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Intel Core i3-7350K "Kaby Lake" CPU Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Feb 15, 2017 6:20 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Intel

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the Intel i7-7350K.


What's Hot


Overclocking Beast: The 7350K showed some amazing overclocking capabilities. For a chip without Turbo Boost technology, which I now think is more of a sales call rather than a production issue, I went in thinking I wouldn't get more than 4.8GHz stable. However, just like the 7700K, the 7350K can make the 5GHz mark.


I was also very impressed with memory overclocking, the CPU took 32GB of DDR4, with all four DIMMs filled, to 4GHz. For a sub-$200 CPU, the 7350K is an excellent CPU if you want to just get into overclocking and can't afford to spend over $200 on an i5 or i7.



Strong iGPU with Features: The iGPU in the 7350K is identical to that of the 7700K, so you are getting the same integrated graphics performance at a much lower cost. Now, it's not the fastest iGPU on the market, but it's a good step up from 4th generation processors. What the iGPU offers is the ability to stream the latest in UHD content, with built-in hardware-level 4K decode and encode units, it's one of the first iGPUs to support Netflix's 4K streaming.


Gaming Performance With a Similarly Priced GPU: When I overclocked the 7350K to 5GHz and set my memory to XMP at 3200MHz, I was getting very similar FPS to the 7700K in GTA:V, Resident Evil 6, and UNIGINE benchmarks. However, in this case, I was also GPU-limiting the games a little bit. Why? I did this because if you are not on a budget, you will be able to afford a 7700K and a nice GPU like a GTX 1070, GTX 1080, or Fury X.


However, if you are on a budget, you would be looking at an RX 480, GTX 1060, or something in the performance ballpark or a GTX 980, and in that case, a 5GHz 7350K would offer only slightly worse performance than a stock 7700K.


Z270 and Optane: The Z270 chipset provides the latest in storage technologies, and that includes Intel's upcoming Optane technology. I should repeat that you can also run the 7350K on a Z170 motherboard.


What's Not


No Substitute for Core Count: If you need a CPU for computing heavy applications, like almost any rendering application, then you just can't substitute high clock and IPC for core count. Virtual cores are also not equivalent to real cores. So, if you are going to use programs like HandBrake, Blender, or even do video editing, you should spend an extra $15 and get the base i5 with four real cores.



Final Thoughts




If you are on a budget, can't spend more than $200 on a CPU, can't spend more than $250 on a GPU, want to experiment or are comfortable with overclocking, and are doing IPC/frequency related things such as gaming, then the 7350K is a really good option to consider.


It's a fun little CPU, but if you are going to be doing a lot of rendering or compute intensive tasks that take advantage of real CPU cores or more virtual cores, then you should go for an i5 for $15 more or i7.


In the end, the 7350K is a rather good CPU, which falls into Intel's pricing scheme as the top of the line Core i3.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking)90%
Bundle and Packaging89%
Overall TweakTown Rating90%

The Bottom Line: Just like its big brother, the Intel Core i3-7350K overclocks like crazy with ease, in some cases enough to make it a great gaming CPU in a budget oriented build.

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