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Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K, i7-7700, i5-7600K, i5-7600 Review

Test Setup

Processors

Core i7-7700KCore i7-7700Core i7-7600KCore 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 MethodContact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Test Equipment2 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 CoolingAIO: Enermax Liqtech 240Fans: 2x be quiet! Silent Wings II
  • Based on our initial testing, we can confirm that HD Graphics 630 does not function correctly under Windows 7 and 8.1. Both operating systems install generic drivers for the display adapter, even after applying the latest drivers and updates, so many core features remain unavailable. We also experienced stability issues with Windows 7 that might even negate using an add-in GPU as a workaround.

    Not true, i setup Kaby Lake in my lab and everything works fine under Windows 7. Did you guys even try to apply drivers for HD Graphic 630?
    Reply
  • adgjlsfhk
    It would have been kind of nice to see igpu vs gtx 750 and other low end discrete graphics cards, but other than that, great review.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Boooooooooooooooooring.

    Bring on the new AMD cpu's!!!

    Oh, nice review the boring is not Toms fault ;)
    Reply
  • Jim90
    "Intel’s slow cadence of incremental upgrades hasn’t done much to distance its products from AMD's.
    "...Obviously we need a competitive AMD to help reinvigorate the desktop PC space."

    Without real competition the only risk Intel takes with the Desktop market is to loose sight of (i.e. actively ignore) the performance jump the consumer expects in a new release. Continual and lengthy minor incremental updates (pretty much what we've seen since the 2000 series) may well lead to consumer apathy. I certainly haven't upgraded 'as much as I could!' recently. Absolutely no justifiable need.

    Then again, perhaps we've all had access to enough power we need? We used to talk about 'killer apps/software' to drive consumers into making a purchase. This certainly did work. Maybe new tech (currently available) isn't killer enough? We need another '3dfx Voodoo' experience?
    VR is certainly (definite?) a potential driver...here's hoping for speedy and significant updates here.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    19098433 said:
    Based on our initial testing, we can confirm that HD Graphics 630 does not function correctly under Windows 7 and 8.1. Both operating systems install generic drivers for the display adapter, even after applying the latest drivers and updates, so many core features remain unavailable. We also experienced stability issues with Windows 7 that might even negate using an add-in GPU as a workaround.

    Not true, i setup Kaby Lake in my lab and everything works fine under Windows 7. Did you guys even try to apply drivers for HD Graphic 630?

    Hello, yes we did test and attempt to install the HD Graphics 630 drivers. We are working with early BIOS revisions, so it is possible that we encountered a platform-specific issue. Can you share which motherboard you used for your testing? Any feedback is welcome.

    Reply
  • ohim
    Why are they even releasing this ? It makes absolutely no sense to release such a product ...
    Reply
  • redgarl
    I am concerned about Quality Assurance issue more than small performance increment.
    Reply
  • redgarl
    19098782 said:
    Why are they even releasing this ? It makes absolutely no sense to release such a product ...

    Probably to make a statement of some kind.
    Reply
  • FormatC
    19098433 said:
    Not true, i setup Kaby Lake in my lab and everything works fine under Windows 7. Did you guys even try to apply drivers for HD Graphic 630?
    You really have drivers for the Z270 chipset with official support of Windows 7 from intel and Microsoft? I tried it also and was not able to run KL with all features on a W7 installation. It runs, somehow. :)
    Reply
  • valeman2012
    Just notice that people that are using these CPU you need Windows 10 to have everything working 100%.
    Reply