Intel’s new Coffee Lake CPUs: Increased Thermal Load

With Coffee Lake, Intel has recently released its eighth processor generation. As part of the launch of the new generation of processors, a new chipset the Z370 has also been introduced.

While CPU coolers as offered by ARCTIC are still compatible thanks to the same mechanical socket, switching to the new Coffee Lake Processors requires a new mainboard due to its new chipset.

Motherboards with older chipsets (like Z270 / H310 / H370 / B360) are no longer compatible with Intel Coffee Lake processors despite the mechanically identical socket.

Up to 100 Watts extra load

The German magazine c’t examined four new motherboards with the chipset Z370 in a test in issue 23/2017. They discovered that in their default settings all motherboards overclock and operate the processors outside Intel’s specifications. The following mainboards were tested:

  • Asrock Z370 Extreme4
  • Asus PrimeZ370-A
  • MSI Z370-A Pro
  • Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming

Intel’s restrictions regarding the turbo boost (concerning, for example, power supply and multipliers) are circumvented by all tested motherboards and result in a significant additional thermal stress.

In the case of Intel’s latest flagship model, the i7 8700K, it can lead to an increased power consumption of up to an additional 100 W. This causes a noticeably elevated temperature of the processor and requires a cooling solution that can cover this power peak.

Even if Intel officially states a TDP of 95 watts for the current top model 8700K, when using one of the mentioned motherboards under full load, a cooling solution for up to 180 W may be necessary. Alternatively, the default overclocking has to be deactivated in the BIOS.

 Powerful CPU Cooler necessary

We advise all users of Intel’s Coffee Lake and their K CPUs to pay attention to this extra thermal load via overclocking when choosing their cooler, or alternatively to disable the automated overclocking in the BIOS.

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