Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review

We think the 8086K is the best CPU for the Z370 platform and the best overclocking CPU we have seen from Intel.

@StevenBassiriTT
Published Tue, Jul 10 2018 10:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 25 IMAGES

The i7-8086K was launched for the 40th Anniversary of the 8086 processor from Intel. It's a beefed up Coffee Lake CPU, and it's designed to fulfill the legacy of its predecessor. It's such a big deal that Intel gave away 8086 units out of a supposed 50K (Intel didn't confirm this number) for free around the world. Intel sent an ES sample our way for testing, and today we will go over the CPU and how it performs against the 8700K and other CPUs.

Specifications

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 02 | TweakTown.com

If we compare the i7-8086Kto the 8700K, they are very similar, but the 8086K has a higher Max turbo of up to 5GHz, which is pretty high. Like the 8700K and 8700 the CPU has an all-core Turbo of 4.3GHz, so if you use all cores at the same time, you shouldn't expect any different results. The CPU has a 95W TDP, 12MB of SmartCache, and a base frequency of 4GHz. It supports up to 64GB of memory and is rated up to 2666MHz for official memory support.

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 03 | TweakTown.com

The CPU doesn't come with a cooler, so you will need to purchase one that can support up to or preferably over 95W. The CPU also has UHD 630 graphics.

Pricing

The Core i7-8086K is priced at $424.99.

The CPU and Test Setup

The CPU

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 04 | TweakTown.com

The top of the CPU is identical to that of the other Coffee Lake CPUs, and the integrated heat spreader is not soldered.

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 05 | TweakTown.com

The bottom of the CPU is also identical to that of other Coffee Lake CPUs.

Test Setup

Out of the Box Performance: CINEBENCH, wPrime, and AIDA64

CINEBENCH R15

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 06 | TweakTown.com

wPrime

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 07 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 FP and IOPS

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 08 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 Memory Bandiwdth

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 09 | TweakTown.com

AIDA64 Memory Latency

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 10 | TweakTown.com

In CINEBENCH nT we see that the CPU performs very much like the 8700K and 8700 but in 1T the CPU does better, which is to be expected. We saw the same similar performance in wPrime and AIDA64 FPU tests. Memory latency and bandwidth is also eerily similar.

Out of the Box Performance: Handbrake, ScienceMark & More

Out of the Box Performance: Handbrake, SuperPI, and ScienceMark

HandBrake UHD Video Transcoder (x264)

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 11 | TweakTown.com

HandBrake HD Video Transcoder (x264)

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 12 | TweakTown.com

ScienceMark

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 13 | TweakTown.com

SuperPI Mod 1.5

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 14 | TweakTown.com

In Handbrake UHD and HD we see very similar performance since most of the cores are engaged, the best way to see the CPU's performance is to see a mixed test such as in games. We get slightly better performance compared to the 8700K in HD handbrake encoding. ScienceMark is a mixed workload of legacy tasks, and there we do see better performance due to core scaling. In SuperPI we see some of the best stock scores ever as a single core can go up to 5GHz, which is above and beyond anything else.

Synthetic Gaming Performance: UNIGINE and 3DMark

Out of the Box Synthetic Gaming Performance: UNIGINE and 3DMark

3DMark Fire Strike

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 15 | TweakTown.com

3DMark CloudGate

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 16 | TweakTown.com

UNIGINE 4.0 720P

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 17 | TweakTown.com

UNIGINE 4.0 1080P

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 18 | TweakTown.com

In synthetic benchmarks for gaming, we see very similar performance or perhaps even slightly lower, and this is similar to what we see in real-world gaming tests. Even so, the CPU is performing just like an 8700K

Gaming Performance: Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, GTA:V & More

Out of the Box Gaming Performance: Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, GTA:V, Ashes of Singularity

Resident Evil 6 Benchmark

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 19 | TweakTown.com

GTA: V

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 21 | TweakTown.com

Ashes of the Singularity

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 22 | TweakTown.com

In all of our game tests we see the same thing, slightly higher minimum frame rates, but pretty much equal average frame rates to the 8700K and 8700. We expected this, as a few hundred megahertz boost isn't going to make a big difference on just a few cores.

Overclocking and Power Consumption

Power Consumption

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 23 | TweakTown.com

Our results here had to be investigated, and we found that the 10W difference is mainly due to differences in the VRM of the motherboard used to test either CPU. That 109W number is very close to the TDP rating, so at least there is no power cheating going on here.

Overclocking

Now, in the past, we have found that when the maximum single-core Turbo is randomly assigned to a core instead of statically (as in statically assigned CPU cores), that all cores can operate at the maximum at the same time. So if an 8700K can hit 4.7GHz on a single core, then all 8700Ks that we test can hit 4.7GHz with all cores at the same time. In fact, that's what multi-core enhancement does.

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 24 | TweakTown.com

In this case, that should be 5GHz on all cores with low voltages, and we were able to achieve 5GHz on all cores with 1.25v. However, we wanted to go higher, and we were able to get 5.1GHz all cores with 1.3v, and without going into throttle range. We were able to boot into Windows at 5.2GHz, but the CPU could not pass out AVX based HandBrake stability testing. With better cooling, it should be possible to stabilize this CPU at 5.2Ghz, and with an easy de-lid, we see this CPU hitting 5.3GHz, or maybe even 5.4GHz.

What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

What's Hot

Excellent Performance: While we might see that the CPU performs just like the 8700K in many tests, it's still an excellent CPU. The 8700K might spoil us in many ways and slightly tint our view of this CPU, but this is a superior CPU if we look past the price difference.

High Single Core boost: The boost clock for a single thread is 5GHz, which is 300Mhz higher than the 8700K, and in tests where that difference is measured we see the 8086K pull ahead.

Overclocking : It seems that Intel went to the line and told their machines to bin the incoming CPUs as far as they could go, and they took those bins and branded them as the i7-8086Ks. It's evident that the 8086K is a better overclocker than the 8700K. While I was able to hit 5.0GHz for one or two runs with my 8700K, 5.1Ghz would barely get past POST, and 5.2GHz was impossible. This CPU boots into Windows at 5.2Ghz with ease, and easily posts at 5.3GHz but it cannot get past the Window's load screen at 5.3GHz. If you want 5GHz all cores, this is your best bet.

Limited Edition: While Intel won't confirm how many of these they made, the retail package, even unopened, it's destined to be a collector's item, as is the note inside signed by former CEO Brian Krzanich.

What's Not

Cost: At $50 above the 8700K you are seeing gains on paper you won't really notice in real life; instead you get a better overclocking CPU and a collector's item.

Final Thoughts

For now, the 8086K is the best CPU for the Z370 platform, and it's the best overclocking CPU I have seen from Intel. Overclocking is really the strong point of this CPU if you are looking at practicality. You are basically guaranteed a 5GHz OC on all cores (I do not promise that though...). The fact that this is a collector's item also adds to its value, and you will need to consider whether or not that is enough to spend an extra $50.

Intel Core i7-8086K Coffee Lake Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Now, if you do a lot of single core stuff, like working with audio editing, then this CPU is actually worth it. However, if you want to save $50 and don't care about hitting 100-200MHz higher on all cores and the fact that it's a collector's item, then you should probably venture towards the 8700K. That being said, the 8086K is a very cool CPU, and we are recommending it as our favorite overclocking pick! It's basically hitting the overclocks people saw with Sandy Bridge, but with the increased IPC from Coffee Lake (well Skylake).

TweakTown award
Performance98%
Quality91%
Features92%
Value87%
Overall92%

The Bottom Line: The Intel i7-8086K is a beast of an overclocker ready to handle whatever you can throw at it now, and then sit in a trophy case after it retires.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles