DEBUNKED | Leaked benchmark shows lower clocked i3-8350K has slightly better single core performance than i7-7700K
Update: One of our readers (FHWu) has alerted us to a thread on the Chinese forum, Tieba. In this thread, the originator of the leak admits to faking the information using a current commercial Intel processor and reportedly using registry edits to trick programs into presenting the wrong CPU name. These results then spread around Chinese technology media and the rest of the world. Given that Intel has been achieving IPC improvements of roughly 10 percent between generations, it wasn't outside the realm of possibility for a 4 GHz 8th generation CPU to have single core performance in line with a 4.2/4.5 GHz 7th generation CPU. Along the same lines, it wasn't unbelievable for an 8th generation quad-core without hyperthreading to have similar multi-thread performance to a 4th generation quad-core with hyperthreading. These are why the results didn't stand out as fake to us. In conclusion, these benchmarks for the i3-8350K are apparently fake.
Thanks to the photo of a presentation slide taken at an Intel event for business partners in China, we already know the core/thread counts, clock speed, and approximate single-core and multi-core performance improvement of the upcoming desktop Coffee Lake chips. However, there has been a lack of benchmark information on these yet-to-be-released processors.
That situation has improved slightly for the i3-8350K thanks to CPU-Z benchmark leaks, giving us some insight into performance. The i3-8350K is an unlocked quad-core with a base speed of 4 GHz, but no boost clock. Based on where it sits in the Coffee Lake line up, it is likely to become the sweet spot for value vs. performance in the Intel product stack. We suspect it will be an attractive option for gamers who aren't willing to pay for a six-core i5 since many of their games won't benefit from the additional cores (yet).
One of the most interesting details in the screenshots is the single-thread performance when compared against the i7-7700K. The i3-8350K achieves a score of 503, while the i7-7700K posts a lower score at 492, despite having higher clock speed with 4.2/4.5 GHz base/boost. Thanks to hyperthreading, the i7-7700K does manage to maintain a 33 percent lead in multi-thread performance.
If we then compare the multi-core performance to the i7-6700K, we see that the performance lead for the i7 chip has dropped to 20 percent, which is an impressively small gap for a CPU with four threads against an eight-thread CPU from only two generations earlier. Trying to find an exact multi-core match on the CPU-Z comparison charts we see that performance for the i3-8350K compares to the 4th gen. i7-4770K or the 7th gen. mobile i7-7700HQ.
In summary, the i3-8350K has the single-thread performance of an i7-7700K, paired with the multi-thread performance of an i7-4770K but at the price point of the i3 market segment.
Note: All CPU-Z scores compared here are for CPUs at stock speeds, and any potential overclocking ability (or lack thereof) is excluded.