The Core i5-8600K is one of the many Coffee Lake family CPUs that Intel launched today. It sits flush as an immediate upgrade from the 7600K with 2 extra cores and a higher turbo frequency.

Priced at $257, the Core i5-8600K is a direct competitor to AMD’s successful Ryzen 5 1600X. Luckily, we’ve got a review of that CPU so we can actually check out the differences of the two with our usual benchmarks. This is a make or break moment for Intel, knowing that AMD already got a strong foothold at the higher end mainstream market. Learn more from the official product page and get it at Amazon.

8th Generation Intel Core Processor

The Coffee Lake CPUs represents Intel’s renewed approach to mainstream computing. Notable features right out of the bat is the architecture’s increased core count compared to previous iterations. The Core i7 line-up for example now starts with 6-core/12-thread SKUs, while the Core i5 models gets 6-core/6-thread models. The release of full 4-core Core i3 CPUs is also unprecedented but is just proper to combat AMD’s $100 Ryzen 3 CPUs.

Intel Coffee Lake Slides 1

The 8th generation Intel CPUs are indeed all about more cores but there’s more to them. Turbo Boost is now back at 2.0, meaning that all cores of the CPU should now be able to achieve its stated maximum boost clock. This is opposed to the Kaby Lake’s Turbo Boost 3.0 feature, where a favored core could only reach the stated turbo frequency.

Intel Coffee Lake Slides 3

Coffee Lake CPUs now also officially supports DDR4 at 2666MHz, with the exclusion of Core i3 SKUs. Of course, it is still in dual channel mode so there’s still a market for HEDT platforms as far as bandwidth requirement are concerned.

Intel Z370 Chipset

The new Intel Z370 platform is required for the Coffee Lake CPUs to work in spite of its similarities with the Z270 chipset. While both platforms features the same number of CPU socket pins, the Z370 calls its own LGA socket as the 1151 V2.

Intel Coffee Lake Slides 7

A maximum of 40 PCI-E lanes could be utilized with the Z370 platform with 24 PCI-E lanes onboard. Intel’s board partners now has extra 4 lanes to work with; allowing then to experiment with various connectivity options.

Intel Coffee Lake Slides 8

Thunderbolt 3, Optane Memory and USB 3.0 support are also emphasized. USB 3.1 is still not natively supported so it’s up to the board partners to add such features.

Test Setup

The system performance shall be evaluated by various benchmarking tools and applications. We are testing this system with the high-performance settings enabled at the OS, with the default UEFI configuration. Background processes such as anti-viruses and third-party applications are disabled as well. Outlined below are the applications and benchmark tools for reference:

PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-6600K Intel Core i5-7600K Intel Core i5-8600K
MOTHERBOARD Z170 Chipset Z270 Chipset Z370 Chipset
CPU COOLER Cryorig C1 Top Flow Cryorig C1 Top Flow Cryorig C1 Top Flow
MEMORY KIT Crucial Ballistix Tactical @ 2666MHz 4x4GB Kit
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 10 Pro


  • Super PI – 32M Calculation
  • wPrime – 1024M Calculation
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Memory Benchmark


  • GIMP – 7 MB worth of image processing
  • HandBrake – 150 MB MP4 to H.264 video encoding
  • WinRAR – Compression speed


  • Battlefield 4 – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
  • DIRT: Rally – Ultra Settings | V-SYNC off
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Ultra Settings | HairWorks off | V-SYNC off


  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition – Temperature and Power


System power consumption is evaluated during idle and a 15-minute load via the AIDA64 System Stability Test. Power readings are recorded with a watt-meter.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 1


The AIDA64 System Stability Test is also used to evaluate the system thermals. Readings are taken with AIDA64 and is cross-referenced with HWiNFO.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 2

Power figures are the highest I’ve seen from an Intel Core i5 series CPU. The 2 extra cores requires more power especially at higher clock speeds. Temperature is very much affected too, featuring a maximum of 71°C at load.

CPU and Memory

Super PI is a single-threaded program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point. It is a widely used benchmark and stress test within the industry.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 4

WPrime is a multi-threaded program that calculates a set number of square roots for estimating functions. It verifies the results by squaring them, then compares it with the original numbers.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 3

The AIDA64 Memory Benchmark measure the data transfer bandwidth and latency of the system memory. On this benchmark, we are measuring the memory kit’s latency.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 5

Single threaded benchmarks suggests that the higher clock Core i5-8600K is much faster than the Ryzen 5 1600X and everything else on the chart. Multi-threaded though, the Ryzen 5 1600X is still the winner. The memory latency is just a tad higher than the Z270 chipset and the i5-7600K, so it is not alarming compared to the Ryzen CPUs.


GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing tool. A 7 MB worth of images is be processed and converted to gauge the system performance.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 7

HandBrake is a free video encoding tool that supports a wide variety of media codecs. A 150MB worth MP4 video is converted using the H.264 codec to gauge the system performance.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 8

WinRAR is a file archive utility that can create, view and unpack numerous archive file formats. The software’s built in benchmark tool is utilized to gauge the system performance.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 6

GIMP loves high frequency and good memory latency, so the Core i5-8600K easily tops the charts here. It came close to the Ryzen 5 1600X at HandBrake though which means it has a strong combination of thread count, cache performance and clock speeds. WinRAR gave it the most edge over the Ryzen 5 1600X though which is nice.


Battlefield 4 is Electronic Art’s popular First Person Shooter, running on the Frostbite 3 game engine developed by DICE. It utilizes the DirectX 11 and the Mantle API.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 9

DIRT: Rally is CODEMASTER’s take on the rally racing game genre. It utilizes the EGO game engine with support for the DirectX 11 API.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 10

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is CDProjekt RED’s award-winning Action Adventure RPG. The Witcher 3 utilizes the REDengine 3 with DirectX 11 support.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks 11

Gaming performance wise, the Core i5-8600K is just as fast as our other Intel Core i5 CPUs.


Overclocking the Intel Core i5-8600K is pretty much a straight up ordeal. Bump up the core ratio, adjust the voltage if necessary and off you go with a nice OC. The Core i5-8600K, very much like the 7600K is easier to overclock than the HT enabled parts, requiring less voltage to achieve a meaty 5.0GHz OC.

Intel Core i5 8600K Benchmarks

We have two samples of the Core i5-8600K. One requires 1.488v to reach 5.0GHz and there’s another that only requires 1.370v to reach the stated speed. Both of these chips are engineering samples.


The performance of the Core i5-8600K is generally excellent through out our benchmarks. That’s especially true for applications that loves higher clock speeds over the thread count. Legacy applications and recent games in general will love this CPU’s clock speeds; while you’d get the extra cores work their asses on multi-threaded titles.

While the Ryzen CPUs are monstrous when it comes to multi-threaded apps, the Core i5-8600K is not much different. Perhaps even better for applications that loves both sides of the coin. Where high core count and higher frequencies are required. Memory performance also serves a purpose here enabling the Coffee Lake CPUs to feature a solid performance over the Ryzen CPUs.

Of course there are things that you should take note. That includes the thermals and power consumption. You may guess that the extra 4W on the TDP vs the 7600K is not a biggie but that is not simply the case. If you’re going to overclock this beast then consider a good cooler.

The Intel Core i5-8600K is an excellent sub $260 6-core CPU. It can blow the competition when it comes to single threaded performance and is also great multi-threading geared CPU. An excellent choice if you don’t want to swallow the Red pill yet.

Intel Core i5-8600K Processor


The Intel Core i5-8600K is an excellent sub $260 6-core CPU. It can blow the competition when it comes to single threaded performance and is also great multi-threading geared CPU. An excellent choice if you don’t want to swallow the Red pill yet.

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