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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  • Nagorak - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Are you unable to read the numbers that say: 216, 212, 242, 242, etc. Graphs can sometimes be misleading--mostly when you're comparing a lot of data primarily based on the length of the bars. In the case it reads totally fine.
  • ianmills - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Misleading graphs are the norm. TBH I can't think of any site offhand that does not engage in this
  • jbwhite99 - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Folks, please don't compare prices between the US and any other country. The US prices are usually lower than anywhere else. Look at the MSRP of Galaxy phones, the iPhony just announced, etc. It seems there is a higher price with the i7-8700/K vs the i7-7700/K - but how much of it is this retailer trying to get the profit on the first buyers?

    I remember reading (20+ years ago) that 90% of the profit on a product comes within the first 6 months of its life.

    To me, the i5-8400 seems to be the best bargain of the lot. There are 6 cores (and no HT and no overclocking), but I'll take the extra 2 cores. I won't buy one, but good deal.

    Intel, I only upgraded from i5-2500k because the video went out (not sure what happened). I'm driving a 6600k now. Give me a really good reason to upgrade, or I'll keep this 2-3 more years, and get a Ryzen 3 or whatever is available then.
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Isn't that focus kinda the wrong way round? Surely what you should be asking is, does your system do what you want it to do? Is it fit for purpose? If so, then why upgrade at all? It's odd really that computer tech is the one field in which consumers have this desire for the manufacturers to convince them they need to buy something new. :D No need to upgrade if what you have is doing the job just fine, and in the meantime there's all sorts of things you can do to improve what you have, eg. replace the C drive with a 950 Pro, oc the CPU, fit a better GPU, etc.
  • Nagorak - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Buying a non-overclockable is a bad long-term buy. I5 2500Ks are still competitive today. Lower end i5/i7s largely are not.
  • HardwareDufus - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Me... I just want the highest version of Intel's Integrated Graphics available... Why can't we get GT3+ on a Desktop I7. Not everyone wants to install an AMD/nVidia video card for the best video experience. Intel's high-end IGP is good stuff..
  • Nagorak - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Well you have to install a discrete card for the best experience, doesn't matter whether you want to or not. Integrated graphics is a joke compared to discrete cards.
  • artk2219 - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Also crazy expensive thanks to the l4 cache, which is why you only see it in the SKU's that don't make sense for most people. If that's what you're looking for, AMD has Raven Ridge launching soon, 4 cores, 8 threads and vega graphics that should provide a damned decent experience for most things.
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - link

    Well so much for the $120-ish 4.0 Ghz i3 4/4 pricing rumor. $130 gets you a locked 3.6 Ghz quad... which don't get me wrong is still pretty darn good! Looking at the Coffee Lake lineup I expect we'll see slight price cuts on Ryzen across the board. Although that unlocked i3 is rubbing rather close in price to the 6 core i5 parts, ouch.
  • watzupken - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Intel chips should be faster in games, but at the same price, the R7 is better value. I don't expect AMD to sit there idle as well and with no refreshed Ryzen till next year, they could well start discounting the chips.

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