Intel Kaby Lake review round-up

Intel has unveiled its new 7th-gen Core i7, i5, and i3 processors “Kaby Lake” processors for desktops and laptops.

The desktop CPUs are headed up by the i7-7700K, which Intel said is 25% faster than the i7-4770K.

For laptop users, the top H Series processor is said to be 20% faster than the i7-4700HQ.

It was also reported that Intel is for the first time offering an unlocked Core i3 model, the Core i3 7350K – a dual-core 4.2GHz CPU.

However, while these are without a doubt the fastest consumer processors Intel have ever produced, there is still division as to whether they are worth the upgrade.

You can find the respective consensus detailed below.


The idea behind this review is to show percentage gains from increased clock speeds of the Core i7-7700K and its predecessor, the i7-6700K, on the GeForce GTX 1080 and the Radeon RX 480. The Core i7-7700K “Kaby Lake” is a very fast processor on its own. I’m sure it will be able to drive some of the most powerful 4K Ultra HD gaming rigs in the months to come. Compared to its immediate predecessor, however, it’s safe to conclude that it is a disappointment. The chip isn’t noticeable faster than the Core i7-6700K in any of our tests, which are focused on actual game performance – not complex CPU calculations.


So let’s sum it up. In laptops, the performance bump is very decent, with perhaps 20 percent or more going from just Broadwell to Kaby Lake.

Desktops aren’t constrained by thermals and battery life the way laptops are, so the performance difference between the generations is far less. The one really big difference between previous chips is the greatly improved video engine. To performance-oriented desktop users, though, integrated graphics—outside of NUC-style mini-PC’s—is unimportant.

The price, though equal to Skylake, is a little disappointing for those who expected it to be cheaper, but it’s not like you’re paying more for less performance. Instead, you’re paying the same price to get a little better performance. Kaby Lake is better and faster, but despite the greater overclocking potential, you can see why, for most DIYers, it’s a little bit of a yawn.

Ars Technica

As it stands, what we have with Kaby Lake desktop is effectively Sandy Bridge polished to within an inch of its life, a once-groundbreaking CPU architecture hacked, and tweaked, and mangled into ever-smaller manufacturing processes and power envelopes. Where the next major leap in desktop computing power comes from is still up for debate—but if Kaby Lake is any indication, it won’t be coming from Intel.


It’s really not worth upgrading to if you have a 6700K. As a matter of fact, if you have an i7 Haswell CPU (4th generation processor), it still probably isn’t worth the upgrade unless you want new features such as native NVMe, Thunderbolt 3, and DDR4 support. If you’re not in a rush to build a new PC, it might be a good idea to wait to see how AMD’s Ryzen CPU pans out. The 8-core processor looks quite promising from preliminary tests, and it’s supposedly right around the corner. But if you simply can’t wait to build a new PC and want a top-of-the-line CPU, the 7700K is what you should get. It’s faster than the 6700K, and costs about the same. It’s the best consumer quad-core chip that money can buy today.

Trusted Reviews

The Core i7-7700K achieves decent performance improvements over its predecessors, but without much to shout about. Its performance likely represents the whole Kaby Lake range – and decent performance increases at the same power-consumption levels shouldn’t be sniffed at.

However, without strong competition from AMD in this price bracket and power-consumption class, Kaby Lake is fighting a battle pretty much exclusively with its predecessors, which hardly makes for a riveting competition – or, indeed, motivation to push the performance envelope. The same goes for graphics capabilities, which continue to underwhelm.

The one area where Kaby Lake, and its unlocked “K” processors, could take a significant step forward is with overclocking. It’s looking very promising so far, but I’ll need more time with the processor to put it through its paces before coming to a final verdict.

Guru 3D

Kaby Lake in the offering of a Core i7 7700K again is a lovely processor, but so was the previous generation and herein is the conundrum to be found as that poses the problem, why should you upgrade? If you have not upgraded for multiple years then Kaby Lake COULD be an attractive alternative. The performance increases you see however are not based on improved architecture performance, it’s just higher turbos and a few small tweaks. Any Intel Core K model processor you have purchased in the past three years can quite easily be tweaked to the same performance levels. Make no mistake, the Core i7 7700K of course is an excellent quad-core processor that can reach high frequencies if you give it enough cooling. It’s just that it is more of the same, incredibly comparable to Skylake even.

Now Read: Intel launches new 7th-Gen Kaby Lake desktop processors

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Intel Kaby Lake review round-up

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