Intel Core i7- 8086K
Celebrating 40 years of Intel X86
T o celebrate 40 years since the release of the 8086 CPU, Intel has 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 i7-8700k. 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 first 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 dual-channel 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?
The 8086K’s higher single-threaded turbo boost ability means it takes the top spots in all of our single or lightly threaded benchmarks, however. 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; when we set to a flat 5GHZ OC, the results are significantly faster. The CPU does need to fit 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
This makes the 8086K the first Intel CPU that can reach 5GHZ under stock operating conditions.
than the 8700K. 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, definitely less than many 8700K’s require. Load temperatures are pretty toasty though.
The 8086K is the best gaming CPU on the market. 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. CHRIS SZEWCZYK