What Kaby Lake brings to the table:

Intel’s newest installment in its line of I7 processors, Kaby Lake, was launched in August, 2016, and offers an exciting performance uptick from its predecessor. The highlight is its video engine, which can handle 10-bit content without breaking a sweat. Play a 10-bit color depth file on a Skylake (Kaby Lake’s predecessor) laptop with integrated graphics, and you drop frames and destroy battery life. The same video on Kaby Lake hums along with far less impact. The updated graphics core with the latest content protection can now stream 4K from services such as Netflix.com.

On the desktop side, however, power users don’t care about integrated graphics, focusing more on the lackluster x86 performance.To be fair, Intel set the expectation in August that Kaby Lake was basically Skylake on an improved process that squeezes out more megahertz.

For example, the top-end Core i7-7700K has a base clock of 4.2GHz and a Turbo Boost clock speed of 4.5GHz, vs. a Skylake Core i7-6700K’s base clock of 4GHz and Turbo Boost of 4.2GHz.

The cache size, the core count, the memory controller and even the same LGA1151 socket are unchanged from the previous chip.

Kaby Lake lineup has a total of 42 CPUs: 17 ultra low power chips for laptops, two quad-core Xeons, seven quad-core laptop CPUs, and 16 desktop CPUs.

The most interesting members among the group are the three unlocked “K” chips. The first two were expected: a quad-core with 4.2GHz Core i7-7700K with Hyper-Threading and a quad-core 3.8GHz Core i5-7600K without Hyper-Threading. The third is a surprise: the dual-core 4.2GHz Core i3-7350K. The CPU has Hyper-Threading but since it is a Core i3, does not have Turbo Boost enabled.

Despite those who were expecting more from this much-hyped piece of technology, this newest installment from Intel has brought exciting progress to the world of computing.


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