Overall and Final Verdict
Well, the i7-8086 is an interesting CPU from Intel for a whole variety of reasons. For starters, it is rare that that have limited edition CPUs available. But more importantly they really only had one chance at honoring the original 8086 and it had to be in their 8000 series of CPUs, that just happened to fall close to the 40th anniversary as well. To celebrate that, edging an i7-8700K up to 5 GHz in a retail product was a nice touch and the first time Intel has ever done that. AMD did do something similar with the FX-9590 back in 2013 only the FX line even at the time was a lot farther behind compared to the market. Anyhow while I don’t think there are a lot of collectors looking to hold on to CPUs, the i7-8086K is going to be a special one looking back.
But how was the performance? Well with the base clock getting a 300 MHz bump up to 4 GHz and the boost clock reaching 5 GHz with a similar 300 MHz bump over the i7-8700K the performance was close to what you would expect. It was in line or a little faster than the 8700K in just about every test, especially when it came to single threaded applications. I do however think that a better cooling solution than our NH-U12S would help edge a little more performance out of the chip at stock. Delidding and upgrading the TIM could also do the same thing, really I was surprised Intel didn’t go with a soldered heatspreader for this special CPU. That along with the clock speeds would have helped justify the price more and give enthusiasts a real reason to want to go for this over the i7-8700K. Now it is still the fastest CPU you can get on Intel’s mainstream lineup and for overall IPC it is the fastest on the market. Gaming performance was especially good, just like on the i7-8700K, this is an area where Ryzen is still catching up.
So where does this fit in the market? Well with an MSRP of $425 this is an expensive CPU for the mainstream lineup. The i7-8700K has an MSRP of $359 and even at that price is expensive compared to the Ryzen 2700X. Not to mention with the 2700X you are getting a semi-capable cooler as well but the 8086K you are going to need to get a decent heatsink or AIO. Now the 8086K is available for a little less than the MSRP on Amazon right now at $399.99 so that helps a little. But the price overall is a bit of a sticking point. Of course, if you want the bleeding edge in gaming performance your top two options are the i7-8700K or the i7-8086K. You can go with the 8700K you shouldn’t have an issue overclocking up to 5/5.1 GHz or you can spend the extra money and not have to do the work with the 8086K. Of course, if you can better take advantage of multi-threaded applications and gaming isn’t your only priority Ryzen might be the better option right now, at least without looking at the Core-X line that is much more expensive.
Live Pricing: HERE