|Core i7-7700K||Core i7-7700||Core i7-7600K||Core i7-7600|
Motherboard & Memory
We used MSI's Gaming M7 motherboard as our test platform for the seventh-gen Kaby Lake and sixth-gen Skylake processors. We used MSI's Z97 Gaming 7 motherboard for the Haswell-refresh CPU, and the MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ for our AMD comparison.
The MSI Gaming M7 offers a range of features that provide simplistic auto-overclocking for beginners, and a dual-function firmware that offers an easy interface with limited options or an advanced layout with a plethora of overclocking knobs. MSI added ASMedia Lightning USB 3.1 and an additional M.2 connection (for a total of three) to its latest Gaming M7.
We used two 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4-3400 modules for the Z270 platforms and 8GB of Crucial DDR3L-1866 for the MSI Z97 Gaming 7 platform.
A beefy Enermax Liqtech 240 AiO cooler fitted with two be quiet! Silent Wings II fans assured that we were within a safe thermal envelope during the overclocking and test sequences. This solution can dissipate up to 300W of heat, which is more than enough for most overclocked configurations. However, we introduced the water cooler to Intel's Power Thermal Utility (PTU), which can push any processor to its limit, even at stock clocks.
Overclocking And Stability
Overclocking is a quest to find the right balance between an aggressive clock rate and a reasonable amount of voltage that won't reduce the processor's longevity. We strive to find acceptable settings that most users could use without de-lidding their CPUs and conducting 7 GHz suicide runs at 2.5V.
We test stability with the AIDA64 FPU, CPU, and cache stress test for several hours, and then subject the processor to Prime95 workloads for several hours to assure the overclock is stable and reliable enough for extended usage.
|Power Consumption Test Setup|
|Test Method||Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording|
|Test Equipment||2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500 MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100 kHz, DC) 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz) 1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function 1 x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect|
|Water Cooling||AIO: Enermax Liqtech 240Fans: 2x be quiet! Silent Wings II|