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Intel Core i3-8350K Coffee Lake Desktop CPU Review

  1. The odd little CPU called the Core i3-8350K….
  2. How its tested??
  3. Computing Benchmarks
  4. Conclusion
  5. Online Purchase Links
  6. View All

What is the Core i3-8350K??

The Intel Core i3-8350K is an oxymoron. This 8th generation Coffee Lake is an unlocked CPU priced low where one will bundle it with a B or an H series, two motherboard chipset with no overclocking option.  This 8th generation CPU has four physical cores. It doesn’t have turbo clock speeds and Hyper-Threading. But it has an increased L3 cache to 8MB but with 95-watt TDP, unlike 65-watt on the 8100 and the six-core i5-8400.

8th Gen Desktop CPU Comparison

Intel Coffee Lake SKUs

If you compare it with the Core i3-7350K, it is a big step-up. The Core i3-8350K has four cores while the previous Kaby-Lake i3-7350K is a dual-core with fix clock at 4.2 GHz with 4MB L3 Cache. Therefore its a useful Core-i3 chip. The other problem with Intel restricting overclocking only with the Z series. I’ve mentioned this with the price clashing between B and H series on the B360 AORUS motherboard review. Intel should have enabled overclocking on H370 series to keep up with AMD’s chipset offering and provide better value than its B360 chipset, therefore providing excellent upgrade options for base model mid-range systems. The stubbornness overshadows this unlocked Core i3 CPU with significant additions.

Specification

 

Processor Number Core i3-8350K
Cores/Threads 4/4
Base Clock 4.0 GHz
Cache 8MB
Bus Speed 8 GT/s
TDP 91W
Max memory support 64 GB
Memory Type DDR4
Maximum memory support 2400 MHz
ECC Support Yes
On-Chip graphics UHD 630
Graphics frequency 350MHz to 1.15 GHz
Max video memory support 64 GB
Resolution support 4K @ 24Hz via HDMI 1.4
4K @ 60Hz via Display Port
Display Support: 3

If you look at it, the Core-i3-8350K is a weird CPU because Intel being weirder as its overclocking feature philosophy. It forced its own CPU to compete with its own CPU- the Core i5-8400, a six-core/ six-thread locked CPU, but with turbo clock, Hyper-Threading with 9MB L3 cache and 65-watt TDP up to 2666 MHz DDR4 support for just $20 more on MSRP. I would have liked to see this as locked CPU, but with turbo clock and HT enabled. That would be more useful for many types of users, even for HTPCs as it has 4K support via UHD-630 on-chip graphics.

Test System and Testing Methodology

The following setup is what’s used to test the AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WIFI motherboard:

Operating System Windows 10 64-bit Pro
Processor+ Cooler Intel Core i3 8350K + Noctua NH-U14S
Motherboard AORUS B360 Gaming 3 WIFI
RAM 16GB HyperX Savage DDR4
GPU AORUS RX 580 XTR 8G
OS Drive 240GB SanDisk Extreme II SSD
Secondary WD Red 3TB
PSU ANTEC 1200W Quattro
PC Case Lian Li A70F

The Benchmarks are as follows:

  • Computing Benchmarks

Benchmarks are done in stock settings with turbo enabled. No changes have been made in the BIOS except both CPU fans at high speed.

    • 7 Zip Benchmark
    • AIDA64- CPU and Memory Benchmark
    • Futuremark Benchmarks:
      • 3DMark Sky Diver and Fire Strike
      • PCMark 8 Benchmark
    • Video Encoding Benchmark (720p and 4K)
    • MP3 Encoding
    • Cinebench R15

I have skipped Turbo speed benchmarks because the Intel Core i3 8350K does not have that option and it was tested on a B series chipset motherboard, so no OC benchmarks. I am posting the review of this CPU because we got it to test this motherboard- so why not?

7-ZIP Benchmark

AIDA64 Benchmarks

CPU Benchmark

Memory Benchmark

Video Encoding Benchmark

MP3 Encoding Benchmark

Cinebench R15 Benchmark

The Intel Core i3-8350K: Why does it exist?

At this price point with no lower cost(Intel B and H series) overclocking enabled chipset, it does not make sense. Still, Intel rolled out with it. If you’re stepping ahead of the Core i3-8350K- a four-core four-thread CPUs, there’s the six-core-six-thread Core i5-8400 with Turbo enabled. Both have UHD-630 on-chip graphics. The more natural choice for many users would be the Ryzen 5 1600, a six-core 12-thread CPU. I am aware its launch price was the same as the Core i3-7350K, but Intel did not have a real competition back then. Still, it would make sense to pick the Core i5 variant at the time.

I don’t have a problem for this CPU to exist because it needs to fill that gap to provide base model quad-core CPU with a newer architecture. Having a quad-core Core i3 brings it up-to-date for the current times especially for the general/non-gaming system users. The pricing is less desirable, non-Turbo doesn’t make sense and an unlocked CPU when only Z chipset to have the ability to overclock does not help it at all. $50 cheaper, non-K but with Turbo enabled may have looked sweet if you only looked at Intel’s offerings. The Core i3-8350K’s performance is comparable to the older Core i5-7600K. Strange little CPU. Good story!


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