Asus creates motherboard specifically for overclocking Chinese CPUs — boosts homegrown KX-7000 clocks by 25%

Zhaoxin's KX-7000 CPU.
(Image credit: Zhaoxin)

China's Zhaoxin KX-7000 CPU was tested in several benchmarks against similarly performing Intel and AMD CPUs. @9550pro on X was the first to find the information in a now-deleted video posted to bilibili. The benchmarks revealed that the KX-7000 is 2x to 3x faster than its predecessor, but is only capable of competing with Kaby Lake quad-core CPUs. The chip was tested by Asus' Tony Yu on a new Asus motherboard made specifically for the KX-7000.

Testing was conducted in several benchmarks including Geekbench 6 and CPU-Z 2.08, comparing the KX-7000 to the Core i5-7500, Core i7-7700K, and Ryzen 7 1700X. At stock clocks, the KX 7000 achieved 351 points in the CPU-Z single-core score and 2,654 points in the multi-core score. In CPU-Z the KX-7000 was 20% slower than the Core i5-7500 but 43% quicker in the mutli-core test. 

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CPU-Z 2.02 Benchmark
Core i5-75004241,523
Core i7-7700K4922,648
Ryzen 7 1700X3854,271
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Geekbench 6
Core i5-75001,4464,135

Against the Core i7-7700K, the KX-7000 showed virtually identical multi-core performance, but the i7 counterpart was 29% quicker in the single-core test. The only CPU that managed to outperform the KX-7000 in both tests emphatically was the Ryzen 7 1700X, which was 17% quicker in the single-core benchmark and nearly 2x faster in the multi-core test. Tony Yu only tested the KX-7000 against the Core i5-7500 in other benchmarks, but similar to the CPU-Z benchmark the KX-7000 showed similar performance to the Kaby Lake part.

Overclocked from 3.2 GHz base to 3.6 GHz OCed, the KX-7000 gained an impressive 21% additional multi-core performance and 10% more single-core performance. It wasn't enough for the KX-7000 to overthrow the Core i5, i7, or Ryzen 7 parts, but it did bring its single-core performance close to the i5-7500 while still vastly outperforming it in multi-core performance.

Despite the overclocking focus, Asus' KX-7000 compatible motherboard is anything but fancy. The board shares many similarities with entry-level H610/B660 motherboards on the market, including what looks like a middling power delivery system and no VRM heatsinks whatsoever. Overclocking is rated at up to 5 GHz but only for extreme cases such as LN2 overclocking, regular overclocking is rated at up to 4 GHz.

The KX-7000 compatible Asus board comes with a 6+2 phase VRM power delivery system, two DIMM slots, a single M.2 slot, two SATA 3 ports, two PCIe x16 Gen 4 slots, and a single x1 Gen 4 slot. All I/O capabilities are handled by the CPU itself, resulting in a lack of a motherboard chipset altogether.

Despite its power delivery system not being anything special, it is more than enough to power the KX-7000. Power consumption was rated at just 85W stock in multi-threaded tests, which is not much power at all. Overclocked power consumption was not tested, but it appears to be low enough for the 6+2 phase power delivery system to handle it.

The KX-7000 might not be the fastest CPU in the world, but it is one of the best CPUs China is capable of producing at this time. The Chinese processor features Zhaoxin's latest "Century Avenue" CPU architecture which has an improved front-end, out-of-order execution capabilities, and superior cache and memory optimizations compared to its predecessors.

Despite its slowness, reaching Skylake/Kaby Lake levels of performance is a huge win for China and Zhaoxin. Previously Zhaoxin was fighting just to achieve Skylake levels of performance; now they have technically exceeded that target reaching Kaby Lake CPU performance with the KX-7000. If Zhaoxin can keep up this 2x performance multiplier it could potentially compete with Intel and AMD more modern CPUs sooner than later.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • artk2219
    That's a huge improvement over the 6000 series, depending on if they can be found for a reasonable price, it'd be nice to get one to play around with in the future.
  • ThomasKinsley
    Is it fast? Not really. Is it viable? Oh yeah. This chip can run modern programs with no problem. The only struggle will be with video and photo editing, but this can be overcome with cloud services. This could be a defining moment for China's tech sector.
  • Notton
    TH should try and get their hands on one of these.
    25% overclock sounds like a fun project.