Intel 8086K



All the way back in June 1978, Intel re­leased its 8086 CPU. Lit­tle did it know at the time, the fun­da­men­tals of this lit­tle chip would go on to be­come the dom­i­nant CPU ar­chi­tec­ture and re­shape com­put­ing as we know it in the decades that fol­lowed. To cel­e­brate 40 years since the oc­ca­sion, Intel have re­leased the aptly named Core i7-8086K. In­ter­est­ingly, the 8086K, with its 5GHZ max­i­mum turbo boost, is ex­actly 1000x the fre­quency of the orig­i­nal 8086, which came with a 5MHZ clock speed.


The 8086K is a lim­ited edi­tion six core/ twelve thread CPU based on the Cof­fee Lake ar­chi­tec­ture and can be con­sid­ered a higher binned ver­sion of the al­ready ex­cel­lent i78700k. It comes with a higher base clock and a more ag­gres­sive turbo fre­quency. Where the 8700K comes with a 3.7GHZ base and 4.7GHZ max­i­mum sin­gle thread turbo fre­quency, the 8086K bumps up the clocks to 4.0GHZ base and 5.0GHZ turbo. This makes the 8086K the

rst Intel CPU that can reach 5GHZ un­der stock op­er­at­ing con­di­tions.

Ev­ery­thing else is shared with the 8700K. It’s man­u­fac­tured on Intel’s 14nm++ node and is rated with a 95W TDP. There’s 12MB of L3 cache and sup­port for up to 64GB of du­alchan­nel mem­ory at DDR4-2666, though of course you can run faster mem­ory than this when paired with a Z370 chipset mother­board. Intel’s in­te­grated UHD Graph­ics 630 en­gine is also present.

While the 8086K is a very fast CPU, we feel it could have been so much more. For ex­am­ple, sol­der­ing the heat­spreader to the die, as op­posed to the thermal paste that is used would have tremen­dously helped the over­clock­ing po­ten­tial of the chip and kept tem­per­a­tures lower. Also, Cof­fee Lake scales quite well with lit­tle or no volt­age in­crease up to the 4.5GHZ range. Could you imag­ine a 4.5GHZ base clock CPU with, say, a 125w TDP that can eas­ily OC to 5.1-5.2GHZ+ with temps in the 60s and 70s? Now that would have been some­thing truly spe­cial.


The 8086K’s higher sin­gle threaded turbo boost abil­ity means it takes the top spots in all of our sin­gle or lightly threaded bench­marks. There’s is ba­si­cally no dif­fer­ence in multi-threaded work­loads though, as the higher core count turbo boost fre­quen­cies re­main the same be­tween the 8700K and the 8086K. If you’re into gam­ing though, and es­pe­cially us­ing a very high re­fresh rate mon­i­tor, then the higher min­i­mum and av­er­age FPS ca­pa­bil­i­ties on of­fer will very much im­press. We also see that the 8086K can­not hold its 5GHZ boost clock for all but the briefest pe­ri­ods as when we set to a at 5GHZ OC, the re­sults are signi cantly faster. The CPU does need to t into its tight power bud­get at stock set­tings though, so this isn’t much of a sur­prise.

The use of the high­est Cof­fee Lake bins means the av­er­age over­clock­ing abil­ity of the 8086K should be bet­ter than the 8700K. This is cer­tainly true of our sam­ple. While our 8700K re­quired a fairly hefty volt­age bump to get to 5GHZ sta­ble with all cores, our 8086K did it with ease with 1.275v, de nitely less than many 8700K’s re­quire. Load tem­per­a­tures are pretty toasty though, with spikes into the 80’s. This CPU just cries out for a delid and bet­ter thermal in­ter­face ma­te­rial. Should you be pre­pared to re­place the TIM and have very good cool­ing, then 5.3GHz+ fully sta­ble is very likely within reach.

The 8086K takes the crown as the best gam­ing CPU on the mar­ket. You won’t be dis­ap­pointed with its sin­gle or multi-threaded per­for­mance. But, it does come with a rel­a­tively hefty price pre­mium over the 8700K, so if you have one of those, there is no rea­son to up­grade un­less you ab­so­lutely must have the best.

The Core i7-8086k is an ex­cel­lent CPU, but we feel Intel could have done a bit more to make it truly spe­cial.


Intel Core i7-8086K • 14nm, HD 630 Graph­ics • Socket 1151 (300 se­ries chipsets) • 6 cores/12 threads • 4.0 GHZ base clock • 5.0 GHZ max boost clock • sup­ports up to 64GB DDR4-2666 • 12MB SmartCache • 149mm2 die size • 95W TDP

$629 •

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