TLDR: Intel has created a real monster with the i7-8700. While the rated 65W TDP shouldn't be taken seriously, the CPU is a beast for gaming and productivity. However, if you can afford it the 8700K is the better buy.







Intel Core i7-7800From $329.99

Intel has been at the forefront of CPU development for many years now. When they launched their newest line of 6-core desktop Coffee Lake CPU’s I was intrigued by the Core i7-8700. A 6-core 12-thread 4.3GHz CPU that is rated for a 65W TDP. Lets take a look at the performance.

Packaging and Cooler

i7-8700 box and coolerIn the box you will find the CPU, stock Intel cooler, and manual. The included cooler used to make sense up to the 4-core i7-7700. Now that we have moved to 6 cores it is practically useless. It won’t be able to handle to the heat output of the 8700 at anything close to load, so make sure you have a beefier cooler ready to go.

i7-8700 CPU Specifications

Process 14nm
Socket LGA 1151
Max Memory 64GB DDR4
Graphics Intel 630
Base Clock 3.2GHz
Boost Clock (all cores) 4.3GHz
Single Core Boost 4.6GHz
Cache 12MB

i7-8700 Benchmarks

intel core i7-8700

Cinebench 1419
CPU-Z 3888.5 multi core
510.3 single core
Geekbench 25507 multi core
5614 single core
Passmark: CPU Test 16527
3D Mark: CPU Test 7761

i7-8700 Power Draw

One of the most attractive things about non K, non overclock-able CPU’s is lower power draw. The 8700 has a TDP of 65W. The CPU doesn’t really come anywhere close to that under load however. Below you will find average power draw numbers for the CPU when at various states.

Prime 95 117W

While the power draw is nowhere near its rated number under load conditions. When gaming or doing normal tasks it sits at around 71W or below. This falls in line with what I was expecting. To be honest I was expecting the 8700 to pull more watts at load.

Cooling Performance

coffee lake 8700 cooler testCooling performance is probably the biggest letdown with this CPU. In the past, the non K version of Intel’s top tier desktop CPU’s could be cooled with a variety of low profile coolers. This is not the case for the i7-8700.

I tested the chip with the Noctua NH-L9i, Thermolab LP53, and Noctua NH-L65. These represent some of the best compact coolers on the market.

NH-L9i LP53 NH-L65
Idle 32C 31C 31C
Gaming 63C 62C 59C
90-100% Load – Rendering 100C 100C 100C
100% Load – Prime 95 100C 100C 100C

As you see in the results, under heavy load none of these coolers were able to keep the i7-8700 from hitting it’s TJ Max temperature. This is really unfortunate, if you are a small form factor builder this is a punch in the gut.

To properly cool the CPU I had to go with a larger Noctua NH-L12S air cooler, and the Corsair Hydro H55 liquid cooler.

NH-L12S H55
Idle 30C 30C
Gaming 55C 58C
90-100% Load – Rendering 77C 83C
100% Load – Prime 95 82C 86C


The Intel Core i7-8700 is an interesting CPU. At its current price of $329.99 it offers really strong performance. However for and additional $30 you can grab an i7-8700K which offers even more performance.

With the inability to cool this CPU via low profile coolers, it is really hard to recommend over an 8700K. Unless you need to save every penny, I would aim for he overclock-able version.



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