Rumor: Eight-core desktop Intel CPUs and Z390 chipset riding in

Early last month, we saw some leaks out of China that gave us our first potential bits of detailed information about Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs. At that time, we were told that the purported top Coffee Lake-S CPU would be the six-core Core i7-8700K. However, thanks to a slip of the keys by a Eurocom support rep on the Notebook Review forums, it seems possible that we could see eight-core, 16-thread chips on that same platform late next year. Here's the post in question.

We haven't heard of the Z390 chipset by that name before, but the aforementioned Chinese leaks from PCEva mentioned something that would line up with the current rumor. That earlier leak referred to two different 300-series chipsets as "KBL Refresh (Z370)" and "CNL (300 Series)." If that info's true, then CPUs using the "CNL (300 Series)" chipset would top out at six cores, so it's possible that Eurocom's support staff made an error. Alternatively, there's a chance that Intel has changed its plans late in the game, perhaps as a response to the strong showing of AMD's Ryzen processors.

Source: AnandTech forums

The slide above surfaced earlier this month in the AnandTech forums, and assuming it's kosher, it seems to indicate that we could see a Z390 chipset in the second half of next year, not unlike the release of Z68 well after the initial launch of P67 and H67 for Sandy Bridge a ways back. It's unclear what process the rumored CPUs will use, particularly given the "CNL" apellation that the slides apply to the possible Z390 chipset. Awhile back, Intel said that it will make use of whatever process technologies make sense for a given market segment. It seems that the end result of that decision is that its product stack becomes ever more jumbled. Thanks to Videocardz and ComputerBase for the tip.

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