Intel’s CPU roadmap has been leaked online, revealing Intel's processor plans from now through until the tail end of 2018. The big disappointment for those expecting a major evolution next year is that there will be no Ice Lake or 10nm CPUs in 2018.
In short, if you’re umming and ahhing over a Coffee Lake Intel 8th Gen CPU purchase, you should probably just ahead with it. There isn’t going to be a like-for-like upgrade until at least 2019.
Instead, Intel’s plans are to replace Skylake-X HEDT processors with Cascade Lake-X in Q4 2018. What we know of Cascade Lake-X is conjecture at this point, but it will be a range of high-end CPUs probably based in Intel’s 14nm++ architecture. It will be an improvement, albeit probably a modest one, on the current Skylake-X CPUs. The gains will likely come in terms of both clock speeds and power draw, although there is potential for Intel to go above and beyond the 18 cores used from the Intel Core i9-7980XE.
For those on the hunt for a new processor, it means 2018 won’t be a terribly exciting period for Intel fans. Its current flagship. the 6-core Intel Core i7-8700K will remain the best gaming CPU for at least the next 13 months. The good news is that if you’re planning to upgrade your processor, now is a great time to do it. Whatever you buy, it’s not just going to be outdated within a matter of months.
Should this roadmap be correct, it does leave the door open for AMD to steal the show with Ryzen 2. It's expected to be a refinement, more than anything, but there's certainly plenty of headroom for AMD to eke out more performance from its Ryzen lineup.
How does this leaked roadmap affect your upgrade plans? Could AMD have a dominant 2018 in the CPU market? Let us know your thoughts below!