Intel Coffee Lake 6 Core Engineering Samples Spotted

/ 2 years ago

Since the debut of Core 2 Quad, Intel has limited their mainstream platform to just 4 cores. Over time, processing demands have left these 4 cores less competitive than before. AMD is also now offering 8 full cores for their mainstream Ryzen platform. To counter this, Intel is reportedly upgrading their mainstream offerings. With their upcoming Coffee Lake lineup, Intel is reportedly boosting the core count up to 6.

Coffee Lake is the successor to Kaby Lake. Intel is basing the chips on the same architecture as Skylake/Kaby Lake but with some tweaks and optimisations. The process is the new and improved 14nm+. This is the stand in until Cannon Lake arrives later in 2018 on the 10nm process. With such minor tweaks, we can expect an IPC gain under 5% and minimal clock speed gain as Kaby Lake is already on 14nm+.

Coffee Lake 6 Cores with 9MB L3 Cache

From the SiSoft Sandra benchmark, we can see that this Intel chip comes with 6 cores and 12 threads. At the same time, it is listed as part of the Kaby Lake family. This leaves just Coffee Lake as Skylake-X is Skylake and Kaby Lake-X maxes out at 4 cores. The base clock is 3.5 GHz with boost up to 4.2 GHz. Interestingly the L3 cache is just 9MB, giving 1.5MB per core, down from the usual 2MB per core for mainstream i7s.

With the push to 6 cores, it looks like Intel is recognising the need to push computing for the mainstream. While 6 cores have been available since Sandy Bridge-E, Intel has always restricted them to the more expensive HEDT platform. Now that AMD is pushing 8 cores for the mainstream, Intel has no choice but counter, no matter their previous plans.

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