Intel's limited edition Core i7-8086K can hit 5GHz without overclocking

We're all on pins and ball grid arrays waiting for Intel to introduce its long awaited 10nm Cannon Lake architecture in mass quantities, but that will have to wait until next year. In the meantime, the company has a couple of other interesting products up its sleeve. One is a 28-core/56-thread single-socket chip that you can read more about here, and the other is a limited edition Core i7-8086K processor that can ramp up to 5GHz without overclocking.

It's a dual-anniversary moment for Intel as it celebrates its 50th year of being in business, and 40 years of its x86 architecture that is still going strong today. The latter is what the appropriately named Core i7-8086K pays homage to, while simultaneously introducing a couple of firsts for Intel.

"The Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition processor is more than just a commemorative processor. It celebrates Intel’s legacy of industry-leading performance by featuring our first 6-core, 12-thread processor with integrated graphics in an 1151-pin package supporting a 64-bit instruction set," Intel explains (PDF). "The Intel Core i7-8086K processor is also the first Intel processor to deliver up to 5.0 GHz single-core turbo frequency out of the box, fully unlocked for overclocking."

You have to travel back in time 40 years to June 1978 to witness the birth of x86 computing, in terms of market penetration—that is when Intel introduced its first 16-chip processor, the 8086, and in the process formed the foundation for modern computing.

The Core i7-8086K celebrates four decades of x86 computing, though it's obviously much more advanced than the original Intel 8086. It's based on the company's Coffee Lake architecture and is a 6-core/12-thread part with a 4GHz base clock, 5GHz boost clock, and 12MB of L3 cache.

Intel said it's releasing the Core i7-8086K in "limited quantities for a limited time," with several reports pegging the number at 50,000 units. The company is also giving away 8,086 of these chips away as part of a sweepstakes that kicks off in a couple of days.

The anniversary chip will be available to purchase starting June 8, the same day that the first 8086 processor debuted 40 years ago. There's no mention of price just yet.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).