December 28, 2017 // 10 a.m.
UK price (as reviewed): £259.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $289.99 (exc. tax)While the low-end of Intel's current Coffee Lake lineup suffers from a lack of cheap motherboards with only the overclocking-focussed Z370 chipset having landed so far, the same isn't true for Intel's K-series CPUs.
There are plenty of reasonably priced motherboards around with some dipping down to just over £100 plus a good array of smaller micro-ATX and mini-ITX boards too.
This means that with overclockable K-series CPUs, at least, Intel is very much able to compete with AMD, and the Core i5-8600K is a critically important CPU for Intel, marking the new mid-range and all-rounder position if you want to mix gaming with content creation.
AMD, of course, is very strong here, with its two six-core CPUs - the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600X now retailing for far lower prices than they did at launch. The Ryzen 5 1600, for example, was retailing for just £167 when we wrote this, which is £100 less than the Intel CPU here, plus it offers 12 threads compared to Intel's six. Even if the AMD CPU is a tad slower in some games, that's probably worth taking on the chin given the price saving, but a lot rests on just how quick and overclockable the Core i5-8600K truly is.
We're looking at some fairly healthy frequencies, with an all-core boost of 4.1GHz and maximum single-core boost of 4.3GHz. Intel has increased cache levels compared to its quad-core predecessor too, with 1.5MB total L2 cache and 9MB L3 cache, with the latter being 3MB down from the Coffee Lake flagship Core i7-8700K, which also throws Hyper-Threading into the mix.