To be honest, the results of our tests bring no surprise, and we have to admit that Intel did exactly what it must have done on the Core i7 lineup. When the AMD Ryzen 7 family was launched, it couldn’t reach for the gaming performance of the Core i7 models on the market at the time (Core i7-7700K and Core i7-7700), but it was superior in tasks that take advantage of their eight cores and 16 threads, like video and image rendering.
So, the logical path for Intel not to stay behind was to increase the number of cores on their flagship CPUs, and it was exactly what it did. With two cores (and therefore four threads) more, the Core i7-8700K performed much like its predecessor Core i7-7700K in games, but attained a big performance gain in tasks like image rendering, reaching (and, in some cases, surpassing) the performance of the Ryzen 7 1700X on this kind of task.
There are some additional details to say. Even if the maximum clock of the Core i7-8700K is higher than the Core i7-7700K’s, its base clock is lower, in order to mantain a similar TDP even with 50% more cores. So, under heavy loads, the Core i7-8700K uses a lower clock rate than the Core i7-7700K; that’s why its performance is lower in some tests.
On the other hand, the overclocking potential of the Core i7-8700K is excellent (as long as it is well cooled). For heavy applications, on the hands of an enthusiast user, it can run at 5.0 GHz on all cores, which promises a high performance for any kind of application.
So, we can say Intel take a hit with the Core i7-8700K: it makes a high-end CPU for both gaming and professional applications.