Which one should you go for?
There is a never-ending debate in PC performance forums on the Core i5 and the Core i7 and the differences in performance. This debate doesn’t seem to end and more so when it comes particularly to the Core i5 7600K and the Core i7 7700K. This debate may not be objective at times granted that users will defend the hardware they use and see it as the better choice. We shall have a look at these two processors and try to be objective in this review. There are a few differences and many similarities between these two processors. We shall be looking mostly at the differences and how they impact performance.
The 7700K and the 7600K are both very powerful processors. There is not much difference between them in terms of performance. However, there may be slight differences here and there depending on the particular use that the processor may be put into. Talking of performance, the 7700K can be said to be better in overall performance than the 7600K. This is especially when used as a workstation processor. In terms of gaming, the jury is still out, but we have seen the 7700K perform slightly better when running the latest games. The 7600K however is still a powerful gaming processor and some people will swear by it. Let’s delve deeper in the differences between these two processors and which one you should buy based on your needs.
Both these processors have four cores. However the 7600K has four threads, one thread per physical core. The 7700K uses hyper threading having two logical treads per core. This is one of the major differences between these processors. Hyper threading comes in handy in improving performance of multi-threaded applications. More the cores and threads will serve to improve performance. However, hyper threading may slow down applications that not optimized for it. In gaming, hyper threading is not as important. Most games will be fine with at least two cores with single threads and most will perform optimally with four cores with single threads. Hyper threading may affect performance in some games.
Clock rate is very important in processors. When comparing processors, it can become difficult to gauge performance based on clock rates if the processors are not from the same family. In our case, however, the 7700K and the 7600K are from the same family and thus we can compare. The 7600K has a clock rate of 3.8GHz which can turbo boost to a high of 4.2GHz whereas the 7700K has a clock rate of 4.2GHz which can turbo boost to a maximum of 4.5GHz. The 0.4 base frequency difference is significant to affect performance. We can therefore say that the 7700K, with a faster clock rate should provide slightly better performance than the 7600K.
L2 and L3 Cache Size
Plainly speaking, the more cache available, the better the performance since more data can be retrieved faster. In most processors, the L1 cache size has been almost standardized. L2 and L3 are important if you want more performance especially for gaming. The 7700K has a 1024KB larger L2 cache than the 7600K. This can only mean that it will work better with high end graphics cards and provide a more superior gaming performance. The 7700K uses the 8 MB L3 Intel Smart cache whereas the 7600K uses the cuts this down to 6MB. However, a word of caution here, a larger cache is desirable but may mean higher latency. Having a balance is thus important.
Both these processors can be said to be fairly cool on idle. The 7600K on 28 C while the 7700K on 32 C. However, while rendering the 7700K can get fairly hot reaching temperatures of 73 C whereas the 7600K gets to 63 C.
The Core i7 7700K goes for $339 whereas the core i5 7600k goes for $242. There is almost a $100 difference. For people with the 7600K, it may not be worth replacing it with the 7700k. the difference in performance is minimal especially when overclocked . For gaming, the 7600K may be good value for money. The extra 100 bucks could be used for a better graphic card which could improve your overall experience. However, the 7700K performs much better as a work station processor. It will also perform better for newer games. These are mostly games that thrive on memory bandwidth. If you are building a PC to use for several years to come, either as a workstation or as a gaming PC, the Core i7 7700K is what you should go for since ap;;ications and games may be optimized for this processor.