Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake review: Is the desktop CPU dead?

Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton)

Specs at a glance: Intel Core i7-7700K
ArchitectureKaby Lake
Core Clock4.2GHz
Boost Clock4.5GHz
L3 Cache8MB
Memory ControllerTwo channel DDR4

The Intel Core i7-7700K is what happens when a chip company stops trying. The i7-7700K is the first desktop Intel chip in brave new post-"tick-tock" world—which means that instead of major improvements to architecture, process, and instructions per clock (IPC), we get slightly higher clock speeds and a way to decode DRM-laden 4K streaming video. Huzzah.

For the average consumer building or buying a new performance-focused PC, a desktop chip based on 14nm Kaby Lake remains the chip of choice—a total lack of competition at this level makes sure of that.

But for the enthusiast—where the latest and greatest should perform better than what came before—Kaby Lake desktop chips are a disappointment, a stopgap solution that does little more than give OEMs something new to stick on a label in a 2017 product stack.

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