Intel outs complete range of 7th Gen Core (Kaby Lake) processors for desktop and mobile
Kaby Lake incoming!
Intel starts the 2017 with a bang as it unleashes its full range of Kaby Lake, 7th gen Core processors, for the mobile and desktop with several much awaited performance oriented SKUs. They should be hitting retail almost immediately.
While Kaby Lake processors have been launched since Intel IDF 2016 in August last year, they’ve so far only been available for the thin and light mobile computing sector – specifically, dual-core processors that have been rated for 4.5W to 15W TDP.
Now, you can finally get your hands on performance mobile and desktop processors that top out at 45W and 91W TDP respectively.
The processor line-up
The Intel S-series desktop 7th gen Core processors start from US$117 for the Core i3-7100T and top out at US$339 for the top of the line Core i7-7700K.
What’s new on the Kaby Lake processors?
Besides a more mature manufacturing process technology that affords the new processors improved clock frequencies, feature tweaks and power savings, by and large, they are essentially more optimized Skylake (6th gen Core) processors. There are of course a few notable differences and they are as follows:-
- The most important update in the 7th gen Core over the 6th gen Core processor is the enhanced graphics media engine that’s now updated to tackle power and data efficient VP9 and HEVC 10-bit hardware acceleration. This is integral to unlocking and viewing 4K premium content from Netflix and others such as Ultra. FandangoNOW and iQIYI. More updates from these content providers and more will be made available soon.
- The desktop Kaby Lake processors now see more K-SKU options. Similar to the Pentium Anniversary edition released some time ago, Intel is now releasing release more unlocked processor options for those who like to dabble in overclocking pursuits. So other than the expected top of the line Core i7-7700K, you now have a Core i5-7600K and a Core i3-7350K options to consider. Refer to the tables above to see how they differ in specs.
- Intel desktop Kaby Lake now have Intel Optane memory support when used with the new Intel 200 series chipset motherboards. To recap, Intel Optane Memory is a new accelerator of sorts to speed up boot times, application launches and other day-to-day tasks for systems running on a HDD. The net result is SSD-like speeds while still enjoying high capacity storage offered by hard drives.
- Higher overclocking capabilities with a Base Clock aware voltage ad frequency curves – this improves OC stability and reliability and offers simplified overclocking voltage control. The 7th gen Core processors also have an AVX offset ratio to guarantee more stable overclocks as this feature steps down the clocks should AVX instructions need to be executed and automatically throttles back up to the preferred overclocking frequencies when non-AVX2 instructions are processed. The latter feature was implemented because it has been noted that AVX based instructions tend to fare poorly under overclocked conditions.
- 7th Gen Intel Core vPro processors include a variety of hardened security features built into the silicon. Intel Authenticate Technology provides a robust multifactor solution that is protected in hardware, reducing users’ exposure to identity theft attacks such as phishing and screen scraping. With fingerprint, Bluetooth proximity, protected PIN, location, and facial recognition, there are plenty of options for policy customization on PCs.
For more architectural enhancements that debut on Kaby Lake, we've covered them previously over here.
Don't forget to also check out our Performance Sneak Peek of the Intel Core i7-7700K.