January 3, 2017, Intel introduced desktop processors on the new architecture Kaby Lake. In our test lab entered flagship processor Intel Core i7-7700K, which has passed through a traditional set of tests. Of course, we compared the performance of the previous generation. However, conclusions about performance and new features can be drawn from our tests of a new generation of mobile the CPU . In addition, the specification of new desktop CPU “flowed” for a long time – even during the IDF in August 2016. Intel also sent samples of the new CPU to the press and bloggers, our forum users have been able to test them and to share the results. But what about the new processors?
We begin with a brief excursion into history: August 5, 2015, almost 17 months ago, the Intel introduced Skylake architecture with the top CPU i7-6700K the Core . So Skylake processors stayed with us a relatively long time. In 2016, there was a lull in the processor market. Is that Intel released the Core i7-6950X on Haswell-E architecture , which we tested. Therefore, a new generation of Intel desktop processors can hardly be expected before 2018.
As the new processors? Allow me to present a table of specifications.
Intel Kaby Lake Processors vs.
|Intel Core i7-7700K||Core i7-6700K||Core i7-5775C||Core i7-4790K|
|Process technology||14 nm||14 nm||14 nm||22 nm|
|Memory||2-channel DDR4 / DDR3LL||2-channel DDR4 / DDR3L||2-channel|
|Cores / Threads||4/8||4/8||4/8||4/8|
|L3 Cache||8 MB||8 MB||6 MB||8 MB|
|Graphics core||HD Graphics 620||HD Graphics 530||Iris Pro Graphics 6200||HD Graphics 4600|
|The GPU frequency||1.15 GHz||1.15 GHz||1.15 GHz||1.25 GHz|
|base frequency||4.2 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.3 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|Max. Turbo frequency (1 core)||4.5 GHz||4.2 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.4 GHz|
|Max. Turbo frequency (4 cores)||4.4 GHz||4.1 GHz||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|TDP||91 W||91 W||65W||88 W|
|PCIe lines||16x PCIe 3.0||16x PCIe 3.0||16x PCIe 3.0||16x PCIe 3.0|
|Price||about 400 euros||from 350 euros||from 401 euros||from 349 euros|
At first glance, the Intel changed only graphics core, as well as slightly increased clock speeds. So it really is. Increasing clock speeds made possible thanks to the improvement of process technology, Intel points at Kaby Lake tehprotsess “14+”. Chip giant was able to improve the share of output of suitable crystals, as well as raise the bar on the maximum frequency and lower power consumption. Thanks to all the improvements Intel was able to raise the level of the clock frequency up to 300 MHz while maintaining the same TDP. In maximum mode Turbo Intel Core i7-7700K processor now runs at 4.5 GHz.
We have repeatedly disclose details of the new graphics core HD Graphics 630 in laptops that has got features MFX (Multi Format Codec) and VQE (Video Quality Engine). But the number of functional blocks identical skylake. MFX VQE functions and give an advantage in laptops and tablets when playback or encoding video 4K reduces the load of the CPU cores. In this regard, processors Kaby Lake markedly increased efficiency. But all this is not so important for desktop processors, as the computer receives a stable power supply. Some processors will be equipped with graphics Iris Plus. But, again, this processor family U, TDP 28 watts and 2/4 cores / threads, which are not so interesting for the desktop segment.
Changes compared to the previous CPU architecture, not so much. But what about the chipset? Here, the changes are more significant: we have 24 PCI Express line 30 instead of 20, which will increase the number of peripheral devices. In addition, the upcoming Intel Optane solutions compatible with chipsets Z270. Of course, it is difficult to assess how decisions Optane impact on modern systems, but for the future there. At the Intel Developer Forum 2015 such decisions have shown impressive performance , but we get it in reality? The industry rumors that Optane is, in fact, only the cache, such additional flash memory in hybrid hard drives. Memory is too expensive, so she had no prospects. In any case, it is necessary to wait for retail products in the year.
Of course, we could not ignore the possibility of acceleration and other functions. About them we will tell the next page, and then move on to the tests.
In recent years, Intel has provided decent overclocking processors “K”, essentially limiting them from the standard models. You can not properly overclock the CPU standard, since they factor is fixed, but the rise of the base frequency is problematic. If you purchased the motherboard chipset B270 or H270, as well as other “junior” versions, you can forget about overclocking. The only sensible option is the motherboard Z270 with “K” processor.
At least, Intel left the “K” loophole overclocking processors. You can arbitrarily change the multiplier, the same goes for the Turbo multipliers under load. As a rule, under full load for all CPU is not running at maximum core frequency, but it can be fixed. In the hands of the user are the flexibility to change the base frequency, the same applies to memory factors (including XMP) and stress. Therefore, Intel Core i7-7700K processor can be overclocked very well.
Many motherboards have got a new feature, namely the reduction of the frequency of activation AVX processor unit. The frequency at the same time can be set separately, which is useful as AVX tests in the past led to the collapse of too high frequencies. Now it is possible to put the CPU clock rate, for example, 5 GHz, but using AVX instruction will decrease the frequency to 4.8 GHz. This approach reduces the voltage for a few millivolts, which reduces the power consumption of the system after the crackdown and extends service life.
In practice, our processors, who scored four instances, speeding is not so successful. When we got a moderate voltage frequency up to 4.9 GHz and 5 GHz frequency was possible only under very good cooling and high voltage. On the ASUS Maximus IX Hero motherboard, which is focused on overclocking, get around the bar 5 GHz proved problematic.
You can refer to the results of our members of the forum that allows you to summarize the experience .:
Most processors Intel Core i7-7700K will operate at 5 GHz with a voltage 1,3-1,32 In that bit better than the previous generation
Successful examples of CPU will run at 5 GHz with a voltage of 1,232 in
Unsuccessful samples will be run on the 4.9 GHz band only with the voltage in the 1,34-1,36 GHz and 5 only with a voltage greater than 1.4 V – is a model we received
In general, the processors Kaby Lake enable acceleration to get the level of 4.8-5.2 GHz. He just above Skylake processors, but the advantage is not as great a percentage. Retail versions of the CPU in Turbo mode has traveled up to 4.5 GHz.
Our forum users pretty quickly got to the reason why processors Kaby Lake dispersed are not as good as we would like. Thermal interface material (TIM) between the CPU chip and the heat spreader is not the most optimal, unlike during Haswell and Devil’s Canyon. So many readers were able to get lower temperatures under load (an average of 20-25 ° C) and reduce stress by 10-40 mV after removing the heat spreader and replace the TIM with a more efficient material. Of course, such a step will be solved, not all users. But it is quite logical: almost all of our samples Intel Core i7-7700K running under load with temperature package 70 ° C, although the Core i7-6700K, it was much lower – 58 ° C.
So many processors Intel Core i7-7700K will earn 5 GHz, but without guarantee. Let’s hope that Intel will soon introduce updated, like Devil’s Canyon.
For the new test, we test the newly updated configuration. The update was associated with the transition to Windows 10 64 bit. We also installed a new video card. But we did not change the SSD, although today M.2 drives are becoming more popular. But we do want to emphasize the difference in CPU performance, rather than the difference in the speed of SSD compared with older systems that do not support M.2.
The operating system we are using Windows 10, 64 bit, all versions of the motherboard BIOS has been updated before the tests, we used the latest drivers. In the case of GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card we used the driver version 376.33.
Many years Intel processors improves power consumption, not only in idle mode, but also under load. On the other hand, increasing the number of cores and the clock frequency increases power consumption. But according to the method of measurement TDP processors significant changes have occurred. In our tests, we always give a complete power system from the electrical outlet, and not CPU power consumption. Therefore, impact energy by other components, and the efficiency of the power supply.
Let’s start with the power consumption in idle mode.
In idle mode the system with Intel Core i7-7700K processor consumes about 40 watts, which is associated with various functions of energy saving and low voltage. But compared to the Core i7-6700K we do not see significant improvements, since Intel has not changed significantly, or process technology architecture.
We turn to the power consumption under load 15R for all CPU cores:
Here Core i7700K processor nominally lags behind the Core i7-6700K, but do not forget about a higher level of performance due to the higher clock speed. Processor gives 8.94% on a higher level with increasing theoretical capacity of 7.4% of energy consumption, so that the efficiency nominally better.
Under load Prime95 we do not observe significant differences between the Core i7-6700K and Intel Core i7-7700K.
As a result, Intel Core i7-7700K behaves like Core i7-6700K with a slightly higher clock speed that we expected.
We start with tests of loading the CPU-intensive, and then move on to the games.
We continue with the other CPU tests.
Of course, we have not paid attention to the tests 3DMark, we present a general result and points in the CPU test.
We added and Java tests.
Unless otherwise stated, we carried out tests in the gaming resolution Full-HD (1.920 x 1.080 pixels) with a good level of detail. By increasing the resolution performance in games is usually limited by the graphics card, so the role of the CPU is reduced, which reduces the value of such tests.
Once again, we got a 10% increase in the order, which is quite comparable with the results of the test Core i7-6700K, as well as the Core i7-4770K generation earlier. And the growth of the transition to Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge in our tests Core i7-3770K was comparable. Recall that Intel introduced Sandy Bridge back in 2011. Therefore, in the six years we have received productivity gains from the transition to Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge to Haswell on Skylake Kaby Lake at about 40%. Just to sum up the results. Can we call such a revolutionary gains? Hardly.
One can cite other foods in history. For example, the video card GeForce GTX 580. Or Radeon HD 6970. They were considered quite advanced in 2011, but today, gamers are unlikely to take them seriously. Processor Core i7-3770K is still enough for today’s games and applications, although in a computer gamer card from 2011 certainly changed, and more than once. A processor of our readers probably replaced much less frequently. For example, to join the DDR4, SATA / 6G, USB 3.0 or M.2 SSD.
Intel How many years has been able to market products with such a small performance gain, but at the same time achieved a market share of almost 90%? The reason lies in the monopoly position of Intel, because AMD processors are significantly inferior to Intel model performance. As a result, PC sales slowed: stagnation in the market of processors increase the life upgrade, if you do not take into account the progress in the field of graphics cards or SSD.
Technically, Intel Core i7-7700K is perfect: Intel produces crystals in modern process technology, the chips use efficient energy-saving technology, the chipset provides all the necessary functions and features excellent stability. A performance slightly above the previous 4-core Intel models. The new processor and accelerates a little better. So Intel did everything right: if you want to assemble a computer in 2017, it is necessary to choose processors Kaby Lake. But Intel Core i7-7700K no particular charm.
Fortunately, in 2017 CPU market may be very hot: AMD release Ryzen processors, the first tests which look very promising. Hopefully, the new AMD encourages Intel engineers and they will provide a new generation of productivity gains more than 10%.