An online retailer in the UK has started to take pre-orders on Intel’s upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs, specifically the socketed 'S' parts for desktop computers. As reported previously, the new processors will have more cores than their direct predecessors, but if the published pre-order prices are correct (and are not inflated because of their pre-order nature) then Intel’s new chips will also have higher MSRPs than the company’s existing products.

Lambda-Tek, the UK retailer, is currently taking pre-orders on six Coffee Lake CPUs which are expected to hit the market in the coming weeks. The CPUs in question are the Core i7-8700K, the Core i7-8700, the Core i5-8600K, the Core i5-8400, the Core i3-8350K, and the Core i3-8100. Each segment will get an upgrade over the previous generation in core counts: the Core i7 parts will run in a 6C/12T configuration, the Core i5 parts will be 6C/6T, and the Core i3 parts will be 4C/4T (similar to the old Core i5). The flip side of this is that, if data from the retailer is correct, each element of the stack will cost quite a bit more than their direct predecessors.

For example, the store charges nearly £354 for the Core i7-8700K, which converted to USD (and without tax) equals to around $400. This will be a substantial uptick in cost over the $340 that the Core i7-7700K retails for today. $400 may be too high for Intel's top mainstream CPU, as Intel sells its six-core Core i7-7800X for $375. The HEDT requires a more expensive X299 motherboard and an appropriate DRAM kit, but might have an overall build cost similar to the $400 part.

The new quad-core Core i3 products will also get more expensive than their predecessors, with the calculated US price taken from the UK retailer coming to nearly $200 for the Core i3-8350K, up from $180. The per-core price will drop, which is perhaps not surprising, but the alleged price hike would put the Core i3 SKUs deeper into the Core i5 territory (the Core i3-7350K is already in the $190 ballpark), which will make it harder for many people to choose between different new i3 and older i5 models.

Prices of Contemporary Mainstream CPUs from Intel
Base Freq.** UK
(inc tax)*
(no tax)
Price per Core
Coffee Lake-S CPUs
i7-8700K 6/12 3.8 GHz £353.86 $400 n/a $66.70
i7-8700 6/12 3.2 GHz £298.52 $338 $56.30
i5-8600K 6/6 3.6 GHz £250.50 $284 $47.30
i5-8400 6/6 2.8 GHz £177.40 $201 $33.50
i3-8350K 4/4 4.0 GHz £174.35 $197 $49.25
i3-8100 4/4 3.6 GHz £115.45 $130 $32.50
Kaby Lake-S CPUs
i7-7700K 4/8 4.2 GHz £312.95 $354 $339 $88.50
i5-7600K 4/4 3.8 GHz £213.18 $241 $242 $60.20
i5-7400 4/4 3.0 GHz £166.49 $188 $182 $47.00
i3-7350K 2/4 4.2 GHz £162.06 $183 $168 $91.50
i3-7100 2/4 3.9 GHz £105.88 $120 $117 $60.00
High-End Desktop CPUs
i9-7920X 12/24 2.9 GHz £1109.40 $1255 $1189 $104.50
i9-7900X 10/20 3.3 GHz £958.36 $1084 $989 $108.40
i7-7820X 8/16 3.6 GHz £608.21 $688 $589 $86.00
i7-7800X 6/12 3.5 GHz £379.03 $429 $383 $71.50
i7-7740X 4/8 4.3 GHz £304.01 $344 $339 $86.00
i5-7640X 4/4 4.0 GHz £225.32 $255 $242 $63.75

* UK prices, listed online, are always quoted with 20% sales tax included. US prices are typically listed without sales tax due to different tax rates in each state. Most of the world does not have this issue. Our UK prices are all taken from Lambda-Tek, US prices from Amazon on 9/15.
** Speeds of Coffee Lake CPUs have not been directly confirmed by Intel

If the pricing published by the UK retailer is correct, Intel will likely quote increased MSRPs. This would not the first time Intel has hiked prices of its mainstream parts: For example, Intel boosted the price of the Core i7-4770K to $339, up from $313 for the Core i7-3770K in 2013. The company did the same for the Core i5-4670K: it was priced at $242, up from $212 for the Core i5-3570K.

Historical Prices of Intel's Core i7 Mainstream CPUs
  µArch Cores/
Base Freq. Socket Launch Date Launch Price
i7 870 Lynnfield 4/8 3.6 GHz LGA1156 Q3 2009 $562
i7 860 3.46 GHz $284
i7-2600K SandyBridge 3.4 GHz LGA1155 Q1 2011 $317
i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5 GHz Q2 2012 $313
i7-4770K Haswell 3.5 GHz LGA1150 Q2 2013 $339
i7-4790K 4.0 GHz Q3 2014 $339
i7-6700K Skylake 4.0 GHz LGA1151 Q3 2015 $350
i7-7700K Kaby Lake 4.2 GHz Q1 2017 $339
i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6/12 3.8 GHz* LGA1151 Q4 2017 $400*
Note: *Intel Coffee Lake specifications and prices have not been confirmed.

Increases and decreases of mainstream CPU MSRPs are not extraordinary events. Companies have different costs for different parts (because of different die sizes, yields, and other factors) and in a bid to maintain profit margins, they fluctuate prices. Since Coffee Lake chips are bigger than their predecessors because of the higher core count, it is logical for Intel to rise their MSRPs. However, the competitive landscape on today’s CPU market is different than it was from 2011 to 2016 as Intel could have to target AMD’s Ryzen in performance per dollar. 

Historical Prices of Intel's Core i5 Mainstream CPUs
  µArch Cores/
Base Freq. Socket Launch Date Launch Price
i5 750 Lynnfield 4/4 2.66 GHz LGA1156 Q3 2009 $196
i5-2500K SandyBridge 3.3 GHz LGA1155 Q1 2011 $216
i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4 GHz Q2 2012 $212
i5-4670K Haswell 3.4 GHz LGA1150 Q2 2013 $242
i5-4690K 3.5 GHz Q3 2014 $242
i5-6600K Skylake 3.5 GHz LGA1151 Q3 2015 $243
i5-7600K Kaby Lake 3.8 GHz Q1 2017 $242
i5-8600K Coffee Lake 6/6 3.6 GHz* LGA1151 Q4 2017 $284*
Note: *Intel Coffee Lake specifications and prices have not been confirmed.

Related Reading

Source: Lambda-Tek

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  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    I'm going to wait until October before I buy this. Conversions across the pond tend to be weird, and we've seen plenty of pre-order pricing weirdness this year from many companies and many retailers. $400 seems a little high to me, unless stock is incredibly low for some reason.

    I imagine the MSRP will be above the 7700k, but I don't think Intel would go much more than $20, maybe $30 over, so I'd expect something like $359 or maybe $369. The 1700X is readily available at $350 now, so I wonder if Intel will want to go too much higher than it.
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    To be clear, before I buy these pricing numbers, not before I buy Coffee Lake. I still might buy Coffee Lake, but I obviously won't be doing so before October :P
  • Exodite - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    I'm not entirely sure back-converting to the dollar is necessarily as reliable today as it has been in the past, assuming it ever were.

    The dollar has been dropping against other currencies as of late but that usually doesn't translate into cheaper prices outside of the US. My point being that it might not translate to more expensive ones /in/ the US either.

    Not that I'd be surprised if Intel raised the prices, I'm just saying that this might be a less valid base of comparison than it was in the past.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    It should still be less expensive than a X299 motherboard and Core i7-6800X processor. I sure hope that when the Anandtech Review hits, it has a comparison with other 6-Core processors Intel has sold going back to Gulftown.
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Oh, I'd love to see this too. It'd be cool to involve Intel's past six-core designs and see if there's anything unusual about moving it down to the mainstream parts (and saddling it with a GPU nearby?)
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    When was the last time prices 2 weeks before launch have been accurate? Usually there's a significant mark-up for early adopters.
  • schizoide - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    i5-7600K, 4/4 at 3.8Ghz @ $241
    i3-8350K, 4/4 at 4.0Ghz @ $197
    = Consumer wins with Coffee Lake. 22% less for the same CPU.

    i7-7700K, 4/8 at 4.2Ghz @ $354
    i5-8600K, 6/6 at 3.6Ghz @ $284
    = Consumer wins with Coffee Lake, if he overclocks. 25% less for a CPU with 2 additional real cores. 10% lower clockspeed, but it's an intel CPU so presumably overclockable.

    The new 6/12 i7 has no real equivalent in intel's Kaby Lake consumer line.

    What's confusing here is the naming. By the time Cannon Lake comes out we'll all be used to it.
  • schizoide - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Correction, 16% slower clockspeeds for the i5-8600K. But if Coffee Lake overclocks like Kaby and Skylake before it, it'll get to 4.5Ghz no problem and possibly up to 4.8Ghz.
  • anactoraaron - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    I was just comparing the i3 8100 with the i5 7400. Same 4 cores, higher base frequency, $58 less.

    I don't really think the high end of coffee lake in regards to pricing makes much sense, but intel will be competitive in the mainstream segment and on the lower end.
  • schizoide - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Yes, and most importantly consumers are better off this generation than the last one. If you still want a 2/4 or 2/2 CPU for whatever reason I'm sure they'll still sell them branded Pentium or Celeron.

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