Intel's Newest, Fastest Processors: What You Need To Know
Arriving on the market next week, the new 8th-generation Intel Core desktop processors are aimed at gamers and digital content creators who want more speed and power for the applications they run.
Intel said the new processors also offer more flexibility and customizability for overclockers, users seeking to push the speeds of their machines' central processor units to greater-than-factory settings.
Unveiled yesterday and available for purchase starting Oct. 5, the new 8th-generation processors (pictured above) include the Intel Core i3 8100 and 8350K, the Intel Core i5 8400 and 8600K, and the Intel Core i7 8700 and 8700K. Prices range from $117 for the Intel Core i3 8100 to $359 for the Intel Core i7 8700K.
Another updated family of processors, the new line of Intel Core X-Series extreme edition chips, began shipping today, Intel said. Those processors range from the $242 i5-7640S to the $1,999 i9-7980XE. These 14-, 16-, and 18-core processors were also designed with gamers and digital content creators in mind.
'Tremendous Improvements across the Board'
Intel designed the 8th-generation Intel Core desktop processors with a focus on digital and game enthusiasts looking for high performance and a platform that can "flex with their needs," Anand Srivatsa, general manager of the desktop platform group, said yesterday in a statement. The chips, "deliver tremendous improvements across the board and -- for gamers, in particular -- offer an unbeatable experience," he added.
The 8th-generation processors can support up to 25 percent more frames per second on resource-intensive games like Gears of War 4, compared to the 7th-generation chips, according to Intel. The company said the new processors also dramatically speed up content management tasks involving advanced digital media. For example, they enable 32-percent faster editing of 4K 360-degree videos compared to the 7th-generation chips.
In addition, the 8th-generation K processors were designed to make it easier to fine-tune settings during overclocking, Intel said. Among the features the company has added are per-core overclocking, a maximum memory ratio of up to 8,400 MT/s (megatransfers per second), real-time memory latency control, and updated Intel Extreme Tuning Utility and Extreme Memory Profile.
The latest K processors are supported by new Intel Z370 chipset-based motherboards for optimized performance, power, and memory routing in overclocking, according to Intel. Manufacturers are expected to offer more than 50 new motherboard and system designs created especially for those chips.
'Most Extreme Desktop Processor Ever'
Another new processor family, the Intel Core X-series first announced in May, began shipping today.
"This final piece of the puzzle rounds out the availability of the Intel Core X-series processor family, providing content creators and enthusiasts with the much-anticipated Extreme Edition, the most extreme desktop processor ever introduced," Intel said. "While the entire Intel Core X-series processor family delivers on the promise of rich, immersive experiences that require significant compute power, the Extreme Edition brings a new level of power to content creators, enabling extreme mega-tasking, a platform for editing and rendering high-resolution 4K and virtual reality (VR) video, and a full studio on your PC."
Intel said the new X-series Extreme Edition chips can speed up virtual reality content creation performance by as much as 80 percent, and boost 4K video editing speeds by up to 60 percent.
In its review of the new Intel Core i9-7980XE, PC Gamer today described the chip as "Intel's equivalent of AMD's RX Vega GPUs. It's fast but it uses way more power than other solutions to get there."
Ars Technica expressed similar reservations about the Intel Core i9-7960X, noting that while it stands up to AMD's Threadripper 1950X, the Intel chip's $1,699 price-tag represents a "tough sell," considering its 80-percent cost difference for a 20-percent increase in performance.
Image credit: Intel Corporation.