Intel Core I7-7700K Early Benchmarks & Overclocking Results Leak

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Ahead of the release of Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake series of desktop CPU’s, a series of new benchmarks and overclocking results have popped up for the I7-7700K flagship processor thanks to a Chinese person from FaceBook (I’ll omit his name for privacy reasons), the person in question works at Lenovo judging from his Profile.

Thanks to Kaby Lake being largely an evolved Skylake architecture (using an optimized 14nm+ node), Intel have managed to both squeeze higher clocks out of the chips, while keeping TDP at lower levels. Unfortunately, it does mean that the I7-7700K (and the other processors in the new family) don’t really gain anything from actual tweaks to the architecture itself, therefore IPC between Skylake and Kaby Lake will be virtually identical.

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To put it another way, if you have an I7-6700K and an I7-7700K running at identical clock speeds, the two CPU’s would be virtually indistinguishable from one another in performance. Intel have clocked the new chip at 4.2 GHz base clock, boosting up to an impressive 4.5 Ghz, and sports the all-to-familiar 4 cores (with Hyper Threading), 8MB L3 cache and a TDP of 91W.

So what about the I7-7700K benchmarks? Well, the tests relied on the established Z170 platform (Kaby Lake is backwards compatible with the 100-series Intel boards, providing you run a BIOS update). In this case the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon (a very solid board). a DeepCool Big Frost Tower Extreme cooler to keep the CPU within reasonable clocks, while GALAXY HOF DDR4 memory clocked at a blazing 4133 Mhz and a MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Duke edition were employed for the RAM and graphics respectively.

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For performance, the I7-7700K scored 377,544 points in the infamous Chinese benchmark, In Fritz Chess benchmark, the processor hit scoring 17,049 kilo nodes per second, and in one of the most popular current benchmarks, Cinebench R15, using CPU they managed to achieve 913 points.

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Using default RAM speeds of 2133 MHz in AIDA64, the I7-7700K hit 30188 MB/s Reads, 31137 MB/s Writes and 27000 MB/s Copy speeds. Finally, 3D Mark 11 hit 8,467 points (once again using the GTX 1070 as above).

What about Overclocking?

During default clock speeds, the 7700K maintained a temp of around 66 degrees – possibly encouraging the more eager overclockers to seek out better cooling. But there are a few noteworthy results to go through. The same user managed to squeeze 5Ghz out of the chip and the RAM was allowed to run at 4133 MHz.

CineBench R15 and the chips score shot from 913 points to 1089 – not too shabby. Meanwhile, Fritz Chess climbed to 19,881 – quite a boost from the barely 17K of default clocks. It’s (more) than possible the memory clocks are making quite the difference here. I’d have liked to have seen the default CPU clocks running at the higher memory speeds for a point of comparison.

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Other’s have gotten their hands on samples of the processor and found that the I7-7700K could overclock to 4.9 GHz with ‘just’ 1.29V. That’s the good news – the bad news is that it hit 100 degrees during Prime95, but supposedly was stable aside the alarming temps.

Though there’s only a tiny sample size so far – we can draw a few conclusions – firstly, silicone lottery and and luck are certainly going to be a large part of getting high clocks with good temps. The second is that to really crank the clocks past let’s say 5 Ghz, you’re going to need more than a weedy air cooler. Ideally a full water loop (or at least a decent AIO) would be ideal.

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Do remember that Kaby Lake is launching during January (CES 2017), so we don’t have long to wait. The two concerns I have (as both a reviewer and user) is Zen looks to offer very close single threaded performance, but with more cores / threads (and competitive pricing) and that Skylake users aren’t really going to be compelled to upgrade… unless you’re making the switch from say a I5-6600K to a I7-7700K.

By far the most impressive chip so far has been theĀ I3-7350K, which is an unlocked I3 processor. Raw clock speed makes up the deficit in cores here – and this little CPU Which Could can compete against older generation I7 CPUs.

As usual, take all of these results with pinches of salt until Intel officially launches the processor, but Kaby Lake itself probably doesn’t offer much to high end existing desktop users – aside from the 200 series platform. The increase of PCIe lanes (to 24 from 20) and Intel’s Optane technology might be sufficient to convince certain users to plunge into the upgrade.

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