Review: Intel Core i7-7700K “Kaby Lake” Desktop Processor


On August 30th 2016, Intel has officially unveiled their latest 7th Gen Core “Kaby Lake” mobile processors built on the improved 14nm+ FinFET manufacturing process technology. First unveiled were the U and Y series targeting at the 2-in-1’s and notebook platforms, featuring TDPs of 15-28W and 4.5W TDP respectively. For desktop platform, Intel is now introducing the fully unlocked K-SKU, the locked non-K SKU, and the power saving T-SKU.

With Intel’s long-running “Tick-Tock” model has officially been dropped off, Kaby Lake is the first CPU to be made under the new “Process-Architecture-Optimization” manufacturing process technology. Representing the Optimization step of the new manufacturing model, the new Kaby Lake features a higher CPU core frequency and improved graphics core performance compared to its predecessor – Skylake architecture.


Kaby Lake offers an identical per-core performance as the Skylake but it is now coming with an improved integrated HD 630 graphics to bring a better performance in the 3D graphics and 4K video playback. Other notable improvements include the support for Intel Optane branded devices based on 3D XPoint memory technology as well as the new Intel 200-Series chipsets that offers up to 24 PCIe lanes from Skylake’s 20 lanes. The new Kaby Lake CPUs utilize the LGA1151 socket, which means existing 100-Series board owners are able to use the new chip with just a simple BIOS update.

With us today is the flagship Core i7-7700K CPU, featuring fully unlocked 4 cores and 8 threads (4C8T), a base core frequency of 4.2 GHz, a Turbo Boost clock of up to 4.5 GHz, 8MB L3 cache, and a TDP of 91W. How does it stack up against the competitions? Read ahead to find out.

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Suggested Retail Price: RM 1,631.34



Review: Intel Core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake" Desktop Processor

The new Kaby Lake architecture is rocking around the new 14nm+ FinFET process node and “Process-Architecture-Optimization” model, while the Skylake and Broadwell architectures were built on the 14nm process and previous “Tick-Tock” model.

The Intel Core i7-7700K “Kaby Lake” CPU is specified to operate at a base core frequency of 4.2 GHz and turbo frequency of 4.5 GHz, which translate to a 200 MHz increase in the base clock and 300 MHz increase in the Turbo clock from last year’s Core i7-6700K “Skylake”. Kaby Lake also receives an improved integrated graphics core in the form of Intel HD 630, as compared to Skylake’s HD 530. In terms of memory support, out of the box the Kaby Lake CPU can support DDR4-2400MHz compared to Skylake’s DDR4-2133MHz.

There are a few similar features between the chips from two generations, which include the support for the existing LGA1151 socket, fully unlocked 4 cores and 8 threads, 91 watts Thermal Design Power (TDP), and 8MB L3 cache.


Product Features

Intel takes computing to the next level with the 7th Gen Intel Core processor family. The 7th Gen Intel Core processors are designed for the Immersive Internet and built on a strong foundation of the Skylake microarchitecture.

Intel’s latest 14 nm processors deliver more responsive performance than ever, fantastic entertainment and gaming, robust security, and even more natural, intuitive interactions with your PC. With incredible improvements that transform the viewing experience with 4K UHD videos, 360-degree videos , multiple video streams, and premium content playback, the 7th Gen Intel Core processors for mobile platforms enable a new way to enjoy the sharp and engaging content across a range of form factors.

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•More than 70% faster mobile productivity than a 5-year-old PC
•3.5X better 3D graphics performance than a 5 year old PC

This means you can
•Create : Beautify 1,400 photos in one minute
•Multitask : Combine multiple 4K UHD videos into a highlight reel in 4 minutes while shopping and watching a movie7
•Game : Play your favorite games, like Overwatch, on-the-go, in HD
The 7th Gen Intel Core processors enable mobile designs that will allow faster 4K UHD creation and watching and streaming of 4K UHD content longer
•New HEVC 10-bit decode capability delivers smooth premium content playback up to 4K UHD
•New VP9 decode capability allows power efficient smooth 4K UHD,4K 360-degree playback while multitasking
•Quickly and effortlessly create, edit and share 4K UHD 360°video 8X8faster compared to a 5-year-old PC
•Enjoy up to 9.5 hours of 4K video playback

Intel scales 7th Gen Intel Core processors to a variety of PC designs at a wide range of price points, which may include features such as Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C single-wire connection, low power premium audio and hassle-free facial recognition such as Windows* Hello. Users can also expect to see PC designs based on 7th Gen Intel Core processors with a variety of intuitive input options such as touch, voice, and stylus.

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Key benefits of the 7th Gen Intel Core processor family for mobile and desktop PCs include:


7th Gen Intel Core processors utilize a power-efficient microarchitecture, advanced process technology and silicon optimizations to deliver faster performance than previous generation processors. Web browsing is snappy and responsive with Intel Speed Shift Technology. On processors with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology, performance and power is dynamically controlled –for cores and graphics –boosting performance precisely when it is needed, and saving energy when it counts. Both the Y-series and U-series processors support two cores and four threads with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT Technology), enabling compelling 2 in 1 designs and thin clamshells that achieve a unique balance between performance and mobility. PCs enabled with Microsoft Windows Modern Standby are able to wake immediately at the push of a button, so users don’t have to wait for their system to start up.


Intel HD Graphics deliver advanced performance and the new media engine for captivating visuals. With 7th Gen Intel Core processors, users can easily watch, create, edit, share and game. With the ability to view premium content up to 4K UHD from more vendors, the 7th Gen Intel Core processor family allows users to enjoy amazing and vibrant multimedia experiences on compatible displays. It also enables powerful photo and video editing, multiple video streams, 360-degree videos, and high-resolution video chat. In addition, users can play their favorite PC games on the go in HD with fluid, texture-rich graphics. Finally, thanks to our new media engine with power-efficient VP9 and HEVC 10-bit hardware acceleration, 4K viewing and content creation is significantly improved versus previous generation processors.


Notebooks with the versatile Thunderbolt 3 technology, the USB-C that does it all, provide an incredible I/O experience. A single cable conveniently supports up to 40 Gbpstransfer speeds, two 4K 60 Hz displays, system charging up to 100W, external graphics, and Thunderbolt networking to bolster productivity. More designs supporting touch, voice and stylus input, intuitive interaction becomes prevalent with 7th Gen Intel Core processors, enabling users to simplify their interactions and unleash their creativity. On notebooks with cameras supporting Windows Hello facial recognition, users are able to securely2log into a PC and websites hassle free.


With the 7th Gen Intel Core processor family further improving power efficiency at a processor and platform level, 7th Gen Intel Core processor-based systems have longer battery life and can utilize smaller batteries to enable even thinner and lighter systems. Dedicated hardware acceleration reduces power consumption dramatically, enabling 3X longer battery life during local 4K video playback. With the Y-processor family, 2 in 1s and clamshells are reimagined, enabling thin and fanless designs for ultra-mobility. On U-series processors, enhanced productivity and creativity are possible in increasingly slim form factors.


I/O in Y- and U-series 7th Gen Intel Core processors offers Gen 3 PCIe support, supporting higher data transfer rates of 8 GT/s versus 5 GT/s with PCIe Gen 2. The latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology supports NVMe PCIe x4 solid state drives and is capable of utilizing Gen 3 PCIe Speeds. The Intel Context Sensing SDK for the Intel Integrated Sensor Solution allows third-party software vendors to develop exciting sensor-enhanced applications.


The Processor

The Intel Core i7-7700K “Kaby Lake” CPU that we received is a confidential Engineering Sample (ES) while the Core i7-6700K “Skylake” CPU is a retail unit. From the top side, we can clearly see that the new Intel Core i7-7700K sports with a new Integrated Heat Spreader (HIS) design. The IHS labeling specify the CPU’s base core frequency as well as the batch/FPO number. Both PCBs look identical with the same amount of silicon dots, but the retail Core i7-6700K has a ATPO serial number printed on the right side.

Flipping over to the bottom side, you can hardly see a difference except that there’s one single capacitor located at the below portion being rotated to a horizontal orientation from vertical.




OverClocker, Reviewer at
A humble guy born in a town called "Mache", loves technologies, willing to learn new stuffs and share latest product updates to all readers in