The New Champion

Given that Intel has no competition, it is perhaps easy to roll out a new mainstream performance champion – all they have to do is have more stringent binning techniques (like perhaps AMD with the FX-9000 series) and a few processors with a higher frequency could pop-out. The danger here is that Intel always sells a lot of its top performer – millions. If you have to dump 100 processors to find one that fits the mold of the top SKU, you either have to charge lots for it or reduce the rules.  The only way to get that mix of yield and viability is by improving how the CPU is made. This is what the ‘optimization’ in Kaby Lake is for.

The Core i7-7700K sits at the top of the stack, and performs like it. A number of enthusiasts complained when they launched the Skylake Core i7-6700K with a 4.0/4.2 GHz rating, as this was below the 4.0/4.4 GHz rating of the older Core i7-4790K. At this level, 200-400 MHz has been roughly the difference of a generational IPC upgrade, so users ended up with similar performing chips and the difference was more in the overclocking. However, given the Core i7-7700K comes out of the box with a 4.2/4.5 GHz arrangement, and support for Speed Shift v2, it handily mops the floor with the Devil’s Canyon part, resigning it to history.

In most of our benchmarks, the results are clear: a stock Core i7-7700K beat our overclocked Core i7-4790K in practically every CPU-based test (Our GPU tests showed little change). When overclocked, the i7-7700K just pushed out a bigger lead for only a few more watts. Technically one could argue that because this part and the i7-6700K are equal in IPC, a similar overclock with the i7-6700K achieves the same performance. But the crucial matter here is how lucky a user is with the silicon lottery – based on our testing, the Core i7-7700K CPUs tend to overclock rather nicely (although +300 MHz isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things).

As with previous high-end mainstream (if that sounds like an oxymoron, it is) Core i7 parts, Intel has put a list price of $303 on 1k tray units, which means that at retail we should see it nearer $330 to $350. As far as we can tell, this won’t get a stock cooler, and anyway we’d recommend something else anyway given the recent performance of Intel stock coolers. We can hope that we won’t see the blatant price gouging we saw when the Skylake parts were launched, where it took several months to bring the prices down to MSRP due to stock allocations.

The Core i7-7700K should be available from January 5th in most major markets.
It’s the new mainstream performance king, if CPU performance is your thing.

As part of our Kaby Lake coverage, we have some other awesome reviews to check out.

Intel Launches 7th Generation Kaby Lake (Overview and Core Improvements)
The Intel Core i7-7700K Review: The New Out-of-the-box Performance Champion
The Intel Core i5-7600K Review: The More Amenable Mainstream Performer
The Intel Core i3-7350K Review: When a Core i3 Nearly Matches the Core i7-2600K

Upcoming (we’re at CES and didn’t have time to finish these yet):

Calculating Generational IPC Changes from Sandy Bridge to Kaby Lake
Intel Core i7-7700K, i5-7600K and i3-7350K Overclocking: Hitting 5.0 GHz on AIR
Intel Launches 200-Series Chipset Breakdown: Z270, H270, B250, Q250, C232
Intel Z270 Motherboard Preview: A Quick Look at 80+ Motherboards

Power and Overclocking


View All Comments

  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    This is exactly what I was thinking. Why didn't they add the eDRAM to this K-Series chip. Maybe we will see another higher clocked variant with Iris Pro.... I would buy that. Meanwhile, I'll keep using my I7-3700K CPU. Reply
  • Vash63 - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    It's mentioned in the article that Linux doesn't support Speedshift. That seems to be at odds with the p-state driver documentation on

    "If the processor is capable of selecting its next P-State internally, then the driver will offload this
    responsibility to the processor (aka HWP: Hardware P-States). If not, the driver implements algorithms to select the next P-State."

    Looks like they call it HWP instead of 'Speedshift', marketing names don't often make it into the kernel. This was added in Nov 2014:
  • oranos - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    so basically if you have a 6700k you good to go Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    Or anything as old as a 2500K apparently as long as you don't have a need for some of the features included on more modern motherboards. Honestly, the last six or so years have been pretty dull ones for x86 processors. Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    To American viewers, ( which i expect many would be on Anandtech ), and dont know who Jerermy Clarkson is, He is a former host of UK BBC's Car / Motoring Show "Top Gear", and current host of Amazon's The Grand Tour.

    And in case you dont know the show, you should watch it :P

    P.S - Why specifically American? Because Top gear is the world most watched TV shows ( Non-Drama ) and it is popular is everywhere in the world EXCEPT America.
  • stardude82 - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    ...Except it's been canceled. I hear you can watch some blowhard prattle on about rich boy toys on this little American website called Reply
  • stardude82 - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    Oh wait... The was a British version? Reply
  • Manch - Thursday, January 05, 2017 - link

    What are you on about? Top Gear was quite popular in the states among gearheads and their ilk. So popular, they made a US version which sucks. Reply
  • fanofanand - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    Manch is correct. Americans "in the know" about car stuff all know about and revere Top Gear. The American version was awful, and I haven't watched the Amazon version but heard the first episode was impressive, the others not so much. I like Jeremy Clarkson but the other two hosts made the show, IMO. Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, January 04, 2017 - link

    So the i7700K gets you 8% more clock speed for the same power usage. And you get roughly 10% more performance due to clock speed and slight IPC improvement. Reply

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