Intel Kaby Lake i5 7600K and i7 7700K CPU Review
Published: 3rd January 2017 | Source: Intel | Price: i5 - £239.99 - i7 - £349.99 |
Since the release of the 2nd Generation of Intel Core Processors they have been dominating the market with a combination of affordability and performance. Whether you have gone down the i5 route with models such as the 2500K or 6600K, or have been sticking to the Core i7 hyperthreading models such as the i7-2600K or i7-4790K, it is fair to say that you'll have been pleased with your purchase.
When the base product is so good it makes sense that Intel have decided to hone and refine their CPUs rather than attempt to reinvent the wheel. This not only has the benefit of consistent improvements but also is good for the end user because you can skip the generation after your own processor and motherboard, and buy the one after that to take advantage of the new technology without having to constantly break the bank.
This brings us to the 7th Generation of Intel CPUs, both of which are based around the 14nm Finfet process and come with the latest Z270 chipset. This consistent refinement and evolution has brought, as default, USB 3.1 support, M.2 NVMe support, and the latest iGPU solution, should you want to run without a dedicated GPU. This is in addition to the DDR4 support that was introduced in the Z170 generation and has been refined further with higher overclocking capability should you not wish to run at the 2133 MHz default speed.
Speaking of not working at default speeds, both the i5-7600K and i7-7700K are fully unlocked and use their low power draw and tiny 14nm process to unlock some staggering overclocking potential. 5 GHz was the holy grail on the previous generation with only the finest, silicon lottery winning, CPUs managing to achieve it (we never saw one go above 4.8). With the 7th Generation we're seeing 5 GHz as standard and on really good high end motherboards you can even pass that.
Regardless of whether you prefer the Core i5 or Core i7, there is no doubt that - once again - Intel have brought a product to market with barely believable levels of performance. Sure if you're running a 6th Generation CPU then there isn't enough to make it worth the upgrade for all but the most well-heeled, but if you're on anything older than that they are the treat that you owe yourself both for CPU grunt and motherboard features. Excellent performance, tons of features on the latest chipsets and blistering overclocking it will take something special to knock Intel from its perch.....