Intel’s still doing plenty of moving and shaking in an effort to ward off the very real threat of AMD’s Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 CPUs. The latest leak to emerge from the blue team concerns the 8th generation Intel Core i3-8300. On top of previous info that confirmed Intel would be offering quad-core Core i3 processors as part of its Coffee Lake family, it suggests that the Core i3-8300 will also have Hyper-Threading support.
The quad-core Intel i3-8300 would be a dramatic departure from what we typically expect from an i3 CPU. Since their inception, these have always been dual-core processors. This move would, in effect, be raising the bottom line of what we can expect from CPUs.
If true then Intel’s entry-level 8th Gen Core i3 CPU family will offer a budget-priced gaming processor option with 4 Cores / 8 Threads. The Intel Core i3-8300 is Intel’s answer to Ryzen 3 and provides growing evidence that Intel may have an answer for just about anything AMD can throw at it. Up until now, the best Intel could really offer against the $109 Ryzen 3 1200 was the Intel Core i3-7100 at $117. Intel’s 7th gen i3 only features two cores and four threads though, while the cheaper Ryzen 1200 is quad core. As a result, users have been left with little reason to choose Intel.
The introduction of a quad-core budget CPU with multithreading could put Intel back in the driving seat in the budget sector once again. The new Core i3s will be distinct from Core i5s in that they will have no boost clock (they’ll be running at stock clocks only), and Core i5s will reportedly also be going up to hexa-core.
If you’re thinking of picking one up then be warned, Coffee Lake will no longer support the LGA 1151 socket user for Skylake. If you want Intel Coffee Lake you’ll be needing a new motherboard that supports LGA 1151 v2. That could prove quite a sticking point for some, particularly since the v2 nomenclature indicates it's just a slight alteration to the socket.
According to a source close to PC EVA, Intel plans to begin mass manufacturing of Coffee Lake chips in early August with a launch planned for October. This will be followed up by Cannonlake production in January for a launch in February.
The all important part for Intel now is pricing. This is primed to take on Ryzen 3, but the Intel Core i3-8300 needs to come in at a sub-$150 price point. Creep down to $130 and it's got a serious competitor on its hands. For us though, it should mean fantastic gaming performance for not much money at all.