We're not dealing with a brand new architecture here and there are no real changes apart from what early information is pointing at a slightly larger die with the IGP. The HEDT move from Broadwell-E to Skylake-X was far more fruitful with the cache restructuring amongst other things. Coffee Lake is manufactured on Intel's 14nm++ manufacturing process, which essentially improves the process, and in theory the results of this would mean higher yields and potentially higher frequencies/binning and better overclocking.
While the IPC change due to the architecture is essentially zero, there are other factors that come in to play, both with IPC and general performance, that will see a net increase here compared to Kaby Lake. For starters, the CPUs have more cache, with the Core i7-8700K, for example, seeing the L3 cache rise from 8MB to 12MB shared cache. As there are more cores, there's also more L2 cache at 1.5MB versus 1MB.
While the Core i7-7700K has a base frequency that's higher than that of the Core i7-8700K, the latter offers a single-core boost of 4.7GHz compared to 4.5GHz. Intel's IGP simply gets a rename (now called Intel UHD 630) as well as a small 50MHz speed bump, and the native memory speed support now stands at 2,666MHz, up from 2,400MHz.
One thing that has confused quite a few people, including us initially, are the PCIe lane figures that have been floating around for a few months. Initially, the 24-lane number had many of us assuming this was an increase from the 16 PCIe lanes available for graphics cards, in addition to those provided by the chipset. Sadly, this isn't the case. You still get 24 lanes from the chipset just as you would with Z270, and the figure from the CPU is still 16, giving a maximum of 40. This means there's no change from Z270 in terms of PCIe lanes.
Realistically, this isn't a surprise. Intel's HEDT platforms have always been the route to go if you want more I/O (and now Threadripper is an option too) so bumping Z370 here would see it start stepping on X299's toes even more than it does already given that there are quad-cores and hexa-cores on both platforms now.
As well as the same number of ports being supported in terms of SATA, USB 3.0 and the like, USB 3.1 Gen 2 is still not natively supported despite rumours earlier this year, and there's clearly no Gigabit Wi-Fi here either - another clearly fictitious rumour. Meanwhile, audio on most Z370 motherboards is still the usual Realtek ALC1220, so there's no bump here like we saw from Z170 to Z270 with the move from ALC1150.
Pre-orders now, full availability October 19th.
Is Intel's first 5GHz CPU just a nod to the past or a decent CPU in its own right?
With a mirrored 570X, 5GHz 8700K, and a plethora of RGB hardware, the Narcissus is a real showstopper.
Cheaper Coffee Lake-compatible chipsets and motherboards have arrived, but has AMD stolen a march on Intel ?
With tweaked versions of AMD's Precision Boost and XFR coming with Ryzen 2nd Generation CPUs and Intel removing all-core boost specifications from its specifications, could this year's fight be all about boost frequencies?
Gigabit Wi-Fi, new 300-series chipsets, and more.
We dip below £150 for the first time with Gigabyte and Z370, but how well does it stack up against MSI's excellent Z370 SLI Plus?
Building a Coffee Lake system on a budget? MSI's Z370 SLI Plus retails for less than £135.
Intel's mid-range Core i5 gets a 50 percent core boost to battle with Ryzen, but at £250 can it take on AMD's cheaper six-core CPUs?
2018 looks set for more CPU battles with AMD refining its Ryzen CPUs and Zen core and Intel posed to release low-end chipsets and eight-core mainstream CPUs.
Can MSI topple Gigabyte's excellent Z370N-WiFi in the mini-ITX stakes with the latest incarnation of its dinky Pro Carbon AC board
Gigabyte has the second cheapest Z370 mini-ITX board, but the Z370N-WiFi doesn't skimp on features.
Intel has more powerful CPUs than ever, but are the blurred lines between mainstream and high-end desktop too fuzzy and making some models pointless?
Can Gigabyte's £170 Aorus Ultra Gaming strike a good balance between price and features for Coffee Lake owners?
£1,000 your budget for a full system? PC Specialist has a Z370-based, GTX 1060-touting rig that may be of interest.
Client Computing still its bread and butter, though.
Intel doubled its Core i3 core counts, and the Core i3-8350K costs just £160, but is it still a bargain compared to AMD's Ryzen 5 quad-cores?
We dig a little deeper on the recent Z370 launch with Andrew Wu, ROG Motherboard PM at Asus.
This prebuilt system has a 4.8GHz Core i7-8700K and a GTX 1070 for £1,700.
It might not have Wi-Fi, but Gigabyte's Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 has pretty much everything else as well as a gorgeous lighting display.
The CPU market has never had a year like 2017, and it all comes down to Ryzen.
Coffee Lake and Z370 are the hot topics right now; can this system put them to effective use?
Asus' latest ROG Strix board offers dual M.2 ports, a large M.2 heatsink, RGB lighting, and Wi-Fi.
This £2,400 system means business with its 4.8GHz Core i7-8700K, GTX 1080 Ti, and 500GB NVMe SSD.
Our first Z370 board review is a beast; MSI pulls out all the stops with the Godlike Gaming
AMD and Intel's flagships are now available, and the world has seen the numbers. Who has come off best?
Intel reclaims the performance crown as the maker of the fastest desktop CPU that sports 18 cores, but at what cost?
Including its 'best gaming processor ever'.
Where does Intel's HEDT Skylake-X hex-core fit in amongst an increasingly crowded desktop CPU market?
If six-core Intel CPUs do appear in 2017, what impact will this have on AMD and the CPU market as a whole?