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
  Cores/
Threads
Base Freq.** UK
(inc tax)*
US
(no tax)
Intel
MSRP
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/
Threads
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/
Threads
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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  • willis936 - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    "In order to compete with the now competitive market we will be increasing our prices." Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Logic! Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    It is more expensive because it is better. It is better because it is intel. It is intel because it is better. It is better because it is more expensive. Reply
  • artk2219 - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Did you forget the /s ? Reply
  • theuglyman0war - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    I could legitimize staying with Intel despite forcing a new chipset on coffee lake if that chipset gave me more lanes or quad channel memory in addition to the core count increase...
    But all that hinges on the price relevance remaining for such a comparison to seem like a win ( single core performance king and 6 core upgrade over my aging 6 core hedt workstation without to much of a sacrifice in lanes )
    I would be very surprised if they release at over $350 here in the US.
    ( but then again I doubt there will be ant chipset advantage to the forced chipset... So it looks like I am waiting for Ryzen's 2nd iteration after epyc finishes this cycle till I can gauge what will be the best long term purchase decision? Canon Lake vs Ryzen gen 2? )

    Sorta hoping AMD isn't going into it's hibernation for another 10 years. Otherwise PCI-E 4 and 5 back to back in a little over a year just seems to soon to make a major purchase upgrade cycle when PCI-E 3 has lasted so long.
    Reply
  • faric22 - Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - link

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  • faric22 - Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - link

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  • plopke - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    not really suprized ,
    -the 8700K very likely makes some of the X299 platform look stupid.
    -just like the 7700K the 8700K my prediction will be again king of gaming
    -yields/supply , 7700K was at launch ??

    the 8700K looks like me for the high end gamers who are paying premium on everything , so why not cpu. if you want MT performance you do not sacrifice much ST going other routes.
    Reply
  • plopke - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    PS I got myself a ryzen , if you want absolute the best and pay for 1080GTX Ti you can also pay a lot more for a 8700K. it suck but i can still understand it. Reply
  • theuglyman0war - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    true but x299 makes x299 look stupid so they need an obvious win and some show of competition commitment. ( suppose they don't have to do anything and can arrogantly proceed as if all is just dandy and the landscape has not changed. )
    Not lowering prices is kinda of arrogant denial at this point. Raising prices in this market? Thats just spit in faces bravado making a point that yer huge enuff to be as arrogant as u wanna B?
    Reply

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