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Someone did a no-no and posted an early review of a seventh-generation Intel CPU

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Chinese website PCOnline broke Intel’s non-disclosure agreement regarding the upcoming seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors for desktops by publishing an early review of the Core i5-7600K. There are plenty of charts and benchmarks to look at including hardware details provided by CPU-Z, photos of the actual processor, results from 3DMark, and more. This chip, along with its other desktop siblings, are not expected to be available until early January, so consider this tease as an early Christmas gift from PCOnline.

For starters, here is the upcoming processor compared to the two older generations that are also based on 14nm process technology:

Core i5-7600K Core i5-6600K Core i5-5675C
Architecture Kaby Lake-S Skylake Broadwell
Interface type LGA 1151 LGA 1151 LGA 1150
Cores/threads 4/4 4/4 4/4
Base clock speed 3.8GHz 3.5GHz 3.1GHz
Max clock speed 4.2GHz 3.9GHz 3.6GHz
Memory support DDR3L-1600
Integrated graphics HD 630 HD 530 Iris Pro 6200
Execution units 24 24 48
Level 3 cache 6MB 6MB 4MB
Level 4 cache n/a n/a 128MB eDRAM
TDP 91 watts 91 watts 65 watts

As the chart shows, the new seventh-generation chip provides faster base and boost clock speeds while keeping the same power requirement. As expected, the new chip also received an upgrade in the integrated graphics department.

Here is a chart showing the 3DMark benchmark scores of the upcoming processor’s integrated graphics component compared to the last generation. What you will see is a slight improvement in the graphics department, but do not expect it to replace your discrete graphics card. Here are the numbers:

HD 630 HD 530
Fire Strike 1252 1237
Time Spy 379 384
Sky Diver 4561 4429
Cloud Gate 10435 10355

Now here is a chart detailing the speed differences between the seventh-generation processor and the previous-generation model:

Core i5-7600K Core i5-6600K
Base clock speed 3.8GHz 3.5GHz
Max single-core speed 4.2GHz 3.9GHz
Max dual-core speed 4.1GHz 3.8GHz
Max three-core speed 4.1GHz 3.7GHz
Max four-core speed 4.0GHz 3.6GHz

Rather than pin a bunch of benchmark screenshots here, take a look at numbers using applications like CPU-Z, WinRar, Photoshop CS6, and a few others.

Core i5-7600K Core i5-6600K
Fritz Chess Benchmark 4.32 12972 12038
wPrime 2.05 255 276
CPU-Z 1.77.0 8310/2133 7697/1983
WinRAR 66 78
Photoshop CS6 90 95
TMPGEnc 4.7.7 52 57
Cinbench R15.0 690 646

Ultimately, the site concludes that the real star of the seventh-generation Kaby Lake rollout is the 200-series chipset for motherboards launching alongside the new desktop processors. This chipset supports Intel’s 3D XPoint memory architecture, Thunderbolt 3, 24 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes, six SATA 3 ports, 10 USB 3.0 ports, and more.

The good news with the 200-series chipset is that motherboards based on this hardware will be backwards compatible with sixth-generation Intel processors. Thus, if the new desktop processor lineup speeds do not justify the cost of a CPU upgrade, then consumers may still benefit from swapping out the motherboard for one based on Intel’s new chipset.

We expect to see Intel officially reveal its seventh-generation desktop processor lineup during CES 2017 in early January. Until then, you will continue to see leaks and broken NDAs ruin Intel’s big New Year’s surprise.

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