New figures for the potential clockspeeds of Intel’s Coffee Lake i7 8086K anniversary edition chip have made an appearance on the web. This fresh benchmarking shows every single limited edition i7 8086K chip can reach a possible 5GHz all-core overclock, but only the top 14% are able to hit 5.3GHz across all six cores.
It was long rumoured that Intel would be scimming the best chips off the top of the i7 8700K production line for its limited edition i7 8086K processor. Both chips are essentially the same, with six HyperThreaded cores for a total of twelve threads, 12MB of L3 cache, and a 95W TDP.
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The difference between the two chips all comes down to clockspeeds - both out of the box and potential overclocking chops. The i7 8086K is a pre-binned version of the i7 8700K, but just how much higher it can clock to is going to be key to whether it’s worth the extra ~$65 a customer will have to spend for the privilege of the limited time SKU.
The figures come from Silicon Lottery, a retailer that specialises in delidding and binning CPUs. Its numbers indicate that only the top 86% of Intel Coffee Lake i7 8700K chips can reach 5GHz with a 1.4V VCore, while every single i7 8086K will manage the same feat.
The Intel i7 8700K falls behind further from 5.1GHz to 5.3GHz, too. Only 50% of i7 8700K chips can hit 5.1GHz, and 5.2GHz is reserved for only the top 17% of chips. Meanwhile, 92% of i7 8086K manage 5.1GHz, and 60% 5.2GHz. That’s at 1.410V and 1.425V VCore, respectively, for both hexacore chips.
Only the top 14% of i7 8086K chips can reach the lofty 5.3GHz mark with a VCore of 1.435V. While that’s still within the realms of probably fine, this VCore may be too high for most users looking for a permanent 24/7 overclock.
There have been rumblings online that Intel would need to nerf its i7 8700K yields to produce the new pre-binned chip, and the latest data indicates some variation in yields among current i7 8700K chips and the initial batch.
While the latest figures - which were conveniently assembled by Wikichip from the Silicon lottery data - indicate that yields have, in fact, improved among the i7 8700K chips from December last year, yields for the upper limits of clockspeeds (5.1 to 5.2GHz) have actually decreased since Coffee Lake first launched in October.
A customer is now much less likely to receive a i7 8700K that is capable of 5.2GHz than they were back at launch - at 30% to 17%. However, the chances of receiving a 5GHz chip have actually increased from 81% to 86% with the latest i7 8700K batches.
This seems indicative that the silicon is performing better, but not in the very top bands of performance from 5.1GHz upwards with the i7 8700K - which hasn't improved anywhere near as much. The i7 8086K, however, has a 92% chance of being within this top performing band, and a 60% chance of hitting 5.2GHz.
If you really want the very best clockspeeds on offer, and willing to take a risk on a potentially worse performing chip, it seems you'll need to track down the initial 2017 Coffee Lake silicon. If you can find it out in the wild, however, Intel’s Coffee Lake wasn’t all that easy to come by in the first few months of release.
If that proves difficult, you may have to pay a premium for the i7 8086K, but is a ~200MHz clockspeed bump really worth the extra expense?