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How Fast Is Intel's New Desktop CPU?

By Victor Thomson , Jan 03, 2017 10:47 PM EST
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Intel's new Core i7 Kaby Lake CPUs do not come with important performance gains, tech experts claim.<br /> (Photo : Joker Productions / YouTube)

Intel has finally launched the highly-anticipated Kaby Lake processor line with new quad- and dual-core high-performance chips designed for both mobile and desktop applications.

Intel's New Kaby Lake CPU

According to Apple Insider, some of Intel's newly released Kaby Lake processors are suitable for a future iMac and Mac Pro refresh. However, tech experts believe that it is unlikely that the just-refreshed MacBook Pro will receive a Kaby Lake upgrade in the short term.

S-Series For Possible Future iMac

Intel's S-series Core i7-7700K is desktop-oriented and comes with a clock speed of 4.2 GHz with the possibility to achieve a peak speed of 4.5 GHz Turbo Boost. The CPU line features support for HyperThreading and 8 MB of cache.

The Core i7-7700 has speeds somehow lower, at 3.6 GHz. The CPU line is able to achieve a 4.2 GHz peak. It also comes with HyperThreading and 8 MB cache. The i7-7700 has a thermal design profile (TDP) of only 65W, while the i7-7700K has a thermal design profile of 95W TDP.

The Core i5-7600K is positioned further down the line, with a 3.8 GHz base speed and is capable of up to 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost. The CPU lacks HyperThreading but it features 6 MB of L3 cache.

The Core i5-7600 is working at a 3.50 GHz core speed, with 4.10 GHz Turbo Boost. The Core i5-7500 features a 3.4 GHz clock speed, with the possibility to reach a 3.8 GHz max speed. The i5-7600K requires 95W, same as with the i7 versions, while the i5-7600 has a 65W TDP.

Intel's Kaby Lake CPU Performance

According to CNET, Intel's latest seventh-generation processors for laptop and desktop PCs for laptop and desktop PCs are not meaningfully faster than the chips already present on market up to now. In fact, Intel's new chips are not representing a big upgrade, as the tech experts are struggling to find meaningful differences between the new previous Intel processors and the newly released Intel Core i7-7700K and 7600K.

Reputable benchmarking websites such as Tom's HardwarePC Perspective and AnandTech, as well as reviews made by tech publications such as Ars Technica come to the same conclusion that the new Intel Kaby Lake chips only seem faster. This false appearance is due to the fact that the high-tech company sets the clock speed (GHz) a little bit higher before the chips leave the manufacturing facility. But if some PC or gaming enthusiast overclocks last year's Core i7-6700K and i5-6600K to that same speed, the older processors perform identically or even a bit better than the newer ones.

Depending on the benchmark, there is not a big difference even if you don't overclock. In apps like Photoshop and Office, we're talking seconds, or sometimes just tenths of a second faster. The new Kaby Lake processors also don't seem to run more power-efficient or any cooler.

And for PC gamers a new Intel CPU also won't help running the games faster. Benchmarks have shown that the six-year-old Intel Core i7-2600K is basically just as fast in games as Intel's newest chips. Check out some of the best CPU for the money to wisely invest in your new gaming rig. 

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