Intel’s Core i7-8086K is their best CPU yet – and there are 8086 of them up for grabs

Intel Core i7-8086K box

In happier Computex news today (which doesn’t involve having the vague release date of Nvidia’s Turing graphics cards being dashed from sometime this autumn into the vague nothingness of “a long time” into the future), Intel have announced their very first CPU with a 5.0GHz turbo frequency to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their x86 architecture, the limited edition (and very aptly-named) Intel Core i7-8086K – and to mark the occasion they’re giving away 8086 of them for absolutely nothing.

Harking back to the original Intel 8086 processor that first ushered in the concept of x86 computing, the new Core i7-8086K is the first six-core, 12-thread processor with integrated graphics in a 1151-pin package that supports a 64-bit instruction set, according to Intel. It has a base clock speed of 4.0GHz (up from 3.7GHz on the Core i7-8700K), but as the K in its model name suggests, it’s also unlocked for overclocking. It also comes with a 12MB SmartCache, and a TDP (thermal design point) of 95W.

50,000 of them will be made in total, but if you fancy trying to get one of the aforementioned 8086 that are up for grabs, you’ll need to enter Intel’s Core i7-8086K sweepstakes by visiting their website and registering for your chance to win – provided you live in the US, Canada (excluding Quebec sadly), UK, France, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan or China (not including Hong Kong).

You can only do so, however, in two days time when Intel’s countdown clock hits zero. This will be at 5pm PDT on June 7th (or 1am on June 8 in the UK), and you’ll then have 24 hours in which to register.

D'aww, haven't they come so far?

D’aww, haven’t they done well?

Of those 8086 processors up for grabs, it appears just 500 of them will be available for those entering in the UK. There’s no mention of how many will be available in other territories, but if you’d rather secure one the old-fashioned way, Intel says the Core i7-8086K will also be available to buy outright “from popular online retailers and technology suppliers where you’d typically expect to find other Intel boxed processors” starting on June 8 at 12.01am PDT (that’s 8am on June 8 in the UK), which is the actual anniversary date of the first Intel 8086 processor.

Intel neglect to say how much you’ll be expected to spend on the Core i7-8086K, of course, but given a boxed Core i7-8700K currently goes for around £315 in the UK and $350 in the US, I expect you’ll probably be looking at spending somewhere near the £400 / $400 mark.


  1. fray_bentos says:

    This feels like a spiritual successor to the (beloved by many) i7-4790K. Despite 4 years of progress (2 extra cores and +600 MHz on the standard boost clock) the base clock on this processor is the same 4.0 GHz as the i7-4790K.

    • Don Reba says:

      There were 3.8 GHz Pentium 4 CPUs. Clock rates stopped being a measure of progress a long time ago.

      • fray_bentos says:

        Except, the single thread performance per clockspeed in the 4-year old 4790K is almost identical to that of the 8700K. e.g. 8700K Passmark/4.7 GHz = 576, and 4790K Passmark/4.5 GHz = 575. That means that a 4790K overclocked to 4.7 GHz boost speed performs as well as an 8700K for processes using up to 4 threads. For example, my 4790K runs at 4.9 GHz, which is similar to the typical OC of a 8700K. Progress?

  2. Basil says:

    My i7-4770K@4.20GHz hasn’t felt like a bottle neck in 5 long hard years of service. Even now the 1080Ti tops out before the CPU most of the time. The 8086K is super tempting but I will hope there is another 5GHz+ in 2 years time.

    • sosolidshoe says:

      Yup. My OC’d 3570K is still ticking along fine(touch wood) with the latest game stuff – it creaks a little bit very late in big strategy games like TW:WH, but it always did that and by all accounts most CPUs still do.

      I’m hoping the old girl manages to keep going until either “team” releases a CPU that’s actually fixed the big flaws that’ve been doing the rounds lately. And yes I know the best defence is a combination of savvy risk management and sheer blind luck, and that whatever new chips they come out with will probably have hidden flaws as well, but if it ain’t broke why pay hundreds of pounds to upgrade your CPU and mobo if it doesn’t at least fix the issues manufacturers do know about?

  3. Herring says:

    40 years? Erk.

    I wasn’t quite fiddling with PC’s for the originals, but I was for the 2/386’s, eventually getting my first PC: A 486-DX(?) with flashy math co-processor.

  4. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    The UK contest site (here), says entries will be open at 5pm BST on thursday (2 days, 1 hour and 15 mins from ….now).

    I was going to go AMD for my next build, but a free CPU might make me stick with Intel.

    • Czrly says:

      Yes, I’ll build a PC with a free CPU. But I’ll never buy one of these, if I don’t win. After all the thermal issues I have had with my i7 7700k and all the Spectre and Meltdown shenanigans, I’ll never pay another cent to Intel.

  5. Sinky says:

    Country Number of Winners and Prizes Awarded
    United States 2,086
    China 2,000
    Germany 1,000
    Canada 500
    France 500
    The United Kingdom 500
    South Korea 500
    Taiwan 500
    Japan 500

  6. bit.bat says:

    Canadian residents need to answer, unaided, a time limited mathematical skill testing question to be eligible? Well that makes sense.

  7. Itsabomb says:

    Publicity. Except where prohibited by law, winner grants to Sponsor and those acting pursuant to its authority, the right and permission to print, publish, broadcast, and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter developed, including but not limited to the world wide web, at any time or times, the winner’s name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, Entry and biographical information for advertising, trade, and promotional purposes (including the announcement of his or her name on television or radio broadcast) without additional consideration, compensation, permission, or notification. Entrants agree that Sponsor shall own Entries, which will not be acknowledged or returned, and that Sponsor and its designees shall have the perpetual, worldwide right to edit, publish, and use the Entries in any way and in any media for trade, advertising, promotional, and/or other purposes as Sponsor and/or its designees may determine without further consideration to entrants or any third party.

    Does anyone with legal education understand why this is a necessary condition of the Sweepstakes? Or am I being paranoid?

    • Cederic says:

      The competition is a marketing/publicity event to increase awareness of the Intel brand and product range. Being unable to discuss who won the competition would inhibit their ability to fully leverage the media interest and publicity this provides, so they require permission to share your information in order that they can fully benefit from their investment.

      I don’t have a legal education but they’ll be requiring the permissions due to privacy, image rights and defamation laws in the various jurisdictions involved.

      Of course, in the EU you can now withdraw your consent after you’ve won, due to GDPR. That could be fun.

  8. zlate42 says:

    I am a little bit upset – other countries are not good enough for Intel? Maybe Intel is not good enough for us? I am no law man, but isn’t it illegal to discriminate someone geographically in the EU?

  9. theknyte says:

    I remember back in about 2003, there was an Unreal 2k3 Tournament at a local PC shop. Intel was there to talk about their upcoming “Extreme Edition” Pentiums and their road map for the next few years. I still remember the speaker claiming that “Within 3 years we’ll have a consumer CPU available running at 10GHz!” Here it is 15 years later, and Intel’s bragging about their first “5GHz” CPU. Had to chuckle. (I know that the CPU field shifted from high performance single threaded CPUs to multi-core & threaded shortly after that time, and instead of increasing the speed limit, they added more lanes to their freeway. But, still…. they promised.)

  10. ZXDunny says:

    Seems that the link goes to the chinese site here (Uk). Can’t get to the countdown or anything at all.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>