Make no mistake about it, the recent revelations concerning AMD Ryzen pricing and performance has got Intel spooked. So much so in fact that Intel has accelerated the launch of its 8th generation Intel Core CPUs, codenamed Coffee Lake, in an effort to counteract AMD’s salvo. Previously they were on track for a 1H 2018 launch, yet the pressure from AMD with Ryzen is being keenly felt.
Intel showed the slide during its investors meeting this week, revealing its 8th Gen Core i7, i5 and i3 8000 series processors will be launching in the second half of 2017. There’s no die shrink to speak of, this is pure refinement and not the jump to 10nm Cannonlake some were perhaps expecting next from Intel in terms of desktop chips.
This actually goes against Intel’s new CPU cadence. Previously Tick > Tock, this was changed to Process > Architecture > Optimization. With this quick 14nm turnaround what we’re actually getting is yet another round of Optimization, effectively becoming Process > Architecture > Optimization > Optimization.
Performance in synthetic benchmarks is touted as being 15% faster than Kaby Lake so we’re looking at a similar jump in performance as we saw between Skylake and Kaby Lake. That’s nothing groundbreaking in truth. Kaby Lake disappointed us by being a bit of a stopgap, although the quick double jump from 6th Gen to 8th Gen Intel Core processors is a little more impressive.
The greater gains are sure to be had when 10nm Cannon Lake finally drops. Intel has reportedly had issues transitioning to the smaller process node but this has now been resolved. Between now and then however it’s going to come down purely to pricing. On the face of it AMD has Intel beaten as it stands right now. Leaked pricing for Ryzen suggests AMD’s flagship processors could be as much as 70% cheaper. Either Intel needs to trounce them on performance or it's going to have to match them on price.
What do you expect Intel to offer from its next generation of CPUs? Is it enough to keep a resurgent AMD at bay?