UK price (as reviewed): £158.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $168 (exc. tax)
When we saw Intel's MSRPs for its three K-series Coffee Lake CPUs, there was one that stuck out as being a potential game-changer for those not looking to spend more than £200 on a CPU.
The Core i3-8350K is subject to the biggest core boost in percentage terms of all the K-series Coffee Lake CPUs, doubling from two to four threads like all desktop Core i3s, although it does lack Hyper-Threading, so it only has four threads.
As a result, it won't be twice as fast in any test as an older Core i3, as most did sport Hyper-Threading and thus four threads. However, AMD has a couple of well-placed tricks up its sleeve in the form of the Ryzen 5 1500X and Ryzen 5 1600. The former costs the same but offers eight threads instead of four, while the latter is of course the lower of the two Ryzen 5 six-core CPUs, which offer 12 threads.
The big question, though, is whether we're looking at a cut-price version of the Core i5-7600K here - a £200+ CPU - and one that could mean significantly cheaper options for overclockers on a budget, or if there are some hidden limitations that mean Intel's Kaby Lake quad-core is still worth buying.
The specifications look good on paper. The Core i3-8350K has 8MB L3 cache - two more than the Core i5-7600K - and it has a 200MHz higher base frequency. The only area where the older CPU seems to have an advantage is that it also sports Turbo Boost, reaching a peak of 4.2GHz, whereas the Core i3-8350K isn't able to boost at all.
Still, given the fact we're talking about a CPU that right now retails for less than £160, it's a massive £40-50 cheaper than the current price of the Core i5-7600K. Amazingly, the dual-core Core i3-7350K is still doing the rounds, albeit at a slightly cheaper £143, but it's fairly easy to say that any Kaby Lake Core i3 probably has its days numbered.
December 11 2020 | 17:30