This Intel Processor Rumor Doesn’t Sound Right

A little while back, industry watcher David Schor, who posts on WikiChip.com, tweeted the following proposal for a future Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) processor: 

At the time, I offered up my own thoughts on such a chip, arguing that while releasing one with those specifications would certainly be a good move on Intel’s part as it would improve the company’s competitiveness and potentially boost demand, the naming of the chip would probably be different. 

There have been rumors floating around lately that Intel did, in fact, take Schor’s advice and build such a chip — complete with the name that Schor suggested. There are even images in circulation that purportedly show both the physical chip as well as software running on it. 

Here’s why I think everything surrounding this rumored chip is fake. 

Intel Core processor badges.

Image source: Intel.

The naming doesn’t make sense

Schor’s proposed naming of the chip — Core i7-8086K — would make the chip incredibly difficult for Intel to market effectively.

For some perspective, the rumored i7-8086K is supposedly a faster version of the Core i7-8700K that Intel launched in October 2017. If Intel were to name it the Core i7-8086K, then how would the typical consumer know that it’s, in fact, a higher-end processor than the 8700K? 

It’s simply inconsistent with how the company has named the other processors in this product family, and it would cause tremendous confusion among customers. While Intel makes its fair share of mistakes, its marketing division is quite good at its job, and wouldn’t make such an obvious blunder. 

If Intel did want to put such a processor out, and if it did want to launch it on the 40th anniversary of Intel Architecture, then there are other ways to name it without completely breaking its naming scheme. 

For example, Intel could call it the Core i7-8790K, and advertise the fact that it’s the first-ever consumer processor to run at 5GHz frequency out-of-the-box in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Intel Architecture. 

There are many other directions that Intel could go, but the point I’m trying to make is that it needn’t break its established product marketing scheme to celebrate this historic milestone. 

Even with a different name…

To be quite blunt, I think this whole discussion is moot. Since there’s ample evidence that Intel intends to introduce an upgraded version of the Core i7-8700K with eight cores within the next few months, I think it entirely unlikely that Intel will bother introducing a speed-bumped hex-core part to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Intel Architecture.

If anything, the eight-core part would serve as a better celebration of Intel Architecture, particularly if the company sets the operating frequencies of those cores aggressively (i.e. 5GHz single-core turbo speed). Such a part would be a real upgrade over the current Core i7-8700K, and could improve the company’s average processor selling prices, as well as its positioning in the marketplace. 

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