But what about overclocking, and the new 200-series chipsets that roll out with these processors a well ? For that, we ‘ll need to delve a little deep. We ‘ll do that in the following section, adenine well as perplex into one of the seventh-generation lineup ‘s most intrigue new features : subscribe for Intel ‘s approaching XPoint-based Optane memory, which is expected to hit the marketplace sometime in the first half of 2017 .
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Reading: Intel Core i7-7700K Review
Features and Other New Chips
It would be an understatement to say that Intel is dropping a hale fortune of seventh-generation chips alongside the Core i7-7700K. By our count, looking at the caller ‘s crush materials, the total number of seventh-generation chips available with the brand-new releases ( including the flagship background check we ‘re discussing here and the previous U- and Y-Series fluid parts that launched in the drop of 2016 ) is 42. You wo n’t find the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in that number. But you will find enough of new mobile chips, including several business-focused models with support for things like vPro and more secure biometrics, vitamin a well as a unharmed lineup of H-Series quad-core chips that are most often found in gaming laptops and mobile workstations .
But of class we ‘re here to talk about background processors, and 16 of the new chips are of that variety. The good newsworthiness is that these CPUs use the LGA 1151 socket, so they should be drop-in compatible with many previous-generation ( Skylake ) motherboards, although you ‘ll probably need to install a BIOS update first .
preferably than rattle off all 16 new chips and their spectacles, here ‘s a list of the new background SKUs and their spectacles, direct from Intel .
note that, at a 91-watt TDP ( thermal design world power, a standard of required heat waste ), the Core i7-7700K we ‘re looking at hera matches that of the Core i7-6700K, its counterpart in the previous sixth-generation batting order. Considering the architecture is basically the same and clock speeds are n’t wholly that different, that ‘s expected. In fact, the specification between this chip and the one it ‘s designed to replace are so alike that we only had to change a few digits when writing up the spectacles of the new model compared with the sixth-generation i7-6700K .
basically, compared with the Core i7-6700K, Intel boosted the base clock from 4GHz to 4.2GHz with the new chip, and upped the top Turbo Boost frequency at stock speeds from 4.2GHz to 4.5GHz. The integrated graphics bit gets a boost in name from HD Graphics 530 on the previous chip to HD Graphics 630 on the newer models, but the 1,150MHz dynamic frequency remains the lapp. And an Intel rep told us that aside from the raw media engine for HEVC 10-bit content ( the chosen codec for streaming 4K capacity from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and probable soon-to-be other providers ), the graphics core hera is basically the lapp. That ‘s matter to, because as we ‘ll see in testing, we did detect some performance improvements on the graphics presence. But that may entirely be down to higher supported RAM speeds ( which we ‘ll detail soon in the chipset department coming up ) .
The most interesting chip in Intel ‘s new background batting order seems to be the Core i3-7350K ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ). The company ‘s inaugural unlock Core i3 CPU, it ‘s a dual-core, four-thread chip with the lapp 4.2GHz foundation clock speed ( it has no Turbo Boost ) as the i7 chip we ‘re looking at here. It looks to be a potent candidate for a budget-friendly bet on chip, and a full general-use contribution for those who do n’t frequently do things like supply massive video recording files ( which will take entire advantage of the four cores and eight threads of the i7 ), adenine well. In fact, with its high base clock speed and much lower price, it has the potential to steal a carnival act of big h from Intel ‘s costlier chips, as it should be merely as flying for most general computer science tasks. The Core i3-7350K is listed at $ 168, while the Core i7-7700K we ‘re reviewing here lists at $ 339. These are prices for chips in 1,000-unit lots, but unless there are shortages ( which there were for a while when the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K launched ), street prices tend to generally hover close to Intel ‘s “ 1ku ” price for at least a few months after establish .
Z270 Chipset Details
merely as it has with previous chip generations, Intel is outing a handful of new chipsets alongside its seventh-generation background processors, including H270 and H250 for mainstream systems, and B250 for business machines. But we ‘ll be focusing on Z270 here, as that ‘s the top-end chipset, aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers, and so the one best paired with a high-end bit like the Core i7-7700K .
There ‘s no getting around the fact that, much the way the seventh-generation processors are a polished but very alike update over their sixth-generation counterparts, Z270 has a unharmed lot in common with the Z170 chipset it ‘s succeeding. Intel ‘s urge material on the new chipset is fair five pages long, and about three of those pages are taken up by photos of young people doing things like singing in a studio and assembling a scientific model in front of a laptop .
Again, looking at the same diagram for the Z170 chipset, most of what ‘s here is the same. The cardinal changes include four extra PCI Express ( PCIe ) 3.0 lanes. But they ‘re hanging off the chipset, not directly connected to the CPU, so they are n’t meant for supernumerary graphics cards. That ‘s becoming increasingly unnecessary, anyhow, as Nvidia has limited its latest high-end cards ( the GeForce GTX 1080 ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ) and GTX 1070 ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ) ) to just two cards in SLI. besides, the DMI 3.0 interconnect between the chipset and the CPU itself is the lapp bandwidth-limiting connection as in the Z170 chipset, so the organ pipe connecting the chipset to the processor is n’t any wide-eyed or fast .
That means you can think of the Z270 ‘s supernumerary four lanes like extra “ plugs ” in a power strip, in that they let you add more devices, but the level of voltage and current from the wall is the same. The lanes will allow you to install more bandwidth-hungry devices, say fast PCIe/NVMe solid-state drives ( SSDs ) like Samsung ‘s excellent SSD 960 EVO ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ). The Z270 chipset does support tripartite PCIe RAID SSD apparatus ( as Z170 did ). And we ‘re starting to see more and more of these kinds of drives, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as Thunderbolt 3 external devices like monitors, which can besides eat up lots of bandwidth. so having the ability to plug more things into the PCIe pipe is decidedly a dear thing. But just as we saw in previous-generation boards, installing some device types will likely then disable others, as there ‘s still a limited sum of data that can travel between the CPU and the chipset ( and frailty versa ) in a given meter time period .
Another switch with Z270 is a blow up in officially supported RAM speeds, from 2,133MHz with Z170 to 2,400MHz here. That ‘s decent, as higher memory speeds can make a big deviation for integrated graphics performance. But RAM makers have long blown past Intel ‘s officially supported RAM speeds. The Corsair DDR4 set we used for our Skylake testbed was rated to run at 3,000MHz ( and ran at that rush without issue ), and G.Skill sent us a 16GB TridentZ kit out for testing Intel ‘s new chips that ran at 3,600MHz after ticking on an XMP profile with a couple of clicks in the BIOS. So Intel ‘s formally rated RAM speeds are of little importance to system builders. They may, though, leave in faster RAM for big-box desktops and all-in-ones, as those types of systems are more likely to stick with officially supported settings .
The death major addition of the Z270 chipset, in tandem with the new seventh-generation processors, is back for Intel ‘s approaching Optane memory, which the company says will arrive erstwhile in the inaugural one-half of 2017. now, the frustrating thing is that the details about Optane memory are however barely. Intel tells us it will be based on the like 3D XPoint ( pronounced “ cross point ” ) engineering as its predict approaching XPoint-based SSDs. Basically, the promise behind XPoint is that it will be able to provide speeds and extremely humble latency exchangeable to RAM, with capacities like those of SSDs, all with the non-volatile nature that we ‘re used to from repositing drives—meaning data wo n’t be lost if the power is interrupted, as is the case with RAM. But Intel says that Optane memory is discrete from Optane SSDs, and that the former will be used as an highly fast hoard for heavily drives ( and presumably SSDs ). This sounds much like how solid-state hoard was used normally in systems a few years bet on, to make hard drives more reactive in the days when SSDs were excessively expensive, or the way SSD caches are even used in loanblend hard drives .
This all sounds promise, but as of this write, it ‘s indecipherable what forcible shape Optane memory will take ( though it has been announced as short-change M.2 drives in some approaching Lenovo ThinkPads ), how much it will cost, or how much real-world advantage users will see compared with fair using traditional SSDs, which are becoming increasingly low-cost. After all, excellent budget SSDs like the Crucial MX300 ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ) are selling for less than $ 130 for a 525GB model. so Optane memory would have to be highly cheap or very impressive ( or both ) to find broad consumption from enthusiasts, particularly in the background outer space .
We have no doubt that Optane memory will provide a huge boost in the snappiness of a system that ‘s running off of a traditional hard drive, but the enthusiasts who are most probably to buy into newly engineering like Optane early on are less probably to be building a new arrangement based entirely around a spin force for memory. And even lightning-quick NVMe SSDs like the aforesaid Samsung 960 EVO or Intel ‘s own 750 Series SSD ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ), while they deliver much faster performance in benchmarks and when reading or writing several gigabytes of files, do n’t feel any faster than a adept SATA SSD in general use .
In other words, Optane memory subscribe sounds full, and it ‘s big to have future-looking features on board ( pun intended ) when you ‘re building a newly personal computer. But we ‘ll have to wait and see how this newly technology manifests before deciding whether or not support for it is a major sell period. Interestingly, Intel was flying to point out that both a seventh-generation CPU and a 200-series motherboard are a prerequisite for Optane memory, meaning you ca n’t install it in a previous-generation Z170 motherboard, even with a Core brand-new i7-7700K processor in the socket. But when pressed, Intel representatives would not say the lapp about subscribe for Optane SSDs. And actually, for enthusiasts, Optane drives strait much more invoke that Optane caching technical school. We ‘ll merely have to wait to see how this plays out as 2017 progresses .
We started our testing of the Core i7-7700K with our CPU-centric trials. Our comparison chips for this peg of testing are the aforesaid Core i7-6700K and two lesser chips in the Skylake batting order, the Core i5-6600K and the Core i3-6100 ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ). For some position on what spending ( a draw ) more on a CPU will get you, we dropped in the $ 1,000 Core i7-6900K ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ), which is an eight-core, 16-thread beast that ‘s separate of Intel ‘s enthusiast “ Broadwell-E ” chopine. And to give a smatter of what AMD presently has to offer before the ( purportedly at hand ) shift to the Zen/AM4 chopine, we added the AMD Athlon X4 845, a quad-core chip that ‘s great for budget bet on builds, partially because it sells for under $ 70. And to give the Intel chip some rival on the graphics front, we added the company ‘s current circus tent end “ APU, ” the A10-7890K ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ), which sells for about $ 160. Neither AMD chip will compete with the i7 on CPU tests, but the A10-7890K may outpace the a lot pricier Core i7-7700K when it comes to gaming with the chips ‘ integrated graphics .
First up is Maxon ‘s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 test, which is fully threaded to make manipulation of all available processor cores and threads while using the CPU rather than GPU to render a building complex image. The result is a proprietary score indicating a personal computer ‘s suitability for processor-intensive workloads .
correct off the bat, the Core i7-7700K delivers the performance we ‘d expect, showing about a 12 percentage boost over the previous-generation i7-6700K at stock settings. It besides trounces the Skylake i5 chip by about 65 percentage. But the eight-core i7-6900K intelligibly dominates, posting a 70 percentage higher resultant role than the Kaby Lake chip in this quiz. Of course, the i7-6900K besides costs about three times vitamin a much as the Kaby Lake i7 we ‘re focusing on here. so at least in a general common sense, you get what you pay for with this benchmark .
iTunes 10.6 Conversion Test
We then switched over to our venerable iTunes Conversion Test, using interpretation 10.6 of iTunes. This quiz taxes alone a single CPU effect, as much bequest software does .
music encode does n’t precisely push a mod CPU to its limits, and surely not one like this. But this examination still illustrates that for programs that are older or have n’t been written to take advantage of multiple cores, the Core i7-7700K is king, thanks to higher clock speed and Intel ‘s newest architecture. It even managed to leave the $ 1,000 Core i7-6900K behind. But the previous-generation Core i7-6700K that this chip is replacing is near enough that you ‘d need a stopwatch on your side to tell the dispute .
These days, our traditional Handbrake test ( run under interpretation 0.9.8 ) now takes less than a hour to complete with high-end chips. ( It involves the render of a 5-minute video, Pixar ‘s Dug ‘s limited Mission, to an iPhone-friendly format. ) then, we ‘ve switched to a much more tax ( and time-consuming ) 4K video-crunching trial .
In this test, we switched to the newer Handbrake interpretation 0.9.9, and tasked the CPUs to convert a 12-minute-and-14-second 4K .MOV file ( the 4K showcase short film Tears of Steel ) into a 1080p MPEG-4 video…
The i7-7700K pulled a short foster ahead of its previous-generation counterpart on this trial, and easily bested everything other than the i7-6900K. But again, the difference between the Kaby Lake chip and the Skylake model that ‘s taking its place is about 12 percentage. It ‘s appreciated, but not anything worth upgrade over if you ‘re rigorously concern in naked operation and you already have a have a late core i7 chip .
future up is our Photoshop CS6 benchmark, where we run a series of 11 filters, in sequence, on a labs-standard high-res photograph, timing how long it takes the system to render the effect .
On this test that relies on a assortment of CPU muscle and bursty drive performance, the i7-7700K once again managed to come out ahead of everything else. But at good 8 seconds ahead of its predecessor, it ‘s not usher in drastically unlike levels of performance .
POV Ray 3.7
This is the last of our CPU-centric tests. Using the “ All CPUs ” setting, we ran the POV Ray benchmark, which challenges all available cores to render a complex photo-realistic persona using ray decipher .
here, once again, the Core i7-7700K looked effective against everything save for the a lot pricier Core i7-6900K, with another roughly 12 percentage gain over the i7-6700K. But this test besides illustrates the advantage of the supernumerary cores of costlier chips like the i7-6900K. That nick was about 60 percentage faster than the Kaby Lake i7, which can save a solid batch of time if you ‘re often doing things like editing 4K television or rendering complex graphics in programs like Blender .
Since Intel ‘s seventh-generation processors are the third chip generation built on the company ‘s 14nm process, there was some promise that there would be improved overclocking headroom with the latest unbarred “ K ” serial processors. And there have been some positive early signs, including reports that a russian site got its hands on an early core i7-7700K and was able to get it running at a stable 7GHz. But that feat was accomplished using liquid nitrogen for cool, and with all but one of the chip ‘s four cores disabled .
Intel did make some appreciate changes for overclockers with this generation, which may lead to easier and higher top clock speeds for some. The caller introduced a B Clock-aware voltage/frequency curve, which looks at the basal clock frequency and dynamically adjusts voltage with the aim of achieving the frequency you ‘re asking the chip to deliver. There ‘s besides an AVX offset adjustment now, which lets you dial back the abilities of this feature ( which is chiefly used for scientific workloads but can use a fair bit of power at stock settings, even when it ‘s not being used ). Intel says dialing this second can allow for slightly higher clock speeds .
Read more: Counter Tips to Beat Malphite – LoL Impact
We tested our core i7-7700K review chip on an MSI Z270 Gaming M5 motherboard, connected to a hefty Corsair H100i GTX collected cooler with a 240mm radiator, and the aforesaid 16GB of G.Skill TridentZ RAM. Using Intel ‘s Extreme Tuning Utility, we started dialing things up and … good, we did n’t get very army for the liberation of rwanda .
Our review sample distribution seemed to hit a hard wall at a top Turbo frequency of 4.8GHz, or good 300MHz past the stock certificate 4.5GHz rise. The chip was stable at that put, and the cool kept it hovering round 70 degrees C under load. But every attack to push it merely one notch higher to 4.9GHz resulted in an contiguous amobarbital sodium screen or system locking arsenic soon as we started any benchmark. The 4.8GHz overclock we achieved was able to push our Cinebench score up to 1,039, which is about 5 percentage above the broth score of 992. But we actually got a slightly higher score of 1,049 when we initially tested the overclocking abilities of the previous-generation Core i6-6700K, which we were able to get stable at 4.85GHz .
Given more time to play around with the settings, it ‘s possible we could have hit even higher stable clock speeds. And of course, overclockability frequently varies between individual chips, so your mileage may vary. But at least with our particular chip, there does n’t appear to be well more overclocking headroom than on its previous-generation Skylake counterpart. And remember, if you do n’t pay close care to your temperatures, you can damage your processor, therefore be sure you know what you ‘re doing before aiming for high clock-speed and electric potential settings .
You ‘ll notice some changes to the comparison CPUs below in our graphics tests, versus the ones in our preceding CPU Performance department ; we ‘ve removed the AMD Athlon X4 845 ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ), as it does n’t have integrated graphics. ( You ‘ll have to use a dedicate graphics calling card with that chip. ) And in the interest of focusing more closely on comparisons with the previous-generation Core i7 chip and AMD ‘s higher-end APU offerings ( which hand over competitive integrated graphics operation at a lower price ), we ‘ve besides nixed the Core i3-6100 and Core i5-6600K here. For details about how those two chips perform when it comes to gaming, you can check their respective reviews. We besides dropped in the AMD A10-7860K ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ) hera, a more budget-friendly chip that delivers like graphics performance to the higher-priced A10-7890K at a more low-cost price of about $ 110 .
We started out our graphics testing of the Core i7-6700K ‘s HD 530 graphics with the 2013 version of Futuremark ‘s 3DMark, starting out with the midrange Cloud Gate test, then moving up to the high-end Fire Strike screen, both of which are designed to measure a system ‘s overall graphics capabilities .
once again, the Core i7-7700K delivered a small boost over the i7-6700K, vitamin a much as 15 to 16 percentage on the more demand Fire Strike trial. But on that test, the much more low-cost AMD A10 chips held a significant lead. Let ‘s see how that holds up when it comes to actual plot frame rates .
Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs
Next we ran a couple of graphically demanding ( though not up-to-date ) steam games, 2013 ‘s Tomb Raider, and 2012 ‘s Sleeping Dogs, to see what kind of real-world performance the i7-7700K ‘s HD 630 graphics could deliver .
The Core i7-7700K edged over the 30 frames per second ( federal protective service ) threshold of playability at 1080p here, and even managed to come in a human body faster than the AMD A10-7890K, a strong reversion from Fire Strike. But moving to the Ultra put, where graphics hardware matters much more than CPU art, things shift in AMD ‘s favor .
The AMD A10 chips managed to pull an overturn here, but actually all but the A10-7890K are on the cusp of playability even at the lower resolution. Stepping up to 1080p, none of these chips delivers playable inning rates at high settings .
once again in Sleeping Dogs, the Core i7-7700K edged out its previous-generation counterpart by 4fps to 7fps, and delivered a little more jiggle room at 1080p. The AMD A10-7890K is the clear leader here if all you care about is gaming, however. It besides costs about $ 200 less than the Core i7-7700K. But then, no one should realistically be buying this i7 chip primarily for its gambling abilities. In short, if paired with fast RAM, the HD 630 graphics on the Core i7-7700K should deliver playable performance at around 720p with many titles at mid-to-high settings, or mid-to-low settings at 1080p .
But if you are spending this much on a CPU and you care at all about bet on, you should probably invest in a dedicate graphics wag. tied a modest consecrated circuit board like the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti ( $ 283.88 at Amazon ) will deliver approximately three times the graphics performance as Intel ‘s integrated choice, for well under $ 200. And if you do n’t care much about highly fast processor performance, AMD ‘s A10 chips will deliver alike or slightly better bet on performance for less than half the price of the Core i7-7700K .
We knew going into this bit review that performance gains would be fairly minimal compared with comparable previous-generation parts. That was indicated by the results that we ‘d already seen from mobile seventh-generation CPUs, and the fact that, aside from the addition of some new media-centric circuitry to better support streaming 4K and HDR content, the Kaby Lake architecture is basically the same as the Skylake silicon that came before it. Intel was just able to turn up the clock speeds a bite .
party reps told us that would result in CPU-specific performance gains in the first gear duplicate digits, and that ‘s reasonably much what we saw—a general startle of 10 to 15 percentage. We had hoped that stock clock rise would be accompanied by some more overclocking headroom, but in our chip at least, we did n’t see that .
similarly, the Z270 chipset that arrives with the seventh-generation Core road show brings some welcome additions, including some more PCIe lanes for plugging more bandwidth-hungry devices into the grapevine. In a earth that ‘s increasingly entire of such devices, that ‘s decidedly welcome .
still, it ‘s pretty fair to say the chipset in general and the Core i7-7700K specifically are about as minimal an upgrade as we ‘ve seen from one chip generation to the next—at least from Intel. The company ‘s underdog equal AMD has spent the past couple of years making similarly minimal performance gains, and by and large falling further and further behind Intel when it comes to high-end processors .
But that seems about to change, as AMD continues to release more promising details about its at hand Zen architecture. The latest demonstration from AMD, vitamin a well as holocene leak benchmarks, seem to show its top-end “ Ryzen ” processor going toe to toe not with a central processing unit of the Core i7-7700K ‘s course, but with the much higher-end eight-core, $ 1,000 Core i7-6900K .
We do n’t know anything about pricing for that check even, or what lesser chips will land below it and when. And we know even less about how AMD ‘s raw chipset ( mho ) will stack up against Intel ‘s in terms of modern features. But as fine a performer as the Core i7-7700K is, unless you in truth need to build a modern performance-focused arrangement today, or you want a mighty drop-in upgrade for a Skylake-based system that you ‘ve already invested in, the smart move at this luff would probably be to wait a few months ( or possibly less ) to see what AMD launches with its first base line of Zen parts. The company seems primed to compete with Intel at a flat it has n’t in the stopping point five years or more. And a effective as it is in a big-picture common sense, the Core i7-7700K does n’t well move the goalposts in terms of performance or price from what we first gear saw with the Core i7-6700K back in the summer of 2015 .
Intel Core i7-7700K
MSRP $ 350.00
The Bottom Line
Intel ‘s “ Kaby Lake ” Core i7 flagship is quick, with hardware back for 4K stream and HDR for services like Netflix, but performance gains over its previous-generation counterpart are reasonably minimal .
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