There’s still a lot of potential to clock higher once Kaby Lake motherboards become available.
The next version of Intel’s processor microarchitecture is called Kaby Lake, which forms the successor to Skylake and chips using it are just now just starting to appear. Kaby Lake is a 14nm processor with very few changes to the CPU architecture compared to Skylake. It’s best to view it as a refinement, encouraging faster CPU clock speed, higher Turbo frequencies, and a new graphics architecture allowing for better 3D and 4K performance.
A small improvement in performance across the board may not be enough to tempt those already running Skylake chips into an upgrade. However, Kaby Lake looks to have an ace up its sleeve: it’s great for overclocking.
The highest performing Kaby Lake processor Intel currently plans to offer is the Core i7-7700K. It runs at a stock clock velocity of 4.2GHz, with Turbo increasing that to 4.5GHz. That’s impressive, but as HotHardware reports, Russian website OCLab (translated) managed to get hold of a 7700K and decided to see what it could really do.
Using liquid nitrogen cooling, they placed the Kaby Lake chip in a Z170 motherboard and started ramping up the speed. When they were done, the chip was running constant at 7022.96MHz, so 7GHz!
Typically with these massive overclocks, unless you’re willing to have an abundant way to obtain liquid nitrogen readily available you may never achieve them for your desktop computer. In addition they require all except one of the cores on the chip be turn off, making the CPU one primary. However, here again the Kaby Lake chip impressed as that 7GHz swiftness was achieved with two cores still working.
There’s still some headroom left to raise the overclock swiftness. I talked about the Z170 motherboard above as it’s a mature board. Kaby Lake gets its own type of motherboards created to support it specifically, signifying there’s potential to look quicker still after they are available.
If you enjoy overclocking your video gaming PC, and if you are using liquid cooling especially, a Kaby Lake processor should be on your buy list definitely. When you won’t strike 7GHz, over 5GHz should be possible easily, and with some tweaks I’m speculating 6GHz could be achievable without turning off the cores.
I think we’ll get a number of of the overclocking exams as more 7th gen Intel processors are shipped out. Ideally they verify OCLab wasn’t lucky with the processor it got and Kaby Lake chips are fantastic for overclocking over the board.
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