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Intel "Kaby Lake" 7700K CPU Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Jan 3, 2017 5:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel

The Intel Core i7-7700K




I have reviewed multiple generations of Intel processors with samples provided by Intel themselves. CPUs almost always come in little black boxes, sometimes they are engineering samples and sometimes they are stamped much like retail parts. For the 7700K, Intel shipped engineering samples packaged in a retail box.





The retail packaging is the same as the 6700K; the CPU sits in a cardboard cutout, and a small warranty guide with a sticker sits behind the cardboard.




I will say, I have samples from other channels of the 7700K, almost all of them are stamped retail parts, and I did compare Intel's provided engineering sample against the retail samples I have to see if there is any performance difference; there is not. The 7700K's integrated heat spreader has a tiny bit more surface area than the 6700K. An extra lip at the top and bottom of the CPU presumably helps distribute heat sink weight more evenly. The thermal interface material between the IHS and CPU die hasn't changed.




My trusty 6700K is on the right, and my new 7700K is on the left. The 6700K is worn down from all my motherboard tests over the past year, but as you can see, the CPUs look identical on top except for those little lips added to the 7700K. Turning the CPUs upside down reveals and almost identical SMD layout, indicating very minor changes to power delivery.



Intel Z270 Chipset Motherboards




There are many new Intel Z270 motherboards on the market as of today, and the four pictured above will all have their own reviews come out soon on TweakTown. Every manufacturer seems to have shifted away from dedicated colors such as red and blue, and more towards letting users pick their own colors through the use of RGB LEDs and white/black base color themes that are easy to blend with.


All of the motherboards could be mistaken for Z170 motherboards, except that they all support higher memory overclocking, Intel Optane technology, and most of them carry multiple M.2/U.2 ports. If you are wondering, yes, I have noticed other improvements. While the Intel i219v NIC used on Z170 motherboards is still present, Killer's popular E2400 NIC has been upgraded to the E2500, Realtek's popular ALC1150 (115dB) has been upgraded to the ALC1220 (120dB with integrated AMP), and ASMedia's popular ASM1142 USB 3.1 controller has been upgraded to the ASM2142 (adds an extra PCI-E lane input).


There are also brand-specific upgrades as well (mostly fan and RGB LED control), but Z270 marks a big shift in third-party IC technology upgrades.



Test Setup


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