If you are a gamer and want to build a high-end custom computer, or your job requires you to use some demanding apps, like 3D modeling, for example, there are a few components that you should really pay attention to.
Even if you have a great GPU and lots of RAM (random access memory), it is still essential to have a processor that can stand side by side with all of the other components. We can’t say that a good processor is more important than a good graphics card or RAM, as all three components are equally important, and play a significant role in building a heavy-duty PC.
These two processors we are discussing are not the newest on the market but they’re still great and popular among people who are into PCs. They are similar, and both of them perform pretty well, but there are some differences between them.
Before taking an in-depth look into both of the processors, let’s see a quick breakdown of features:
|Features||I5 7600K||I7 7700K|
|Number of cores||4||4|
|Number of threads||4||8|
|CPU base frequency||3.80 GHz||4.20 GHz|
|Max turbo frequency||4.20 GHz||4.50 GHz|
|Graphics base frequency||350 MHz||350 MHz|
|4K support||Yes, at 60 Hz||Yes, at 60 Hz|
I5 7600K review
The 7th generation of processors, also known as Kaby Lake processors, are very popular on the market. They use a refined 14nm process to improve clock speeds, without altering the power requirements too much.
Although the i5 7600K is a good processor and faster than 6th generation processors, it is not a revolution in the CPU world. Even some processors from the 4th generation can be upgraded and offer a similar performance to the i5 7600K. If you are concerned about gaming performance, you might want just to pass this round.
This processor is great if you do some light work on your PC. But if you intend to do an intensive CPU work, such as video editing, for example, you probably want to switch to Core i7.
Overclocking can help increase the processor’s performance, but during the testing, it seemed to be pretty unstable at 5.0GHz and had to be dropped to 4.9GHz. Some people even tried overclocking it to 5.2, but overclocking is never guaranteed. Also, you should have a pretty good cooling system when overclocking, and even when overclocked, this processor can’t catch the i7 7700K.
The I5 7600K is, compared to the previous generation, 8 percent faster than the i5 6600K, and around 40 percent faster than the old i5 2500K, assuming that all the chips are running stock and they are not overclocked.
But what does benchmark statistics say? We tested an overclocked i5 7600K, as well as the i7 7700K with GTX 1080. The results were almost the same. However, keep in mind that i5 7600K was overclocked while testing. It’s not advised to use overclocked CPUs for a long time since the temperature will rise faster, unless, of course, you have a super-efficient cooling system.
In the benchmark testing, we noticed that this processor is not drastically different from the newer ones. However, a good graphics card is far more important.
If you are starting from scratch and building a new PC, this processor is a good choice. It is slightly faster than the previous generation, and still, not very expensive. As previously mentioned, this is not a revolution in the CPU industry.
Intel could have done a bit more with this processor, but since it is slightly better in performance than the previous generation, it can be a good choice. If you are upgrading a PC from a few years ago, this processor can make a significant difference in performance.
However, this processor seems to be only slightly faster than Skylake and has no major enhancements. Since it is a newer generation, we can definitely agree that Intel should have put some more effort into this one, having in mind that it also costs more than the Skylake.
I7 7700K Review
Since this is a Core i7 processor, right from the start, it should be at least slightly faster than Core i5.
The first change that we noticed is an improved 14nm process, a dubbed 14nm+. Thanks to the changes in the fin height and straining of the silicon, it should enhance power characteristics and clock speeds.
The most noticeable result of the optimizations is that this processor is clocked higher than the previous generation such as the i7 6700K, for example, and it will overclock even higher. Also, if you are using an integrated GPU, you can get a lower processor utilization for 4K video decoding, and can also stream 4K content. However, the processor’s integrated graphics card is not good enough for some serious, modern-era gaming. In that case, you should aim for a great graphics card that will match this processor.
After some benchmark testing with an overclocked i7 7700K and other, non-overclocked processor, this one has shown some nice results. The difference between i7 7700K overclocked and the i5 7600K non-overclocked is pretty noticeable. However, compared to the i7 6950X, the difference is even more significant. I7 6950X seems to provide much higher performance, even if not overclocked.
We have also tested the i7 7700K for gaming purposes, along with similar processors. Although it is better (faster) than the previous generation, the difference is not remarkable. The reason is that a graphics card is far more important, and a processor itself can’t make any drastic changes when it comes to gaming.
So, who is this processor for? For gaming, it is one of Intel’s fastest processors when overclocked. But as we mentioned, it’s not the most important thing for a gaming computer, and the actual difference is pretty small. If you are building a gaming PC, it might be better to save some money by buying the i5-7600K and adding the saved money for a high-performance graphics card.
However, if you already have a great graphics card, you won’t make a mistake by buying this processor. On the other hand, if you are not a gamer and need a good PC for work which requires you to use some demanding programs, this processor should be perfect.
The Key Differences Between These Two Processors
It is obvious that both of these processors are pretty good, and you won’t make a mistake by buying either of these two. However, the first difference is in the price. Depending on what you need your processor to do, you should think carefully before buying. The price is very different, so you shouldn’t pay for the i7 7700K, for example, if you won’t need all of the stuff it can give you.
Also, while testing these two processors on a benchmark, some significant differences could be noticed. For example, the i7 7700K provides a much faster octa-core speed, of around 47 percent both in overclocked and non-overclocked mode.
The I7 7700K also has a double thread count, so it has 8 threads, compared to 4 that the i5 7600K has, and it also provides a slightly higher base frequency, for around 11%. Turbo frequency is also higher, for around 7-8%.
When it comes to graphics, it should be mentioned that these two processors have the same graphics unit. However, the i7 7700K has an 8MB cache unit, instead of the i5 7600K’s 6MB.
Another important thing is the thermal solution specification. It has 130W in the i7 7700K, and only 65W for the i5 7600K.
As you can see, there are some noticeable differences and features by which the i7 7700K is a winner. But you should also keep in mind that it costs around $100 more, depending on your geographical location.
On the other hand, something that should be considered as a negative about this processor is that it is still a quad-core, although there are many octa-core processors nowadays. Besides, its discrete GPU use can sometimes bypass some of the graphics features that video games provide.
Similarities Between These Two Processors
Although these two processors have some differences, they are not that different. At first, they have the same integrated graphics unit. So, if the integrated graphics is the first, most important thing for you, then these two processors don’t make any particular difference. However, their integrated graphics card is not for heavy gaming.
Also, both of these processors have the same number of cores and have a similar max turbo frequency. A one-core speed differs by a few percentage points, which is hardly noticeable.
Best Use for Each Processor
It seems that the i5 7600K targets high-end gamers. It was one of the most popular gaming CPUs in 2017 and is still pretty popular today. When compared to the 6600K, it seems that these two processors offer very similar performance, and there are also no significant architectural differences. However, the i5 7600K has better graphics than its predecessors.
The I7 7700K is reported to have the same IPC as its predecessors. However, it has better graphics and better overclocking capacity. This processor was one of the best 2017 gaming processors, but can still be used today. Many gamers use processors up to three years old to play modern video games.
Both of the processors are great for gaming but are also suitable for other CPU consuming tasks, which involve the use of heavy programs.
Which is the Winner?
The fact is that these two processors are very similar, but also have some significant differences when it comes to gaming. According to the performance they provide, the i7 7700K is definitely a winner, although it doesn’t make an incredible difference. On the other hand, it is a bit more expensive, so this is another thing that should be considered.
Is the difference in performance good enough, according to the difference in price? After some in-depth testing, we can say that it is. Therefore, we can conclude that the i7 7700 is a winner. But depending on what you need the processor for, and what you mainly are using your computer for, you might even consider an i5 7600K for more than $100 lower price.
Do these processors have hyper-threading?
That’s one of the significant differences between these two processors. The I5 7600K doesn’t have hyper-threading, while the i7 7700K does. Since it allows a single CPU core to process two threads simultaneously, it’s a great feature that can significantly affect performance.
Are the i5 and i7 sockets the same?
The I5 and I7 sockets are the same as long as they are the same generation. For example, processors can have the same sockets, no matter if they are i3, i5, or i7.
Can you change the processor without replacing the motherboard?
You can, if the processor is not soldered to the motherboard. However, you should pay attention to the fact that not all the processors are compatible with all the motherboards.
Is the i7 better than i5?
The fact is that i7 processors have more capabilities than i5 processors. They are better for various things, especially for multitasking and high-end gaming. However, it doesn’t mean that every i7 processor is better and faster than every i5 processor. There are also other things to consider, such as frequency, number of threads, and so on.
Are Core i5 processors good for gaming?
Both Core i5 and Core i7 processors are great for mainstream users who care about high performance, high speed, and brilliant graphics. Although i5 processors are great for video games and high-end tasks, i7 processors are even better, and they usually do the same work with less heating.
Are i7 processors worth it over the i5 assuming the price?
Usually, they are, but it depends on the model itself. With all the things we mentioned, you can see that i7 processors offer higher performance, but at a higher price. Therefore, you should look at all the stuff that a particular processor provides, instead of just choosing between Core i5 and Core i7.