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We tested the Core i7-7700, a seventh-generation CPU from Intel, based on the Kaby Lake architecture, with four cores, Hyper-Threading, and 4.2 GHz maximum clock. Let’s test it and check if is it faster than other similarly priced processors.
Recently, Intel launched the seventh generation Core i processors, codenamed Kaby Lake. At first, were launched the Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs, and soon after, the Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron models. Those processors bring small changes compared to the sixth-generation ones: new video decoder for 4K video, improved Speed Shift technology (that dynamically adjusts the CPU clock,) and support to Optane technology (which is a future kind of high performance SSDs.)
We already tested the Core i7-7700K, which is the higher-end seventh-gen Core i7 CPU. The Core i7-7700 is a less expensive version, with a lower clock rate, locked multiplied (so you cannot overclocking it just by changing its clock multiplier) and a lower TDP.
The Core i7-7700 has four cores (with eight threads thanks to the Hyper-Threading technology), base clock of 3.6 GHz, maximum clock of 4.2 GHz, 8 MiB of L3 cache and TDP of 65 W.
The direct competitor of the Core i7-7700 is the Ryzen 7 1700 from AMD, which has a similar price. So, we compared this CPU to the Ryzen 7 1700, and to the Core i7-7700K, to see which one has the best cost/benefit ratio. We also included in our comparison the Core i5-7600K, which is a less expensive option based on the same architecture.
Figure 1 unveils the Core i7-7700 CPU.
Figure 1: the Core i7-7700 CPU
In our benchmarks, we used the integrated video for the processing tests. However, for the gaming benchmarks, we disabled the integrated video and used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card on both CPUs, in order to see how the CPU power impact games, not the iGPU.
As the Ryzen 7 1700 has no integrated video, we didn’t include it on the PCMark and 3DMark comparisons, because it whould be not fair to compare one CPU using integrated video to one using a high-end video card in a benchmark where the video card performance matters.
Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.
[nextpage title=”The Reviewed CPUs”]
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.
|CPU||Cores||HT||IGP||Internal Clock||Turbo Clock||Core||Tech.||TDP||Socket||Price|
|Core i7-7700||4||Yes||Yes||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||Kaby Lake||14 nm||65 W||LGA1151||USD 315|
|Core i7-7700K||4||Yes||Yes||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||Kaby Lake||14 nm||91 W||LGA1151||USD 350|
|Ryzen 7 1700||8||Yes||No||3.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||Summit Ridge||14 nm||65 W||AM4||USD 330|
|Core i5-7600K||4||No||Yes||3.8 GHz||4.2 GHz||Kaby Lake||14 nm||91 W||LGA1151||USD 240|
Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.
|CPU||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||Memory Support||Memory Channels|
|Core i7-7700||4 x 256 KiB||8 MiB||Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600||2|
|Core i7-7700K||4 x 256 KiB||8 MiB||Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600||2|
|Ryzen 7 1700||8 x 512 KiB||2 x 8 MiB||Up to DDR4-2667||2|
|Core i5-7600K||4 x 256 kiB||6 MiB||Up to DDR4-2400 or DDR3L-1600||2|
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable devicand was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard and memory, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.
- Motherboard: Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 7
- Memory: 16 GiB DDR4-2133, two G.Skill Ripjaws V F4-2133C15D-16GVR 8 GiB memory modules configured at 2133 MHz
- Boot drive: WD Blue 1,000 GiB SSD
- Video Card: GeForce GTX 1080 (on games), integrated video on the other tests
- Video Monitor: Philips 236VL
- Power Supply: Corsair VS500
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz
- NVIDIA driver version: 378.49
- 3DMark 1.5.915
- Cinebench R15
- CPU-Z 1.78
- DivX 10.6
- Media Espresso 6.7
- PCMark 8
- Photoshop CC
- WinRAR 4.2
- Dirt Rally
- GTA V
- Mad Max
- Rise of the Tomb Rider
We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.
[nextpage title=”PCMark 8″]
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure the computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, that includes web surfing, video editing, group video chat, video conversion, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s see the results.
On the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the Core i7-7700 performed similarly to the Core i7-7700K, and was 6% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
On the Creative benchmark, the Core i7-7700 also performed similarly to the Core i7-7700K, being 4% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
On the Work benchmark, the Core i7-7700 was 4% slower than the Core i7-7700K, and had the same performance of the Core i5-7600K.
3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation. Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed on average computers. The Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance.
On Fire Strike, the three CPUs performed the same way.
On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Core i7-7700 also performed similarly to the Core i7-7700K and the Core i5-7600K.
On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the Core i7-7700 was 4% slower than the Core i7-7700K and 10% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
[nextpage title=”Performance in programs”]
Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It is very useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot, because usually this kind of software recognize several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).
We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.
On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the Core i7-7700 was 11% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 38% slower than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 24% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
On its current version, the well-known hardware identification software CPU-Z comes with a benchmarking tool, which measures CPU performance for one core and for all available cores.
On the single thread benchmark, the Core i7-7700 was 10% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 9% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 5% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
On the multiple thread benchmark, the Core i7-7700 was 10% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 52% slower than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 8% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using all available cores and the SSE4 instruction set.
We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into an .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
On DivX encoding, the Core i7-7700 was 10% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 25% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 8% slower than the Core i5-7600K.
Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
The best way to measure the performance of a CPU is by using real programs. The problem, of course, is to create a methodology that offers precise results. For Photoshop CC, we used a script named “Retouch Artist Speed Test,” which applies a series of filters to a standard image and gives the time Photoshop takes to run all of them. The results are given in seconds, so the less, the best.
In this test, all the CPUs performed similarly.
Another task where the CPU is very demanded is on file compacting. We ran a test compacting a folder with 8 GiB on 6.813 files to a file, using WinRAR 4.2. The graph below shows the time taken on each test.
On WinRAR, the Core i7-7700 was 6% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 5% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 27% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance”]
Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.
The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).
In this game, the Core i7-7700 was 15% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 24% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 9% slower than the Core i5-7600K.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with all image quality set as “high” and MSAA off.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
On GTA V, the Core i7-7700 was 4% slower than the Core i7-7700K, 23% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 22% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “high”.
The results below, in Full HD and 4K, are expressed in frames per second.
On Hitman, the Core i7-7700 performed similarly to the Core i7-7700K, being 34% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 33% faster than the Core i5-7600K.
Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game with image quality set as “high”.
The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.
On Mad Max, all the CPUs performed similarly.
Rise of the Tomb Rider
Rise of the Tomb Rider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using Full HD resolution and graphics quality set to “medium”.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
Also on Rise of the Tomb Rider, the Core i7-7700 performed similarly to the Core i7-7700K, being 66% faster than the Ryzen 7 1700, and 12% slower than the Core i5-7600K.
Regarding to the benchmarks that use parallell processing, using all the available threads of the CPU (like CineBench, for example,) se see that the Core i7-7700, as well as the Core i7-7700K, is not on par to the Ryzen 7 1700, wich has 16 threads. So, for this kind of task, it is not the best choice.
On the other hand, if we see the performance on applications that use only a few threads, like the used video converters, we see that the lower clock rate of the Core i7-7700 makes it a little slower than the Core i7-7700K and even than the Core i5-7600K.
But when we talk about gaming, in most of our benchmarks the Core i7-7700 performed better than the Ryzen 7 1700 and similarly to the Core i7-7700K. So, if you are buiding a gaming computer, the Core i7-7700 offers great performance with good cost/benefit ratio.