There’s been a lot of talk over the last few weeks regarding Intel’s 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 8086K processor.

The newly released processor is Intel’s first ever consumer chip to ship with a 5.0GHz turbo boost clock, but the public’s reception has been mixed due to the chip essentially being a more highly “binned” 8700K.

I recently purchased both an 8700K and 8086K, delidded them both and put them to the test head to head to see how far I could push each chip….
Please keep in mind when watching this that this is just my experience, and not indicative of what you can expect from your own chip due to the varying performance off the production line.


Simply put, due to the insanely tiny architecture of modern processors, the process of “binning” chips is commonplace throughout the semiconductor industry, and allows manufacturers to produce one identical chip which ends up being sold as multiple SKUs. For example, a chip with 2 dead cores may end up being sold as a 4 core processor instead of 6, or a processor that can only reach clock speeds of a lower frequency may be sold as a lower frequency chip when in fact the two SKUs are physically identical. This allows manufacturers to save big dollars on manufacturing costs and maximise profit on their better chips.

There was some speculation leading up to the release that Intel may do away with their renowned poor quality thermal interface material (TIM) between the heat spreader and die, but when I delidded the 8086K I found it to have exactly the same TIM as in present in the other chips.

As with my 8700K which we looked at previously, Temperatures dropped significantly post-delidding.

The 8086K is exactly that, a limited selection of the most highly binned 8th Generation i7 chips. Where previously designated the 8700K SKU, Intel has clearly identified that there is enough headroom in a select few, and reserved a limited number of 50,000 processors and the 8086K. SO essentially they have re-released the same processor under a new SKU and are charging more money for it. Hence why a lot of people are understandably upset.

However, due to the large variation in overclocking performance even within a SKU, spending the extra to get a more highly binned chip does make sense for the more hardcore enthusiasts among with high end systems looking to push the boundaries. Rather than taking a punt at the silicon lottery and hoping for the best, we now have an additional way to work the numbers in our favour besides using 3rd party services such as

Essentially, if you were lucky enough to get a “good” 8700K back before Intel were reserving them to become 8086K chips, there is little to no reason to upgrade to an 8086K as you would quite literally be buying the same thing. If however like me you purchased an 8700K within the last few months, there’s a good chance it performed below average (as mine did), in which case, an upgrade might be worth it in terms of the maximum overclock achievable.

8700K @5.1GHz vs. 8086K @ 5.2GHz...

Remember, in therms of real world performance there is very little difference between chips, so my advice is unless you’re really into your overclocking and chasing numbers, stick with your 8700K.

Included Special Edition literature..