Intel lets loose more eighth-gen CPUs for notebooks and desktops


Coffee Lake fills to the brim

At an event in Beijing today, Intel lifted the curtain on an entourage of new eighth-generation desktop and mobile CPUs that will fill out its family of highly-caffeinated chips. Highlights include six-core Core i7 mobile chips, a new Core i9 mobile part, and eighth-gen U-series  mobile processors packing Iris Plus graphics and eDRAM. Additionally, a handful of mobile and desktop chips got the vPro blessing for business deployment. Let's take a look at each of these items in turn.

Modern-day gaming laptops are far better than their forebears. However, high-end eighth-gen Intel mobile chips didn't truly exist until now. The company is fixing that with a flurry of H-series chips in 45-W TDPs. The star of this particular show is the Core i9-8950HK. This beastie has six cores, twelve threads, and 12 MB of cache. Intel specs the first mobile Core i9 with a conservative 2.9 GHz base clock and a massive 4.8-GHz Turbo Boost 2.0 ceiling.

Those peak speeds come from a new feature called Intel Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB), a technology similar to AMD's Extended Frequency Range feature that Intel says will boost CPU clocks by as much as 200 MHz for both single- and multi-core workloads. TVB will apparently kick in when the chip is running under 50°C and there's enough power available. As a result, Intel claims that TVB's benefits will mostly be felt in bursty workloads rather than sustained all-core marathons. Overall, Intel claims a Core i9-8950HK is 29% faster overall than a Core i7-7820HK. As a K chip, this CPU is unlocked for overclocking, and we'd expect it to be part of some really crazy notebooks.

Alongside the mighty Core i9, Intel also introduced a pair of six-core Core i7 models that will likely power many a modern gaming notebook, including the Gigabyte Aero 15X that we reviewed ahead of today's launch. The Core i7-8850H has a 4.3 GHz Turbo Boost 2.0 clock and vPro eligibility, while the Core i7-8750H does away with vPro and has a Turbo Boost 2.0 clock that can climb as high as 4.2 GHz. Despite the core count increase, all of Intel's "performance mobile" CPUs are rated for a 45-W TDP and support Optane Memory. Expect these processors to find homes in high-performance mainstream notebooks, gaming notebooks, and mobile workstations. Here's the full list.

Processor Base
clock
(GHz)
Turbo
clock
(GHz)
Cores/
threads
Cache
size
(MB)
RAM support TDP vPro
Core i9-8950HK 2.9 4.8 (TVB) 6/12 12 DDR4-2666 (dual) 45 W -
Xeon E-2186M 2.9 4.8 (TVB) 6/12 12 DDR4-2666 (dual, ECC) Yes
Xeon E-2176M 2.7 4.4 6/12 12 Yes
Core i7-8850H 2.6 4.3 6/12 9 DDR4-2666 (dual) Yes
Core i7-8750H 2.2 4.2 6/12 9 -
Core i5-8400H 2.5 4.2 4/8 8 Yes
Core i5-8330H 2.3 4.0 4/8 8 -

Other notebook buyers might want some extra oomph from Intel integrated graphics without stepping all the way up to machines with discrete graphics processors. Those folks should be happy with Intel's latest U-series mobile CPUs with Iris Plus graphics. These chips have Hyper-Threading support, 128-MB chunks of eDRAM, and four cores and eight threads (save the dual-core Core i3-8109U). We predict they'll find a home in more than a few high-end work laptops thanks to their beefier-than-usual onboard graphics. Check them out.

Processor Base
clock
(GHz)
Turbo
clock
(GHz)
Cores/
threads
Cache
size
(MB)
TDP RAM support
Core i7-8559U 2.7 4.5 4/8 8 28 W DDR4-2400 (dual)
Core i5-8269U 2.6 4.2 4/8 6
Core i5-8259U 2.3 3.8 4/8 6
Core i3-8109U 3.0 3.6 2/4 4

Sadly, socketed chips with eDRAM are still absent from Intel's eighth-gen lineup. We can only continue to hope for their return.

Last but not least, desktop users shouldn't feel left out of the expanded eighth-gen CPU party. The initial Coffee Lake lineup felt a little incomplete, but Intel is fleshing it out with several more locked mainstream CPUs and lower-power T-series chips with 35-W TDPs. All models support Optane Memory. Builders should be pretty happy with the additional price tiers for desktop Coffee Lake goodness. Take a deeper look at these fresh chips.

Processor Base
clock
(GHz)
Turbo
clock
(GHz)
Cores/
threads
Cache
size
(MB)
RAM support vPro TDP Price
per 1000
(USD)
Standard power
Core i5-8600 3.1 4.3 6/6 9 DDR4-2666 (dual) Yes 65 W $213
Core i5-8500 3 4.1 6/6 9 Yes $192
Core i3-8300 3.7 - 4/4 8 DDR4-2400 (dual) - 62 W $138
Low power
Core i7-8700T 2.4 4 6/12 12 DDR4-2666 (dual) Yes 35 W $303
Core i5-8600T 2.3 3.7 6/6 9 Yes $213
Core i5-8500T 2.1 3.5 6/6 9 Yes $192
Core i5-8400T 1.7 3.3 6/6 9 - $182
Core i3-8300T 3.2 - 4/4 8 DDR4-2400 (dual) - $138
Core i3-8100T 3.1 - 4/4 6 - $117

Just as predicted, Core i5 parts are are six-core affairs, and Core i3 chips pack four cores. Interestingly enough, the higher-end models (both standard- and low-power) got the vPro blessing, making them suitable for large-scale deployments.

Along with its new CPUs, Intel has made a couple improvements to its Optane Memory modules. For one, those modules are now ready to run with mobile systems. Intel has added new power-management states to those accelerators' controllers, so we might see notebook makers begin adding those gumsticks to systems that would otherwise labor away with nothing but a hard drive inside. Intel says manufacturers should use new Core i3+, Core i5+, and Core i7+ labels to denote the presence of an Optane Memory module or Optane SSD in a PC. Manufacturers always love fresh stickers, we reckon.

In a move that will likely please desktop users the most, Intel is also adding the ability to let Optane Memory modules accelerate drives other than a system's primary boot device. That means bulk-storage drives for games can now be accelerated using Optane Memory sticks, for example, a capability that the TR staff has long been hoping for.

We've got a tsunami of news releases in our inboxes regarding products with these chips inside, and we'll be covering them throughout the day today. Look for all these chips in PCs and notebooks soon.

Tags: CPUs

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