Buyers looking for CPUs with more than four cores and eight threads have always had to look beyond Intel's mainstream desktop platforms. The silicon giant first offered quad-core CPUs to consumers all the way back in the beginning of 2007, and the addition of SMT to 2009's Core i7-860 marked the company's last increase in the number of threads in its mainstream chips—until now. Get out your salt shakers, because WCCFTech spotted an entry in the Geekbench database displaying what would appear to be a Coffee Lake CPU packing six cores and 12 hardware threads.
The database record appears to have been generated by a machine with an LGA 1151 motherboard, possibly a Z270-based model. The chip in question is clocked at only 3.2 GHz, but it's worth noting that engineering sample chips are often clocked lower than final production silicon. The database entry also doesn't specify if that 3.2 GHz figure refers to a base or turbo clock. While the chip in question may have sat atop a Z270 motherboard, Intel hasn't offered any information about Coffee Lake compatibility with 200-series motherboards. As for cache amounts, the undisclosed chip displays 1.5 MB of L2 and 12 MB of L3.
The system earned a single-core Geekbench score of 4619 and a multi-core figure of 20,828. An example entry from a system built around a Ryzen 5 1600X processor scored 4574 and 20,769 in those same tests. Given that the final Coffee Lake silicon might be clocked significantly higher than engineering samples, Intel could potentially have a very fast six-core part for the consumer market.
Coffee Lake is widely expected to be the fourth generation of Core chips built on Intel's 14-nm process technology, following the Broadwell "tick," the Skylake "tock," and the Kaby Lake "optimization." We suspect that Coffee Lake will offer minor architectural improvements, improved graphics capabilities, and reduced power consumption when compared to previous chips, in addition to any possible increases in core and thread counts. Again, we counsel that the information in the database be taken with a dose of salt far in excess of the recommended daily allowance.