Computex 2018 | Intel celebrates 40 years of the x86 architecture with the 8th generation Core i7-8086K Limited Edition processor
It's finally here. After months of speculation, Intel has made the 8th generation 'Coffee Lake' Core i7-8086K official. The Core i7-8086K is special for both Intel and end-users. For Intel, the Core i7-8086K is a commemoration of 40 years of the x86 architecture whereas for the end-users this CPU aims to be a performance behemoth.
It all started with the debut of the 8086 microprocessor about 40 years ago in June 1978. The development of the 8086 was a milestone in computer history. Working from a rented facility on Walsh Avenue in Santa Clara, Intel wanted the 8086 to be the first 16-bit CPU in the market and was targeting an aggressive timeline of 18 months — from design to shipment. While initial sales lagged, Intel's new marketing campaign codenamed 'Operation Crush' helped boost sales by conveying to clients the capabilities and benefits of the new chip. Soon, the 8086 processor and the x86 architecture on which it was based became the de facto computing standard of the industry.
That was the time when a 3-micron die size and 5 MHz clock was considered revolutionary. Fast forward to June 2018 and we now have a 14nm++ 6-core 12-thread 4 GHz clock chip in the form of the Core i7-8086K. This is the first Intel CPU to feature a 5 GHz single-core turbo boost out of the box (300 MHz increments in both base and turbo speeds over the Core i7-8700K) with the all-core turbo expected to be around 4.6 GHz. The frequency bumps are not too drastic as the Core i7-8086K is essentially just a top-end binned Core i7-8700K having the same TDP at 95W. The higher frequency should help in speeding up single-threaded applications and should especially please gamers and content creators. Apparently, Intel is still using thermal paste for the heat spreader so it is likely that retailers could offer delidded chips with custom heat spreaders.
Those holding off from upgrading to the Core i7-8700K might want to look at the Core i7-8086K when it becomes available on June 8 12.01 AM PDT — the exact date on which the 8086 was made available 40 years ago. But you might have to hurry up as the Core i7-8086K will be made only in limited quantities. Intel is, however, running a sweepstakes and is giving away 8,086 Core i7-8086K chips to winners. More details about entry into the sweepstakes are available here.
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