We review one of intel’s newest additions and a clear flagship piece of technology with Kaby Lake. The intel® core™ i7-7700K is the 7th Generation of Intel® Core™ i7 Processors. The i7-7700K CPU includes 4 logical cores at a speed of 4.2GHz base frequency which is a minor architecture and clock frequency tweak from the i7-6700K. We tested this CPU on a test bench with 16GB Corsair 3000MHz DDR4 Memory and ran a few benchmarks to monitor the performance while executing various tasks.
The upgrade for Kaby Lake is more of an incremental upgrade between full Intel generations. It has however taken 18 months to get to this point from Skylake’s release but credit where credit is due there are some improvements overall!
Intel Core i7-7700K SPECIFICATIONS
- Base Frequency: 4.2GHz
- Max Turbo Frequency: 4.5GHz
- Number of Cores: 4
- Number of Threads: 8
- Cache: 8MB SmartCache
- Max Memory: 64GB
- TDP: 91Watt
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
- Intel® Core™ i7-7700K CPU
PERFORMANCE & SOFTWARE
We ran the CPU on our test bench as a standard non-technical user may. Meaning we did not apply any overclocking to our testing just to see how it would perform based on base and turbo clock speeds.
Overclocking is something all keen-enthusiasts look to do, we are no different. It is possible to overclock the i7-7700K to 5GHz easily with only a minor tweak of default voltage. If you’re brave and have a good CPU cooler you could potentially get much higher than this although we weren’t that daring! If you do run your i7 at a higher clock rate then feel free to share your clock speed below. Don’t forget that Intel Turbo Boost and Intel Hyper threading technology are supported and will increase the performance.
Intel have really pushed the boat out with the integrated Intel HD 630 Graphics and these improvements may not be great for enthusiasts but it is nice to see some good improvements elsewhere for the likes of 4K decoding (Netflix). If you really did want to run this on a chipset we would recommend you buy a cheaper CPU and get a better graphics card where it really matters. If you’re set on using the integrated graphics you will notice that CPU usage is much lower thanks to the improvements made and intel suggests that laptops will get up to 9.5 hours of battery life while decoding 4K.
We would professionally recommend the i5-7600K or similar as an alternative if you require a GPU for your build and the CPU would take up most of your budget.
PRICE & VALUE
Firstly, we would like to mention that this CPU does cost in the range of £327.00 which has dropped with the release of AMD Ryzen. This is a large commitment on price. However, there are a few benefits because base and turbo clock has been significantly improved. Most of the improvements with this chip over its predecessor are in the average effective speed.
Prior to the price drop we would’ve been more inclined to recommend the predecessor Intel Core i7-6700K. Naturally with prices, they’re more likely to drop than rise over the next few months after release and you may be better to watch those prices closely to purchase at the best time.
The real question with the i7-7700K is; whether this is a viable option to future-proof your build and how long will it be future-proof for? Reviewing the changes from the i7-6700K they are minor however, if I were to chose between the two the new price drop would change my decision for the extra capabilities with this new generation CPU. The improvements with integrated graphics affect laptops more than a desktop computer but some great additions were added. League of Legends, DOTA and Overwatch should play absolutely fine. Less intensive games will manage but more demanding games like Battlefield 1 will require a dedicated GPU for best performance.
For gaming it is marginally the fastest Intel CPU overall and will benefit those with moderate to heavy usage best. You may be inclined to look at AMD’s Ryzen offering but benchmarks between the two can be seen that the i7-7700K is a good contender and can excel in different areas.