. Even though the processor utilizes an improved 14nm++ process, the basic rules dictate that something has to give somewhere.

Intel offsets these lower base frequencies with much-improved boost frequencies, which means the processor will spin up to higher speeds when the additional cores aren’t needed. We’re looking at a 300-400 MHz increase in boost frequencies between generations, which promises snappier performance in lightly threaded applications. Intel’s Turbo Boost algorithms also increase performance at various rates based on the number of active cores, even if all of them are active, but unfortunately the company is no longer providing us with complete Turbo tables in advance of our testing. That’s just a measurement task, so we’ll address that in our review and update here when the NDA expires on Oct 5.

The i7-8700K seems like a more modest upgrade over the i7-8700. It has a 3.7 GHz base frequency, which is a nice bump, but the boost frequency is just 4.7 GHz. The higher-end model also features an unlocked multiplier, but otherwise it’s identical to the i7-8700.

Intel Core i7-8700KIntel Core i7-8700Intel Core i7-7700KIntel Core i7-7700Suggested Retail PricingSocketCores/ThreadsBase FrequencyBoost FrequencyMemory SpeedMemory ControllerUnlocked MultiplierPCIe LanesIntegrated GraphicsCache (L2+L3)ArchitectureProcessTDPPrice (per 1K Unit)
(MSRP $359)(MSRP $303) Intel Core i7-7700K ( On -) Intel Core i7-7700 ( On -)
LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151
6 / 126 / 124 / 84 / 8
3.7 GHz3.2 GHz4.2 GHz3.6 GHz
4.7 GHz4.6 GHz4.5 GHz4.2 GHz
x16 Gen3x16 Gen3x16 Gen3x16 Gen3
Intel UHD Graphics 630 (up to 1,200 MHz)Intel UHD Graphics 630 (up to 1,200 MHz)Intel HD Graphics (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)
Coffee LakeCoffee LakeKaby LakeKaby Lake

All of this extra power is accompanied by a minor TDP increase, from the i7-7700K’s 91W to the i7-8700K’s 95W, although we imagine extra voltage will magnify that difference when you overclock. The i7-7700 and i7-8700 both sit at 65W, which is a surprising parity given the extra cores.

Coffee Lake i7s also boast support for higher memory speeds, from DDR4-2400 with Kaby Lake to DDR4-2666 with the new processors. Just don’t expect that advantage on the less expensive i3 models, which still top out at DDR4-2400. Intel also added new memory multipliers that let you crank the memory up to 8400 MT/s without modifying the base clock (BCLK). We also get a new on-the-fly memory latency adjustment feature (more on that to come), and speaking of BCLK, the company also added a more advanced PLL Trim feature.

The integrated graphics also receives a slight bump from the Intel HD Graphics 630 clocked at 1,150 MHz (Kaby Lake) to the Intel UHD Graphics 630 at 1,200 MHz (Coffee Lake). Like the previous-generation Kaby Lake processors, you’ll need a license for Windows 10 to use the full graphics functionality, but the difference in graphics capability is minor.

Intel also went with its usual 2MB of L3 cache per core allocation, which nets an increase to 12MB of L3 cache. We’re also assuming that Intel is sticking to its 256KB of L2 cache per core, which also grants us an extra 512KB of L2 cache for the hexa-core models.  

Intel’s i7-8700K sets the tone for what we already expected with the “K” models: It features a price premium compared to the previous-generation i7-7700K. The additional $20 for two extra cores isn’t a big increase, and the move is likely designed more to prevent cannibalization of Intel’s other processors than to offset increased production costs. Meanwhile, the locked -8700 matches its -7700 counterpart’s pricing.

Core i5 Coffee Lake vs. Kaby Lake

Intel made similar changes to the i5 lineup. The company increased the core count from Kaby’s four to six for the Coffee Lake processors, but alas, we still don’t get Hyper-Threaded cores. That means you get only one thread per core, but a 50% increase in cores is welcome.

Again, note the lower base frequencies for the Coffee Lake models, offset by higher boost frequencies. It will also be interesting to compare the mid-range Turbos once we can share that information.

The i5 lineup also features an almost imperceptible improvement to its integrated graphics. Whereas the Intel Core i5-7400 featured Intel HD Graphics 630, which was clocked at up to 1,100 MHz, the i5-8400 and i5-8600K feature Intel UHD Graphics 630 clocked at up to 1,150 MHz. Of course, the change from the “HD” to the “UHD” moniker is more of a marketing exercise than an indication that you receive significantly expanded features, because there aren’t any.

Intel Core i5-8600KIntel Core i5-8400Intel Core i5-7600KIntel Core i5-7400Suggested Retail PricingSocketCores/ThreadsBase FrequencyBoost FrequencyMemory SpeedMemory ControllerUnlocked MultiplierPCIe LanesIntegrated GraphicsCache (L2+L3)ArchitectureProcessTDP
(MSRP $257)(MSRP $182) Intel Core i5-7600K ($250.99 On Amazon) Intel Core i5-7400 ( On -)
LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151
6 / 66 / 64 / 44 / 4
3.6 GHz2.8 GHz3.8 GHz3.0 GHz
4.3 GHz4.0 GHz4.2 GHz3.5 GHz
x16 Gen3x16 Gen3x16 Gen3x16 Gen3
Intel UHD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel UHD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 630 (up to 1,100 MHz)
Coffee LakeCoffee LakeKaby LakeKaby Lake
Price (per 1K Unit)$257$182$242$182

Much like the Coffee Lake i7s, some of the new i5s feature an increased TDP. The i5-8400 and i5-7400 are both at 65W, but the i5-8600K rises to 95W from the i5-7600K’s 91W. The Coffee Lake i5 chips also support up to DDR4-2666 memory speeds versus the Kaby Lake processors’ support for DDR4-2400.

The extra cores also bring a few extra cache slices. The Coffee Lake i5 processors feature a healthy 9MB of L3, compared to 6MB with the previous generation models, as well as 1.5MB of L2 cache.

Again, we see the same pricing for the unlocked models and a somewhat smaller $15 delta between the two locked models.

Core i3 Coffee Lake vs. Kaby Lake

Diving down into the i3 lineup exposes some of Intel’s famed segmentation. We are getting more cores with this generation. The Coffee Lake processors feature four physical cores compared to Kaby Lake’s two, but Intel left i3 memory support at DDR4-2400. That might lead some to opine that the i3 models are just carbon copies of the previous-generation i5 series, albeit with the improved 14nm++ process.

Adding two cores to the i3 models equates to a proportionally larger 100% increase in cores, which you would expect to be reflected in power consumption and TDP specifications. We’ll measure power soon enough, but the i3-8350K’s 91W TDP is a significant jump over the i3-7350K’s 60W rating. We also see a somewhat large jump from 51W with the Kaby Lake i3-7300 to 65W with the Core i3-8100.

Aside from the UHD marketing moniker, the integrated graphics performance should be identical across the two generations, including the clock rates.

Intel Core i3-8350KIntel Core i3-8100Intel i3-7350KIntel i3-7100Suggested Retail PricingSocketCores/ThreadsBase FrequencyBoost FrequencyMemory SpeedMemory ControllerUnlocked MultiplierPCIe LanesIntegrated GraphicsCache (L2+L3)ArchitectureProcessTDPPrice (per 1K Unit)
(MSRP $168)(MSRP $117) Intel Core i3-7350K ( On -) Intel Core i3-7300 ( On -)
LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151
4 / 44 / 42 /42 / 4
4.0 GHz3.6 GHz4.2 GHz3.9 GHz
Yes NoYesNo
x16 Gen3x16 Gen3x16 Gen3x16 Gen3
Intel UHD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel UHD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 630 (up to 1,150 MHz)Intel HD Graphics 630 (up to 1,100 MHz)
Coffee LakeCoffee LakeKaby LakeKaby Lake

Perhaps the most interesting change is the drop in base frequency between the Intel Core i3-7300 and i3-8100. The former is clocked at 3.9 GHz, the latter at 3.6 GHz. (The i3-8350K has the same 4.0GHz base frequency.) That shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it’s worth pointing out, particularly because Intel still doesn’t enable Turbo Boost with the i3 lineup. That means you won’t benefit from the higher Turbo ratios we see in the i5 and i7 series. That won’t be as big of a problem with the overclockable i3-8350K--it's expected that users will crank up the clocks--but it will be interesting to see how that impacts the i3-8100 in common desktop applications.

The i3-8100 also sees the smallest L3 cache allocation of the lineup, with a mere 6MB.

Intel is also continuing its new-found practice of offering a “value” i3 SKU that requires an expensive Z-Series motherboard for overclocking. The prevailing opinion is that this approach isn’t popular, but Intel’s continuation of the practice might suggest otherwise.

Stay tuned for our full review when Coffee Lake Launches on October 5.

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