Best Intel Core i7 7700K Black Friday Deals 2020
Depending about how you wish to count generations, Kaby Lake may be the eighth Intel Core CPU (Bloomfield/Nehalem, Westmere/Clarkdale, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake, Kaby Lake), nonetheless it bears the 7th Generation nomenclature. Intel has often played it just a little loose with regards to processor model names, for instance naming the ‘Enthusiast’ platform CPUs as architecture generation + 1 (e.g. Haswell is 4th Gen, but Haswell-E has 5000 series model numbers), and somehow Core Duo and Core 2 Duo aren’t section of the Core genealogy. Regardless, Kaby Lake is 7th Generation Core, so let’s continue.
I’m looking at Intel’s new king of the hill, the Core i7-7700K. This can be a ‘optimization’ phase of Intel’s new Process-Architecture-Optimization paradigm, and what’s being optimized involves two major items and a small number of smaller tweaks. The first major change can be an improved 14nm process (dubbed 14nm+) which should improve clock speeds and power characteristics because of changes in the fin height and straining of the silicon, and the next change involves updates to the video/multimedia block to aid hardware decoding and encoding of 4K H.265 (which include HEVC, VP9, and other formats).
Read more: Intel Core i9-9900K may be the new champion of the buyer CPU world
Kaby Lake details
If you are looking for the larger picture with Kaby Lake and the 7th Gen Core processors, have a look at our main Kaby Lake hub.
The most immediately obvious consequence of the optimizations is that the i7-7700K is clocked greater than the prior generation i7-6700K, and it’ll overclock higher. Beyond that, if you are using the integrated HD Graphics 630, you can obtain lower CPU utilization for several 4K video decoding, and within an exclusive linked with Microsoft’s Edge browser, you can stream 4K Netflix content. I’ve also viewed gaming performance on Kaby Lake’s HD 630 integrated graphics. TL;DR: it isn’t high enough that I’d recommend serious gamers forgo investing in a discrete graphics card.
Along with higher clock speeds, the i7-7700K may also work in existing 100-series chipset motherboards, or it could go in to the new 200-series boards. This will mostly be considered a non-issue, but Z270 does include support for 24 PCIe Gen3 lanes (in comparison to 20 on Z170), looked after brings support for Optane Memory-a technology that may use some sort of SSD caching to boost performance, though it isn’t yet available.
Roughly 1 / 3 of the CPU die is specialized in graphics and multimedia functions.
The combo of improved clock speeds and minor architecture tweaks imply that, in practice, the true gains from Kaby Lake will be minor at best. 4.5GHz turbo in comparison to 4.2GHz turbo on the i7-6700K and 4.2 base vs. 4.0 base supply the expected performance differential of five to seven percent. Overclock both processors and you are looking at 4.7GHz against 5.0GHz (give or take). Pardon me while I stifle a yawn.
But what about those cool new media functions-surely they need to be best for something? They are, but only when you utilize the integrated graphics (meaning, you have a display installed to the motherboard video outputs)-something anyone doing offers is unlikely related to the i7-7700K. Most persons buying an i7-7700K will bypass the HD 630 and video decoding blocks, and it’s really worth pointing out that Nvidia and AMD GPUs also support a number of video codecs.
Core i7-7700K performance
I’ve already discussed most of these areas of Kaby Lake, but never rendered your final verdict. This can be a shorter executive summary of the i7-7700K, concentrating on a single product instead of the complete Kaby Lake lineup. CPU and gaming performance with a dedicated graphics card is equivalent to before, but here I’m highlighting just the i7-7700K in the charts, with both overclocked and stock clocked performance. I’ll reach those in an instant, but let’s focus on a brief discussion of the video/graphics/multimedia performance.
First, 4K streaming if you are using the HD Graphics 630 works really well-and CPU utilization is quite low with Netflix 4K for example. Intel claims that laptops with Kaby Lake are certain to get up to 9.5 hours of battery life while decoding 4K video, which is an outstanding result. Does that matter to desktop users? Most likely not, since they will be plugged in & most likely owning a dedicated graphics card. The 4K Netflix support also features DRM, enjoy it or not-we should place wagers how long it’ll be before someone cracks this DRM. Of particular note, the DRM means 4K Netflix streaming can only just work via the integrated video ports.
Gaming performance on the HD Graphics 630.
For graphics performance, I gave the HD 630 every possible advantage by running DDR4-3200 memory. The effect is weak in comparison to even the cheapest tier of modern GPUs (GTX 1050 and RX 460), with HD 630 failing woefully to break 30 fps average at 1280×720/1280×768 in almost all of the games I tested. All isn’t lost, however, as the games I test are very demanding. If you are only enthusiastic about lighter fare like Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, and Overwatch, HD 630 is enough. But also for more demanding games, you’ll either desire a graphics card or you will have to look at mods which will further reduce graphics fidelity to the main point where you can aquire playable results. And if gaming on a budget is your intent, you’d never give Core i7 parts another thought.
Number crunching with i7-7700K
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Looking at CPU performance, I’m including stock performance from each of the other processors, if you can view the overclocked performance in the key Kaby Lake hub. Single-threaded performance is a clear highlight of Kaby Lake, with the stock and overclocked 7700K claiming both top spots in Cinebench’s single-threaded test. Also worth note is that in lots of of the heavily threaded benchmarks the overclocked 7700K is roughly add up to the many 6-core Haswell-E and Broadwell-E CPUs.
In the entire ranking, the 7700K OC beats all three of the 6-core chips we tested. Obviously, overclocking the 6-core chips changes the story, but only by substantially increasing power use. Even though overclocked, the i7-7700K uses less power (165W under load) compared to the various Haswell-E/Broadwell-E processors (165-200W), thanks partly to a far more power efficient platform.
This is not too shocking since we’re comparing 4.2-4.5GHz 4-core against 3.4-3.8GHz 6-core parts, with the 4-core part sporting a better 6-wide superscalar architecture and other tweaks. Clock speeds take into account about twenty five percent of the difference, and the architecture (and limited scaling going from 4-core to 6-core) often accocunts for all of those other core count deficit. It’ll be interesting to see what Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X bring to the table later this season, if they get the architectural and platform enhancements.
Overall, the i7-7700K is a modest improvement over the i7-6700K, beating Skylake by a margin that equals the difference in clock speed-six percent, give or take. Which is the foremost case scenario where I’m testing applications designed especially to show small distinctions in CPU performance. Generally use, few persons would ever spot the difference between a Skylake and Kaby Lake processor.
Gaming on the i7-7700K
If the difference in raw CPU performance isn’t particularly noteworthy, the gaming potential of the i7-7700K is even less so. It isn’t that CPU performance doesn’t matter for games, but it’s a much less essential requirement than graphics performance. Despite having a GTX 1080, almost all of the most effective CPUs are within a few percent of every other. (Testing for all CPUs was finished with Nvidia’s 376.33 drivers.)
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Note: Doom includes a 200 fps cap.
Overall, the i7-7700K is significantly less than one percent faster compared to the i7-6700K. Overclocking boosts average gaming performance by another 1.6 percent over stock, but anything significantly less than five percent is practically meaningless. Moreover, from the i5-6600K through the i7-7700K is effectively tied for gaming potential using among the speediest graphics cards available.
There are slightly more noticeable individual dissimilarities in games, of course. Ashes of the Singularity, Civilization VI, and Hitman all show greater than a ten percent improvement in performance going from a 6600K to a 7700K. But with fourteen demanding games tested, over fifty percent show significantly less than a one percent change in performance. It’s why we routinely indicate the Core i5 unlocked CPUs as the very best overall gaming processors-they’re 97 percent of the performance of the Core i7 offerings, at two thirds the price.
Core i7-7700K: Who’s it for?
So who can purchase the i7-7700K? For gaming, it’s Intel’s most effective processor overall, particularly if overclocked, however the margin of victory is pretty slim. Nearly all gamers, particularly those thinking about owning a single GPU (which is what we recommend, given the amount of recent titles that don’t support multi-GPU), will see everything they want in the 7700K-probably a lot more than they want. For gaming, most users are better off saving their pennies and picking right up an i5-7600K or similar, assuming they even desire a new CPU to begin with.
If you curently have a Skylake system, or perhaps a Haswell system, just forget about Kaby Lake-the performance improvements aren’t enough to be meaningful. But if you are looking to create a new Intel system, according to your geographical area, the i7-7700K with a Z270 motherboard won’t really cost a lot more than an i7-6700K with a Z170 motherboard. But that still raises the question of whether you should even be looking at Core i7.
For gaming, most users are better off saving their pennies and picking right up an i5-7600K or similar, assuming they even desire a new CPU to begin with.
What it boils down to is how you intend on making use of your system. I understand tons of folks who play games on a CPU that’s a lot more than 3 years old. With an excellent graphics card upgrade, most CPUs from the i5-2500K onward remain sufficient, unless you’re near the top of the graphics stack. Where Core i7 distances itself from Core i5 is if you are doing more technical streaming, or other number crunching beyond games.
The i7-7700K eventually ends up outperforming the i5-7600K by 35 percent normally inside our CPU tests. Single-threaded performance isn’t considerably faster, however in video encoding tasks specifically Core i7 could be a significant upgrade. It can be a major help when streaming games, especially if you’re doing encoding of multiple video streams. If that describes how you utilize your PC, the excess virtual cores from Hyper-Threading coupled with higher clock speeds make the Core i7 an excellent option.
There’s still the red team to consider before taking the plunge. The old AM3+ FX-8370 gets annihilated by the i7-7700K, and the A10-7890K is not even half the performance (but also not even half the purchase price). I wouldn’t turn to either of these, however, as AMD’s Ryzen is right nearby. AMD has repeatedly explained they’ll launch in Q1, this means by the finish of March, and current indications are that it’ll be early March and even late February. If you are thinking about creating a new system, you now should at least wait and see what Ryzen provides. At worst, you wait a supplementary month; at best, you can find more performance for less overall.
Further out, Intel’s Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X are coming later this season (rumor: August). That is clearly a ways off, but if you are eyeing the X99 platform, those is definitely the new ‘enthusiast’ Intel chips and really should bring 10-20 percent more performance than their Broadwell-E counterparts. Additionally, there are rumors of a 6-core Coffee Lake chip arriving at the Z270 platform in in regards to a year, but we’ll need to see if that truly pans out. I suspect we may see that part even sooner if AMD’s Ryzen starts making waves.
The Core i7-7700K eventually ends up up to now another incremental improvement in CPU performance between generations. It feels nearly the same as the Devil’s Canyon refresh of Haswell, with higher clocks and a fresh platform refining the sooner experience. I love that Z270 motherboards with two and three M.2 slots are relatively common, and the brand new features aren’t bad, but it’s difficult to pin down accurately who’ll want to upgrade to Kaby Lake. If Skylake didn’t float your boat in mid-2015, the 18 month await Kaby Lake must feel a lot more underwhelming. Here’s hoping something happens in the year ahead to shake up the CPU market in meaningful ways.