As good as the Intel Core series is, it has been a while since I was looking forward to a new generation of the company's processors. The last time was in early 2011 when the Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K and i5-2500K landed. Both were considerably faster than the flagship Core i7 975 EE and the competition Phenom II X6 1100T, but at a fraction of the price. With remarkable performance improvements, a number of new functions and a significantly reduced consumption, Sandy Bridge was worth the excitement.
The Ivy Bridge replacement came a year later and although it wasn't as exciting as its predecessor, at that time we were prepared for it and estimated the ~ 10% increase in performance and efficiency. Tick-tock, do you remember?
Haswell came another year later, in June 2013, and although it was paired with new chipsets and motherboards, it seemed to be Intel's least exciting release lately. If the first launch wasn't lackluster enough, Intel pulled it off with a & # 39; Haswell refresh & # 39; out for another year. PC enthusiasts had hard times and we knew that AMD had nothing in the pipeline either.
By mid-2015, Intel had made it into the 14nm process with Broadwell, though you'll be forgiven for missing it. The availability was practically nonexistent and, as a result, prices were increased. Broadwell appeared to be more of an experiment with few Core i5 and Core i7 processors to speak of and no Core i3 or low-end models.
Skylake raised its head towards the end of 2015 and although there was a new platform with DDR4 memory, it was another small step in terms of performance and efficiency. So much so that Skylake was often slower compared to Haswell compared to clock-to-clock when tested with DDR4-2400 memory, although since then it has achieved a reasonable lead with an abundance of DDR4-3000 + memory at attractive prices Has .
Fast forward from about 16 months to date and we have the official launch of the 7th generation Intel desktop processor series. The architecture, code-named "Kaby Lake", is said to offer new levels of performance thanks to the company's latest 14nm process. Intel expected mobile versions of Kaby Lake to be up to 12% faster than previous Skylake models, and similar claims were made for the desktop models.
Before we start benchmarking, here is some more information on Kaby Lake, the associated chipsets, and some cool new motherboards.
Meet the Kabies
The new Kaby Lake desktop series (S series) from Intel offers a number of familiar faces. For example, the i7-7700K replaces the 6700K, while the 6600K is replaced by the 7600K. Here is a complete breakdown of the Core i3, i5 and i7-S series processors.
|model||Price||Cores / threads||Fundamental frequency||Increase frequency||L3 cache||TDP|
|Core i7-7700K||$ 305.00||4C / 8T||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||8 MB||91W|
|Core i7-7700||$ 272.00||4C / 8T||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||8 MB||65W|
|Core i5-7600K||$ 217.00||4C / 4T||3.8 GHz||4.2 GHz||6 MB||91W|
|Core i5-7600||$ 199.00||4C / 4T||3.5 GHz||4.1 GHz||6 MB||65W|
|Core i5-7500||$ 179.00||4C / 4T||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||6 MB||65W|
|Core i5-7400||$ 170.00||4C / 4T||3.0 GHz||3.5 GHz||6 MB||65W|
|Core i3-7350K||$ 157.00||2C / 4T||4.2 GHz||N / A||4 MB||60W|
|Core i3-7320||$ 139.00||2C / 4T||4.1 GHz||N / A||4 MB||51W|
|Core i3-7300||$ 129.00||2C / 4T||4.0 GHz||N / A||4 MB||51W|
|Core i3-7100||$ 109.00||2C / 4T||3.9 GHz||N / A||3 MB||51W|
Compared to their Skylake counterparts, the Kaby Lake models seem to be clocked at least 100 MHz higher, while some have a clock speed advantage of up to 300 MHz. For example, the Core i7-7700 runs 200 MHz higher than the 6700K with a 300 MHz higher maximum single-core turbo boost frequency.
The only other notable change is the upgrade to HD Graphics 630, although this appears to be a minor upgrade. Both models operate the integrated graphics engine with up to 1150 MHz.
The other processor we have on hand is the Core i5-7600K, which is clocked at 3.8 GHz, but can increase up to 4.2 GHz depending on the load. Of course, like the 7700K, the 7600K is an unlocked processor and can be overclocked in conjunction with a Z170 or Z270 motherboard to work at higher frequencies.
Compared to the 6600K, the 7600K runs 300 MHz faster, so that the frequency alone can achieve up to 8% better performance.
Same socket, new chipsets
Intel is sticking to the LGA 1151 connector for this generation, so Kaby Lake can be used on existing Intel 100 series motherboards provided the BIOS is up to date. In an effort to add a little spice and likely keep the board partners happy, Intel is also launching a new line of 200 series chipsets.
|Chipset PCI Express 3.0 lanes||Up to 24||Up to 20||Up to 12||Up to 24||Up to 14|
|SATA 3.0 ports (6 Gbit / s)||Up to 6||Up to 6||Up to 6||Up to 6||Up to 6|
|USB 3.0 ports||Up to 10||8th||6||8th||8th|
|Total USB ports (USB 2.0 + 3.0)||14||14||12||14||14|
|Intel RST for PCIe 3.0 memory ports||3rd||2nd||1||1||1|
|Processor PCI Express 3.0 lanes||1×16 or 2×8 or 1×8 + 2×4||1×16||1×16||1×16 or 2×8 or 1×8 + 2×4||1×16|
|Intel Management Engine 11.6||consumer||Consumers / companies||Consumers / companies||Corporate||Corporate|
Intel vPro technology
|Intel standard manageability||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Platform Trust Technology 3.0||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Intel device protection technology||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Stable Image Platform||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Independent display support||3rd||3rd||3rd||3rd||3rd|
|System memory support||DDR4 / 3L||DDR4 / 3L||DDR4 / 3L||DDR4 / 3L||DDR4 / 3L|
|System memory channels / SPC||2/2||2/2||2/2||2/2||2/2|
The desktop range includes the Z270, H270, B250, Q270 and Q250 chipsets. Enthusiasts will mainly be interested in the Z270, especially since it is the only one that supports overclocking of CPU and DDR4 memory.
The Q270 does not support overclocking, but does have a number of "enterprise" features such as Intel vPro technology, Intel Stable Image Platform, and Intel Standard Manageability. The other business-oriented chipset is the Q250, a stripped-down version of the Q270 that offers fewer PCIe lanes, USB 3.0 ports, and no Intel vPro.
The H270 chipset plays the same role as the last generation H170 and appeals primarily to those who don't buy an unlocked K processor and those who want to use a single graphics card, which most of us are nowadays.
If you choose a Core i3 processor, you should consider a B250 motherboard. Compared to the H270, with 12 less PCIe 3.0 lanes, you get only six USB 3.0 ports, an M.2 port and a single PCIe x16 slot. Frankly speaking, this configuration is sufficient for entry-level PCs.