The i7-7700K is Intel’s fastest ever consumer grade processor. Using Intel’s third set of processors at 14nm, using the new 14+ variant, we get processors with a better frequency / voltage curve that translates into more performance, better efficiency, and the potential to push the silicon further and harder. Here is our review.
The same… but not the same
Details on desktop Kaby Lake are scarce because its official launch is about a month away. What we do know, by looking at the performance of mobile chips and sifting through public data from the Intel Developer Forum back in August this year, is that they’re still based on 14nm technology, are endowed with a CPU-specific architecture that is, as far as we can tell, identical to Skylake, yet offer an improved media engine ostensibly to cater for 4K and newer codecs by being able to decode Google’s VP9 codec content and ability to encode and decode 4K 10-bit content encased in the high-compression H.265 codec.
The real question is, how does all that high-level detail translate to Skylake-beating goodness for the enthusiasts out there? Turns out the supposition that there’s been no obvious change in the CPU architecture between sixth- and seventh-generation Core CPUs is correct. In other words, a Kaby Lake CPU operating at the same speed as an extant Skylake model will benchmark at the same level.
That’s a turn up for the books as Intel historically tweaks the CPU core when keeping the fabrication process on the same node. What this means is that Intel is effectively abandoning its tick-tock strategy, one where there’s manifest architecture improvement one generation followed by a process node shrink another. So how will the chip giant sate the needs of the enthusiasts when it is offering no more cores and the same ISO performance as what’s been available in the marketplace for 18 months? The answer, on the CPU side at least, is higher frequencies through a refinement of the 14nm manufacturing process.
Meet Kaby Lake, and 4.5 GHz Out-of-the-Box
The i7-7700K is part of Intel’s 7th Generation of Core CPUs, which often goes by its internal code name ‘Kaby Lake’. The Kaby Lake family, as of today’s launch, stretches from 91W on the mainstream desktop down to 4.5W for notebook processors, all using the same underlying technology in different core and integrated graphics configurations. The i7-7700K is the top part of this processor family, featuring four cores with hyperthreading, a 4.2 GHz base frequency, a 4.5 GHz turbo frequency, a couple of new tricks and all for $303 list (so about $330 retail).
As a processor with the letter K in it, in Intel’s lingo this means the i7-7700K is an unlocked processor. Users with enough nous to understand the relationship between frequency, voltage, temperature and stability can take this processor above (or below) its standard operating frequency to get more performance without spending more money. The upshot of pushing the processor in this way is usually a higher power consumption, something that PC enthusiasts usually have to spare, and in the wrong hands a broken CPU through overclocking is worth the same as sand. There are two other K processors in the Kaby Lake family, the i5-7600K and the i3-7350K, which both have separate reviews as part of our launch coverage.
Intel calls the desktop like of processors the S series, and Kaby Lake-S (or KBL-S) ranges from a dual core low power 35W i3-7100T to the high-end 91W i7-7700K. The idea here is to offer many different parts at different price points to cater for customer needs, such as performance, power, cost and feature set. With every launch Intel tries to entice users to upgrade from their older system (citing hundreds of millions of daily PCs being 3+ years old), and so having new features is key to having better performance too.
This is the best part. With a normal AIO a youtuber overclocked the new Kaby Lake i7 7700k processor from out of box 4.2 GHZ to 5 GHZ. The video is linked below.
The below are the benchmarks run by a youtube channel Paul’s Hardware who run the benchmarks using the out of box clock speeds with all the four processors he tested (6600k, 6700k, 7600k, 7700k)
The intel’s kaby lake processor released at this moment proves what it says. hence it worth the money we pay to get it. Let’s see how the team RED (AMD) tackles this new kaby lake processors with their RYZEN processros.