Intel Core i5-7600K: Power Consumption And Temperatures
Being a “K” model, the Core i5-7600K naturally has an unlocked multiplier and a higher base clock rate than the non-K model, just like the Core i7-7700K. This makes overclocking much more accessible.
The stock base frequency is 3.8 GHz. Still, our Core i5-7600K manages to run all four of its cores at a Turbo Boost rate of 4.2 GHz under heavy load.
Core Voltage (Vcore)
It’s plain to see that the voltage decreases as the loads increase. This is necessary so that the Intel Core i5-7600K’s maximum leakage currents aren’t exceeded. And as before, the more taxing the load, the less the curve fluctuates.
Normal Load: Gaming
Using the same Watch Dogs 2 gaming load, we measure an average of 54 to 56W for the entire CPU. That's well below Intel’s 90W TDP for this processor. It’s also a generally good result. The IA cores on their own account for 45W, with the rest being consumed by other parts of the CPU.
Once again, the CPU’s power consumption increases along with its temperature. This results in additional leakage currents of up to 2.2W.
The rate of temperature increase over time depends on the position of the sensor. Our measurements stabilize after more than 25 minutes.
Heavy Load: Stress Test (Floating Point Unit)
AIDA64's stability test yields a power consumption reading of 64W. Temperature and leakage current increases are similar to what we saw during the gaming workload.
The Tcore increases noticeably up to 61°C. Other than that, the picture still looks a lot like what we saw while gaming. Again, simple air coolers shouldn't have a problem dealing with this amount of waste heat.
Maximum Load: Intel Power Thermal Utility (100%)
Power consumption increases substantially when the Core i5-7600K is pushed to its limit by Intel’s Power Thermal Utility. The 104W we measured far exceeds this CPU's TDP. Still, though, the increase in leakage current doesn’t affect power by more than 2W comparing the cold and warmed-up operating states.
The temperature results show us that the on-die diode stays a bit cooler than the other parts, whereas the package sensor displays the highest temperatures. Readings between 88°C and 89°C are right on the edge of what can still be considered acceptable.
Intel Core i5-7600K vs. Intel Core i5-6600K @ 4.2 GHz
We had two Skylake-based CPUs compete in the performance benchmarks after overclocking them to match Kaby Lake. The intention was to let us compare their IPC throughput. But power consumption is another good indicator of changes between processor generations. And there are substantial changes to observe, so long as you have a decent CPU sample!
A direct comparison across four scenes with different loads shows that the new CPU generation’s power consumption is significantly lower at the same performance level compared to the previous generation. This difference gets larger under more intensive workloads.
This is likely due to Intel’s improved manufacturing process, which allows the new chips to operate at much lower voltages. Results from our sensors would seem to validate this theory. Then again, there’s a question mark as well. The comparison between Intel's Core i7-7700K and Core i7-6700K at the same frequency showed the latter exhibiting lower overall power consumption in spite of its higher Vcore.
We said it before, and we feel the need to reiterate: there’s a lot of variability in CPU quality, which can impact these results specifically. We only had one CPU sample each, so this comparison’s really more of a case study. We'll go into more depth on this shortly.
Compared to the Core i7-7700K we tested previously, it looks like we ended up with a better Core i5-7600K. Again, this chip appears to have some thermal and performance reserves available to overclockers, so long as you aren't subjecting the chip to worst-case workloads.