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Intel Core i7-8700K (Coffee Lake) and Z370 Chipset Review

Manufacturer: Intel

UK price (as reviewed): £359.99 (inc. VAT)

US price (as reviewed): MSRP $359 (exc. tax) 

It’s the final big CPU launch of the year, and it’s a big one. Intel is hoping to take the fight to AMD’s Ryzen in the mainstream desktop CPU market and claw back lost ground, specifically in the multi-threaded arena where AMD’s Ryzen 5 hexa-core and Ryzen 7 octa-core models have been so dominant compared to its quad-core models. The Core i7-7700K and Core i5-7600K are less than 10 months old, but they were simply out-gunned by AMD in many areas, and even their stellar overclocking potential couldn’t undo the gains that AMD made.

Their supreme IPC, efficiency, gaming performance, and platform stability prevented an AMD whitewash, but with AMD having improved the latter considerably since Ryzen’s launch in March, Intel has understandably brought Coffee Lake’s launch forwards. The last time we were in this situation, it wasn’t cores but architecture that Intel worked on to turn the tables on AMD over 10 years ago, and it did it in spectacular fashion. This time, though, the architecture is largely identical — it’s the core count that’s being tweaked, and about time too.

We’re looking at just one CPU today — the flagship Core i7-8700K, but despite this, there are several very important questions to be answered when it comes to the Intel versus AMD argument. Can stock speed performance offer a glimpse of what the non-K edition models will be able to achieve to appeal to those that won’t be overclocking? Can the flagship beat Ryzen 7 SKUs given that all three of AMD’s octa-cores are now the same price or cheaper than the Core i7-8700K? Finally, how well does Intel’s first hexa-core mainstream CPU overclock, and can this give Intel back its performance crown here just as the Core i9-7980XE did, except for a much more reasonable amount of cash, of course.

Firstly, we need to address the situation as far as compatibility goes. The CPU socket is visually identical, so unlike Socket AM4, all coolers that fitted LGA 1151 (and LGA 1150 and LGA 1155) will fit the new socket, which is actually being called LGA 1151-V2. This is due to the fact that, sadly, Kaby Lake and Skylake CPUs will not work in Z370 motherboards, and, more critically, Coffee Lake CPUs will not work in older motherboards, despite the physical pin configuration being the same.

The fact that the CPUs do actually fit into the old socket lead many to assume that the new CPUs would indeed be compatible. This unfortunate assumption might also have been bolstered by the early release of Coffee Lake and its proximity to Kaby Lake. The lack of any information to the contrary wasn’t helpful, and only a slip-up on Twitter by ASRock a few months ago seemed to confirm the bad news. Of course, the lack of information may have been deliberate to improve sales of Z270 platform hardware — both CPUs and motherboards, who knows?

The reasons behind the incompatibility are solid though — this isn’t Intel trying to pull a fast one and force people to upgrade. It comes due to the necessity for more power with Coffee Lake and the fact that the management engine firmware is now incompatible. The pin assignments have changed to offer up more power, and more pins are actually used. Specifically, according to a source on Twitter, the VSS (Ground) pins increase from 377 to 391 (+14) , VCC (Power) from 128 to 146 (+18) and RSVD from 46 to 25, with a somewhat wobbly pin diagram to prove it.

On closer inspection, there appear to be several pins that were actually marked as reserved where Kaby Lake was concerned ; they existed but likely had no function. Now, though, they’ve roared into life, and it seems it’s probably not possible to disable these and run Kaby Lake CPUs in the same socket. The extra power requirements have also seen motherboard manufacturers tweak the power delivery to cater for this, so it’s even more unlikely that things would work the other way round i.e. Coffee Lake CPUs working in older motherboards. This is all conjecture and rather pointless, though, as things are what they are, but it’s fairly clear that this isn’t just a software trick to boost sales; there are real physical reasons why you won’t be able to use a Coffee Lake CPU in a Z370 motherboard.

Intel’s weapons include a somewhat fascinating lineup that’s all changed from top to bottom. There are now six hexa-core parts with essentially everything Core i5 or Core i7-branded, on the desktop at least, gaining six cores, with the usual K and non-K edition Core i7s also sporting Hyper-Threading and therefore offering 12 threads. Despite the 50 percent increase in core count, the CPUs don’t cost 50 percent more. In fact we’re only looking at around a £30-40 difference for the Core i7-8700K compared to the Core i7-7700K with the dollar price being even less. Thankfully, this also means that the new flagship undercuts the Ryzen 7 1800X by a few notes, while here in the UK, the Ryzen 7 1700X is still noticeably cheaper and can be had for well under £300.

Another interesting point here for Intel are the boost frequencies. We’ve already seen that in terms of single-threaded performance, Intel still has a lead. The Core i7-8700K builds on this with a single-core boost of 4.7GHz, two-core boost of 4. 6GHz, three- or-four-core boost of 4.4GHz, and most critically, a five- or six-core (all-core) boost of 4.3GHz. The latter is already a couple of hundred megahertz higher than any all-core frequency we’ve achieved on an AMD CPU, so it’s clear that Intel means business here.

Interestingly, the Core i5-8600K barely moves in terms of price, so it seems this is going to be a potential sweet spot, especially as it undercuts all three Ryzen 7 CPUs and costs around $40 more than the Ryzen 5 1600X while almost certainly have significantly more overclocking headroom. We may finally have a worthy addition to the K-series lineup too in the Core i3-8350K, which sees a doubling of the core count compared to the ill-fated Core i3-7350K. Not only this, but the RRP appears to be no higher than the old CPU either, and with 6MB L3 cache, what we’re looking at here is basically the equivalent of the Core i5-7600K but for a lot less cash.

1 — Intel Core i7-8700K (Coffee Lake) and Z370 Chipset Review2 — Coffee Lake and Z370 Chipset3 — Test Setup4 — Content Creation and Synthetic Tests5 — Rendering Performance6 — 3D Performance7 — Power Consumption8 — Overclocking, Performance Analysis, and Conclusion

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Intel i7 8700 overheating issue . : r/intel — Reddit

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Best gaming motherboards for Intel Core i7-8700K (Z370) in 2020

Author Lyovkin Boris Reading 16 min. The Intel Core i7 8700K was at the forefront of its hugely popular Coffee Lake processors.
Intel fans were very happy with the release of the 8700K because AMD seemed to be taking it home with their Ryzen processors. With 6 cores and 12 threads, the 8700K was one of the top choices in Intel’s Coffee Lake processor lineup. With up to 30% improved gaming performance over its predecessor, the 8th Gen Intel Core 8700K processor has found its way into the homes of many enthusiasts looking to tweak their systems. However, there is a catch to this good news.

The 8700K only works with motherboards with 300-series chipsets. The 8700K handles overclocking like a champ. So why limit the capabilities of a Coffee Lake processor to a meager motherboard? We have taken the liberty of compiling for you the top 5 Z370 motherboards that are suitable for your 8700K. The challenge is not only to support the 8700K, but to ensure that you can fully utilize its power with a motherboard that can stand up to the challenge. So let’s not wait any longer and jump straight into our list of the top 5 Z370 motherboards you can install for the 8700K.

Note : Z390 chipset motherboards also support 8700K.

Contents

  1. 1. Code ASUS ROG Maximus X
  2. 2. ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero
  3. 3. GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Wi-Fi
  4. 4. MSI Z370 GAMING PRO TU20 AC 90. Z370-PRO Gaming

1. Code ASUS ROG Maximus X

Excellent quality

  • Asus ROG Armor and pre-mounted I/O shield
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatible
  • 8 + 2 +2 power phases
  • 5-position optimization Asus
  • Too much too much and therefore costly

Connector: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphic output: HDMI, DisplayPort | Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | Audio: Realtek® ALC1220 codec | Form factor: ATX

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In the motherboard industry, Asus may be the biggest name today. Time and time again, they prove why the Republic of Gamers tag is superior to all others. Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs have been a game changer for many, and Asus was one of the first to jump in with their hugely popular (but a bit pricey) Maximus line of motherboards. With dual-channel DDR4 RAM clocked at up to 4133MHz, BIOS flashback, and more, the Maximus X Code is at the very top of our list.

Maximus X Code has 8+ 2 + 2 phase power scheme: CPU gets 8 phases and integrated graphics cards and memory get 2 phases each. To be honest, the code phase design is overkill even for avid overclockers. In this line, Asus has opted for 10K black capacitors that have a lifespan of 10,000 hours at a constant temperature of 105 degrees Celsius. Of course, your computer won’t always be on and temperatures won’t be as high, so expect a much longer lifespan. M.2 metal heatsinks dissipate heat very efficiently and keep the motherboard cool. Energy efficiency and overall appearance work in unison to not only optimize load, but also temperature, with heatsinks or airflow.

Maximus X Code features ROG’s exclusive ROG Armor technology. ROG Armor enhances the cooling of the Code motherboard without sacrificing style. The high temperature resistant ABS plastic top cover prevents the GPUs from overheating and thus stabilizes their performance. In addition, the strong SECC backplate acts as a base for the PCB, preventing it from bending. With efficient 8+2+2 phase code design and ROG Armor, overclocking enthusiasts can relax and never worry about code reaching its limits. Another thing that the Code has to show is the dual 802.11AC antenna with MU-MIMO technology. With everything else in the Codex, don’t let ROG Armor and dual antennas slip away unnoticed.

The code has a total of 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1, and 6x USB (2.0) ports. In the memory area, 4 DIMM DDR4 slots can support up to 64GB RAM and 4133MHz when overclocked. Similarly for expansion slots, you get 2x PCI-E 3.0 at x16, 1x PCI-E 3.0 at x4, and 3x PCI-E 2.0 at x1. One of the dual M.2 slots on the Code is under the heatsink, while the other has a vertical mount. Maximus X Code shines brightly not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of aesthetics and design. RGB headers open up a new world of vibrant colors. And lest you forget, all of these can be paired and synced with Asus Aura Sync so your strips light up in sync.

The Maximus X code has everything you could ask for for your i7 8700K and then some. With an overkill board like this, be prepared to have a big chunk taken out of your wallet. But there’s no denying that the Maximus X Code gets your money’s worth and, on the face of it, does everything right, which ultimately makes it the best gaming motherboard around.

2. ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero

Extreme Performance

  • Powerful radiator M.2
  • Supports XMP profiles
  • During overclocking, the temperature remains at an acceptable level.
  • Provides excellent value for money
  • Power consumption increases greatly under load

Connector: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphic output: HDMI, DisplayPort | Wireless: 802.11ac | Audio: Realtek® ALC1220 codec | Form factor: ATX

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So far It’s no wonder we’ve chosen the Asus ROG MAXIMUS X HERO as the second best Z370 motherboard. After all, the Maximus X Hero is still one of the most popular 8th generation boards for hardcore enthusiasts. Upgrading the existing version of the IX Hero, Asus has put together a fantastic board. The

Asus Maximus X Hero looks very similar to the Code, following the same rectangular PCB with the iconic ROG screens and underneath the black/metal color scheme is an 8+2 power layout. The Hero uses the same 10K black metal capacitors and NexFET MOSFETs. same as Code. Although the 8 + 2 + 2 circuit in the code is better, the Hero’s 8 + 2 phase is enough for overclocking. So the Hero is powered by a single 8-pin ATX socket for the CPU. Asus has equipped the Hero 6 with SATA3 ports and, like the Code, has 2 M.2 slots, one of which is covered by a heatsink.

M.2 heat shield sits between Hero PCI-E x16 slot, which has 2 PCI-E x16, 1x PCI-E 3.0 x6, and 3 PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1 slots. In terms of memory, the Hero can support up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM with 4 RAM slots. Hero has support for Intel XMP which predefines overclocking configurations to make things easier.

Reinforced and integrated I/O shield has DisplayPort and HDMI, and USB 3.1 Gen1 and 2. You never can. go wrong. The I/O port has a Type-C connector, however the Thunderbolt port appears to be missing from the Hero. As for the BIOS, you can find the Clear CMOS and BIOS flashback buttons on the rear panel. And finally, you can also find the Intel I219 LAN portV with LANGuard surge protector for protection along with a standard audio box with gold plated ports.

As we’ve already established, a gaming motherboard simply wouldn’t be complete without this custom RGB lighting job. Also, it’s now well known that any RGB-enabled product gets a price increase. ROG motherboards have some of the brightest backlighting available. Hero uses ROG Aura lighting controls to customize the look to suit your needs. From static and breathing presets to music that affects the flow of light and tail, Aura lets you do it all. And as the portfolio of Aura-enabled hardware grows larger and larger, the options are endless.

Maximus X Hero is a more affordable option than Code, but still quite expensive. However, as many users have put it, the Hero remains one of the best Intel Coffee-Lake processor options, and for good reason. And, as tests show, the 8 + 2 phase circuit turned out to be enough for the most important “overclocking” function. The hero is good in this respect too.

3. GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming Wi-Fi

Best RGB Lighting

  • Great Productivity Score
  • Suitable for medium overclocking
  • Reinforced RAM slots
  • Supplied with ESD and surge protection
  • Vertical SATA ports can make cable routing difficult
  • No built-in buttons

Connector: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphic output: HDMI | Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac | Audio: Realtek® ALC1220 codec | Form Factor: ATX

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On lists like this, we’d like to keep third place for the most thoughtfully designed and optimized product that offers as many premium features as possible while sporting a much friendlier price tag. GIGABYTE has a soft spot in our hearts for being a company committed to providing gamers with some of the best products at an affordable price. The Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming is another affordable ATX motherboard with a fantastic design, Optane storage, and a decent amount of RGB settings.

Despite the fact that GIGABYTE positions itself as a more affordable and mainstream solution for the Z370 chipsets, they actually equipped this board with a very decent appearance. The GIGABYTE logo and Aorus text light up along with some bars, including the RAM slots. They are all configurable and changeable through the BIOS or the GIGABYTE RGB Fusion app. It’s true that the design of the Aorus Ultra Gaming doesn’t let it stand out that much, however the aesthetic really comes alive when it’s on and the light adds a bit of ambiance to it. Like most GIGABYTE motherboards for the Z370 chipsets, the Aorus Ultra Gaming uses a 12+1 phase design for power delivery, which should be sufficient for all purposes.

4x DDR4 DIMM slots can allow you to install RAM up to 64 GB, which can be overclocked to 4000 MHz. And overclockers should rejoice because this inexpensive motherboard supports XMP profiles to make overclocking easier. To summarize the specs on offer, we have: 1 DVI port, 1 HDMI port, 3 PCI-E 3.0 slots, 6 SATA slots up to 6Gb/s and 2 M.2 PCI-E x4 slots. In terms of connectivity, the Aorus Ultra Gaming has 6 USB 3.1 ports, 6 USB 2..0 ports, 1 USB Type-C port, and a legacy PS/2 connector. The original version shipped without Wi-Fi, but the latest versions are equipped with an 802.11AC Wi-Fi chip.

GIGABYTE also equips the Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming with ESD and surge protection along with an anti-sulphur design. As a bonus, it comes with Intel Optane memory, which Intel has been really trying to push for quite some time now. That’s an added benefit of this board, and you can actually use Optane if you’re building a PC with just a hard drive. Overclocking the Aorus Ultra Gaming is a real charm with GIGABYTE’s software and BIOS. Thanks to the thoughtfully designed infrastructure of this board, it handles loads quite well. However, we did notice some high-temperature bumps that can be a little troubling for an extended period of time. Also, overclockers need onboard buttons and a debug light, but this board doesn’t have them.

The GIGABYTE AORUS lives up to its name as a «gaming motherboard» thanks to its high overclocking performance. pushing system performance to the limit. All of these impressive specs speak volumes about how strong it is for your money. We have to admit that the vertical SATA ports were a little off-putting for us at first, but the GIGABYTE Aorus Ultra Gaming delivered solid performance and that’s something we should appreciate. On top of that, you also get amazing RGB lighting for an inexpensive motherboard — and who wouldn’t?

4. MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC

Low price

  • PCI-E and RAM slots are reinforced.
  • Military Class-5 components provide reliability
  • Wi-Fi card not integrated
  • No reset or clear CMOS button
  • Single BIOS only

Socket : 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphic output: DP/HDMI | Wireless: N/A | Audio: AUDIO BOOST 4 with NAHIMIC 2+ | Form Factor: ATX

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MSI intends to add the Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON (Read Review) AC to its impressive pedigree of great motherboards under its banner. The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is similar in some ways to its Z270 predecessors. However, with more memory support, 95W power socket, good VRM design and Wi-Fi connectivity, MSI has improved on previous models. Equipped with military grade 5 components, MSI gives us confidence in the reliability of this board. However, in order for him to be worthy of your possession, he still has something to answer for .. So, let’s get started.

The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a beautifully crafted board that you’re sure to love right out of the box. With some carbon fiber styled components, the name also reflects what this board entails. It is powered by a 10 + 2 phase scheme with 10 phases for the CPU and 2 for the memory. We’ve seen in the past how motherboards with 12-phase designs are perfect for overclocking. It’s the same with this board. We’ll get into overclocking shortly, but you should know that with its single BIOS and no reset or clear CMOS 9 buttons0005

Its 4 DIMM slots allow you to install up to 64 GB of RAM, which can reach 4000 MHz in overclocking. Metal-reinforced DIMM slots for greater strength and durability. And it’s always appreciated. There are 3 PCI-E x16 slots, 6 SATA3 ports and 2 M.2 slots. These PCI-E slots feature MSI Steel Armor technology for reinforcement. For audio and wireless communication, MSI uses the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec and an external Intel WiFi card. Finally, the rear I/O port consists of 1 PS/2 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 6 USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort and HDMI port, as well as standard RJ45 connectors and an audio block. Everything is pretty simple.

Overclocking with the Z370 Pro Carbon AC is tricky business. While that big chunk of heatsink does help keep temperatures low, they can still get quite high. In addition, power consumption levels, even in standby mode, reach high values ​​and vary quite a lot. This is a bad sign because you need consistency. Reaching 5GHz isn’t hard if you have a decent cooling solution. However, the more of it, the more you risk causing anxiety. The Z370 Pro Carbon AC overclocking results show that it’s just not the best choice for this.

The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC has features that are perfect for mid-range PCs. However, for such a high price, you really won’t get the performance and results you might hope for. It costs $200, while the Asus TUF Z370 Pro-Gaming will cost you half that. And the TUF Z370 Pro Gaming motherboard is a good choice for mid-level use. It’s true that this z370 board has the best VRM design, but if you’re looking for an overclocking board, you should look into the 3 boards above. That said, when it comes down to it, you may be happy with the MSI Z370 Pro-Gaming AC, however, you can get other boards at a much friendlier price that offer almost similar performance results.

5. ASUS TUF Z370-PRO Gaming

Rugged design

  • Great for consumers who don’t want to overclock
  • Reliable protection with TUF armor.
  • Comes with Optane and M. 2 storage options
  • Not the best overclocking capability
  • This board does not have RGB lighting

Connector: 1151 | Chipset: Intel Z370 | Graphics output: DVI-D/HDMI | Wireless: n/a | Audio: Realtek ALC1220S 8-channel high definition audio codec | Form Factor: ATX

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ASUS is widely known for the reliability and variety they bring to their products, which has propelled them to the level of «the world’s number one motherboard manufacturer». over the years. We’ve already talked about Asus motherboards in this article, however the TUF Z370 Pro Gaming is one we just can’t ignore. Before ROG took over, the TUF motherboard line was Asus’ knight in shining armor. But don’t let that discourage you, because the Z370 Pro Gaming is very attractively priced and comes with TUF armor.

TUF Z30 Pro-Gaming is another good black color motherboard. color with yellow accents around it. However, there are no RGB zones for those who want to spice up the image. This can limit flexibility a bit, the black and yellow color pattern is fairly neutral as it allows this motherboard to blend in with just about any setup. RGB lighting headers are present, but that’s about it. In terms of build, people familiar with ROG motherboards will notice that the build quality isn’t that promising. However, Asus still did a pretty good job with it. It is equipped with a 4 + 2 + 1 phase circuit, which in terms of overclocking is not something encouraging.

The TUF Z30 Pro-Gaming motherboard has 4 DIMM slots for memory support. up to 64 gigabytes at 4000 MHz (OC). Almost standard for Z370 chipsets. Along with 3 PCI-E x16 slots, it also has 2 M.2 slots for PCI-E x4 Gen3. And this motherboard can support Nvidia 2-Way SLI and AMD 2-Way CrossFireX technology for multiple GPUs. Asus uses the Realtek ALC1220S audio chipset for this motherboard, which is pretty common as we’ve seen. For storage, apart from the M.2 ports, you also have 6 SATA3 ports and Intel Optane memory. And finally, in the rear I/O section, you have 6 USB 3.1 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, DVI-D and HDMI ports, an RJ45 connector and a standard audio block.

Motherboards have a friendlier price tag, so overclocking performance tends to drop a lot. And while the TUF Z370 Pro-Gaming is a fairly well-balanced and rounded board for gamers, it doesn’t handle overclocking that well. With 4+2+1 phase design, this TUF motherboard can’t withstand high loads. Even with the cooling system installed, the temperature rose to about 70-80 degrees Celsius while overclocking 8700K.