Intel Core i5-8500 3.0 GHz Review

Introduction


Intel recently expanded its 8th generation Core processor family with more Core i5 six-core processor models, capturing important price points between $189 to $229. This price-band has become rather crowded now with the i5-8400 starting at $189, the i5-8500 around $209, and the i5-8600 at $229. With the advent of AMD’s 2nd generation Ryzen “Pinnacle Ridge” processor family, the competition between Intel and AMD heated up even more, with some retailers serving up the i5-8500 as low as $204 to compete with the new Ryzen 5 2600.

Before the Ryzen 5 1600 from last year, the more popular price-performance-sweetspot processors sold slightly north of $200. These are processors sought by gamers who don’t do that much multi-threaded work and rather focus on something that won’t bottleneck their graphics card. The market was reshaped with the Ryzen 5 1600, which was quantitatively the most popular Ryzen SKU and sold a ton. AMD bolstered the six-core chip with SMT (making it 6-core/12-thread), the full 16 MB of L3 cache, and an unlocked multiplier, making it an unbeatable proposition. Intel responded to it by launching the affordable six-core i5-8400 at $189. With the introduction of the Ryzen 5 2600, its position is threatened, and so now, we have the slightly speed-bumped Core i5-8500 at a similar price point swinging between $204 to $210 depending on where you look for it.

The Intel Core i5-8500 meets the psychological 3-gigahertz mark with its nominal clock bang at 3.00 GHz. Its maximum Turbo Boost frequency is rated at 4.10 GHz. Our past experience with the latest Core i5 chips, particularly with the i5-8600 performing on par with the i5-8600K, shows that the i5-8500 is effectively just a 100 MHz speed-bump over the i5-8400. You still get the same 9 MB of shared L3 cache and a locked multiplier.

AMD has stirred the $200-ish processor pot once again with the Ryzen 5 2600 (non-X) launched at $199. This puts the i5-8500 in head-on competition with it. It’s going to be an uphill task for the Intel chip as it lacks HyperThreading and an unlocked multiplier, both of which AMD offers with the 2600. Is there enough in this chip for gamers to save $30 over the i5-8600/2600X, which is better spent on a faster graphics card or a bigger SSD?

Intel Core i5-8500 Market Segment Analysis
  Price Cores /
Threads
Base
Clock
Max.
Boost
L3
Cache
TDP Architecture Process Socket
Core i3-8350K $175 4 / 4 4.0 GHz N/A 8 MB 91 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Ryzen 5 1500X $170 4 / 8 3.5 GHz 3.7 GHz 16 MB 65 W Zen 14 nm AM4
Core i5-7400 $180 4 / 4 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 6 MB 65 W Kaby Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i5-8400 $180 6 / 6 2.8 GHz 4.0 GHz 9 MB 65 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i5-7500 $200 4 / 4 3.4 GHz 3.8 GHz 6 MB 65 W Kaby Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Ryzen 5 1600 $180 6 / 12 3.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 16 MB 65 W Zen 14 nm AM4
Core i5-8500 $205 6 / 6 3.0 GHz 4.1 GHz 9 MB 65 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i5-7600K $230 4 / 4 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz 6 MB 91 W Kaby Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i5-7640X $200 4 / 4 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 6 MB 112 W Kaby Lake 14 nm LGA 2066
Core i5-6600K $250 4 / 4 3.5 GHz 3.9 GHz 8 MB 91 W Skylake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i5-8600 $230 6 / 6 3.1 GHz 4.3 GHz 9 MB 65 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Ryzen 5 1600X $200 6 / 12 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz 16 MB 95 W Zen 14 nm AM4
Core i5-8600K $250 6 / 6 3.6 GHz 4.3 GHz 9 MB 95 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Ryzen 5 2600 $200 6 / 12 3.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 16 MB 65 W Zen 12 nm AM4
Ryzen 7 1700 $290 8 / 16 3.0 GHz 3.7 GHz 16 MB 65 W Zen 14 nm AM4
Core i7-6700K $350 4 / 8 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 8 MB 91 W Skylake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i7-7700K $340 4 / 8 4.2 GHz 4.5 GHz 8 MB 91 W Kaby Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i7-8700 $300 6 / 12 3.2 GHz 4.6 GHz 12 MB 65 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Ryzen 5 2600X $230 6 / 12 3.6 GHz 4.2 GHz 16 MB 95 W Zen 12 nm AM4
Ryzen 7 1700X $290 8 / 16 3.4 GHz 3.8 GHz 16 MB 95 W Zen 14 nm AM4
Ryzen 7 2700 $300 8 / 16 3.2 GHz 4.1 GHz 16 MB 65 W Zen 12 nm AM4
Core i7-8700K $350 6 / 12 3.7 GHz 4.7 GHz 12 MB 95 W Coffee Lake 14 nm LGA 1151
Core i7-7800X $380 6 / 12 3.5 GHz 4.0 GHz 8.25 MB 140 W Skylake 14 nm LGA 2066
Ryzen 7 2700X $330 8 / 16 3.7 GHz 4.3 GHz 16 MB 105 W Zen 12 nm AM4
Ryzen 7 1800X $320 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz 16 MB 95 W Zen 14 nm AM4

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