Hello and welcome to tech deals, Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake Line of processors and 200 Series motherboards. What is this video and why should you watch? In this video, I’m going to cover the entire line of 7th Generation Processors from Intel from the $65 Pentium G4560, all the way up to the $350 i7-7700K. I’m going to explain who should use them, what benefits each processor provides, and what motherboard I think they should be installed in.
Linked in the video description below will be several things. First of all, every product and everything that I mention in this video will be linked to both Amazon and Newegg down there. Be sure to check the prices between both stores, both are great companies and they sell everything that I mention here, so see whichever place is selling it for the least and buy it where it makes the most sense for you.
I will also have linked in the video description below all of my motherboard reviews. I will have reviews of all the different products you see sitting here where I unbox them and take them out. So if you want more details on inexpensive motherboards, high end motherboards, you will find that all in the video description below.
First, I want to briefly mention the motherboards that have come out with the 7th Generation processors. Over here we have a B250 motherboard, and in front of me I have a Z270. There’s actually a third Chipset called an H270 motherboard. I’ll talk about that in a second. But in short, if you’re looking at one of the high end overclockable K level processors from Intel, then generally you should be on the Z270 board. Everything else should generally be on the B250 board.
B250 boards range in price between $65 and $100. This particular board happens to be one of the $100 boards. It’s full featured. It has four memory slots. It supports AMD crossfire. It’s a very nice board. But you can also find very good boards from MSI, ASRock and other companies for about $65, that will do the job just fine. Everything from the Pentium to the i5 and i3 non-K processors can all be installed in a B250 and all will run at full speed.
The Z270 series boards start at about $110 and go way up from there. This happens to be a Republic of Gamers Strix gaming board from ASUS for $200. Previously reviewed, this board is in my $1,500 build. The full build video will be in the video description below if you’d like to see this being installed into a computer. But there are some very good $130 to $160 choices in the Z270 series, I will link to several of them in the video description below.
So processors. Let’s start off with the Pentium line of chips. The Pentium line is exciting this time around. For the first time ever, Intel has added hyperthreading to the Pentium line of processors. This was not true in the 6th Generation and all the previous lines before this. What this means is that, while the Pentium series of chips are two cores, they are four threads. It’s basically an i3 on a budget, so it presents itself as being four processing cores to the operating system. It really isn’t. There’s really only two execution units. However, smoother multitasking, smoother game playing for $65, the G4560 is an excellent value for the money. 3.5 gigahertz clock speed. Intel’s HD 610 integrated graphics chip. $65. Install it on a $65 B250 motherboard. It’s a very, very reasonably priced option for excellent performance. I will be doing a build video in the future using that chip and a $65 board so you can get an idea of what to expect for performance.
There are two more Pentium processors I will mention briefly. I generally don’t recommend them because they don’t offer the value for the money that I like to feature here on Tech Deals. The G4600 and the G4620 are 3.6 and 3.7 Gigahertz prospectively. They’re very small clock speed jumps over the 4560. You won’t notice a 100 megahert difference between those chips. There is however one other change. The G4600 and 4620 have the Intel HD 630 integrated graphics. All that means is they have doubled the graphics performance of the 4560. This only matters if you plan to use the integrated graphics built into the chip. If you’re going to play games, everything for League of Legends to Minecraft to Counterstrike Global Offensive, which will all play just fine on this processor, then I would spend the extra $25 to get the G4600, which has the HD 630 graphics. However, if you are going to install any dedicated gaming graphics card, save your money and get the 4560.
The next line of CPU’s is the i3 series. The i3 series is interesting because we have a brand new processor that Intel has never done before. The i3 7350K Unlocked Processor. Intel has never done an i3 K chip before. Now, just to be clear, if you’re not familiar, any of the processors with a K at the end of the model name means that the processor multiplier is unlocked, meaning you can run them faster than they shipped from the factory. Now to do so, you will need a Z270 series motherboard.
This happens to be a $200 ASUS Republic of Gamer Strix Z270 E motherboard. I’ve previously reviewed this and this is actually installed in my $1,500 1440 P gaming rig that I’ve done a whole build video series on, linked to that in the video description below. Basically everything I’m going to mention in this video should be down there. If it’s not, mention it, I’ll be sure to add it. This processor ships at 4.2 gigahertz. You should easily be able to run this chip at five gigahertz with adequate cooling. Please note, none of the K chips come with a cooler in the box. The Pentium and all of the non-K chips do come with a cooler. This has a heat sink and fan in the box. Use it, it works fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. But all three of these K chips come with no cooler, so you will have to add cooling. Cooling is a subject for a different video, but I will say that cooling options range from $30 up to about $100, depending upon how much cooling you want and how much overclocking that you want to do. However, all of these chips should run at five gigahertz with adequate cooling.
The i3 7350K is a $180 processor. That is also the most expensive i3 that Intel has ever released. There are other i3 chips you might want to consider. The base level model is the i3 7100 for $120 at 3.9 gigahertz. It’s only 300 megahertz less than this chip and it’s substantially less expensive. $60 less expensive for only 300 megahertz. It’s a really good value for the money if you want to step up to an i3. However, this is unlocked. This will run at five gigahertz with adequate cooling. The i3 7100 will not. Something to keep in mind. The other two models of i3 are the i3 7300 and the i3 7320. Those processors are 4.0 and 4.1 gigahertz respectively and they are $150 to $165 respectively. I don’t think either one of them are honestly worth considering. It’s really either go to the low end, either the Pentium or the i3 7100, or spend a bit more to get the K processor, put it in a overclockable motherboard and get a lot of clock speed out of it. Depends upon what your needs are.
It is worth noting that all of the non-K i3’s work perfectly in a B250 board. So you can buy a $65 to $100 motherboard and install the $120 i3 7100 and you’ll be good to go. If you installed the i3 7350 K into a B250, you cannot overclock it. It’s not worth spending the money on this unless you’re going to put it into one of these nice motherboards. Finally, one point to be clear about the entire i3 line is that just like the Pentium line, they are two cores and four threads. This is an important distinction, because while the naming scheme is different the chips really aren’t. Two cores, four threads. Two cores, four threads.
Now, the Pentium line is 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 gigahertz. While the i3 line starts at 3.9 and goes through 4.2. But these are just clock speed differences, the actual chips themselves are basically the same processors, so if you’re thinking of getting an i3, I would strongly encourage you to consider a Pentium, and specifically this Pentium, the G4560, to save some money and get almost the same performance as most of the i3 line unless you go with the K chip and plan to overclock to five gigahertz.
Moving on to the Core i5 line. The Core i5 line has long been considered the mainstream, middle of the road, for everyone processor. I quite like the i5. The big difference between the i5 and the i3 and the Pentiums is four true processing ores. No hyperthreading here. These are all four real processing cores. Multitasking, video editing and rendering, playing advanced games, such as Battlefield One, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dishonored Two. If you want to play advanced AAA gaming titles, you want to be on at least a four core processor. If you want to do content creation, multitasking, you want to have 10 web browser tabs open at once, you want to be watching a video while playing a game, you definitely want to be on at least an i5 processor to get four real cores.
The line starts with an entry level i5 7400 processor. There are two more models above that. The i5 7500 and the i5 7600. The top of the line is this one here, the i5 7600K. What are the differences? In short, the K processor, just like the i3, when installed on a Z270 motherboard and given sufficient cooling, should be able to overclock to five gigahertz. It has the same four cores, the same internal structure, the same integrated graphics, the same cache, as all the other i5 chips. The only difference with the K chip is it does not come with a cooler, and installed on a Z270, it will overclock quite comfortably given sufficient cooling.
The other three models, the i5 7400, the i5 7500 and the i5 7600 are separated only by their base and turbo clock speeds that they ship with from the factory. All three come with the Intel stock cooler. You can absolutely run those chips on an Intel stock cooler just fine, you don’t have to buy additional cooling if you don’t want to. The i5 7400 has a base clock speed of 3.0, 3.0 gigahertz, turbo boosting to 3.5. Please note, it will not run above 3.5. That’s its max clock speed. It costs about $180, which you will note is basically the same price as the i3 7350K and I honestly don’t think most of you should buy that chip. It’s really designed for OEM’s and large companies that make prebuilt machines. Acer Lenovo, HP, Dell, etc. They love that processor because if they build a million computers and save $20 per computer, that’s a lot of money. So if you’re upgrading or building your own machine, I recommend you skip i5 7400 and at least go to the i5 7500.
Why? The i5 7500 is $20 more. It is $200 instead of $180. What do you get for that extra money? Clock speed. 3.4 gigahertz space. 3.8 gigahertz turbo. That is a 400 megahertz increase in base speed and a 300 megahertz increase in turbo speed. It will be noticeable enough over the 7400 if you’re building your own machine to make it worth the $20. Basically, if you’re going to spend the money for a motherboard and a processor and new memory and a nice graphics card, the extra $20 shouldn’t break the bank and the extra 300 to 400 megahertz of clock speed is definitely nice to have. That’s like a 10% performance boost compared to the 7400.
Now what about the 7600 non-K chip? Its base clock speed is only 100 megahertz faster than the 7500. It is 3.5 instead of 3.4. Now the turbo speed is noticeably faster at 4.1. It’s a 300 megahertz faster turbo speed, but only a 100 megahertz faster base speed. The turbo speed is nice, but you will only really get the top turbo speed if you’re using one core. If you’re multitasking or playing games, none of the chips will run at their top turbo speed and so, realistically, you’re looking at maybe a 200 megahertz difference between the 7500 and the 7600. I recommend the 7500. I think most people should get the 7500.
Now, if you can find the 7600 for $10, $15, maybe $20 more, sure, by all means, go ahead and spend the extra money. You’ll get a little bit extra clock speed and that never hurts. On the day I filmed this video, in the first week of February, 2017, there was currently a $30 price difference between the 7500 and the 7600. I don’t think it’s worth the $30, but that’s a personal choice. If the price is less, make the step up. If it’s the same or more, I would recommend sticking with the 7500.
Finally, all of the non-K chips I would install in the B250 series of motherboards. There’s no reason to go to a Z270 series of boards. These cost more. They take up more room. If you’re not going to get an unlocked processor, I would be absolutely satisfied installing any of the non-K chips into a B250 board. Now, which B250 board you buy, that’s a different topic and it’s a topic for another video. I will do a B250 comparison. I actually have three different B250 motherboards. I’m going to do a comparison video in the future, talking about the differences. While I would install one of the Pentium or the i3 non-K chips in one of the $65 B255 boards, I would give serious consideration to installing the i5 7500 into this B250 board.
Why? This board has four memory slots, more USB ports, it supports AMDs Crossfire. You can install two AMD graphics cards in this board. You can’t in the less expensive boards. It’s a very nice board. Now it is $35 more expensive than the very low end boards, but if you’re spending $200 on your CPU, $100 for a motherboard strikes me as reasonable.
The next question people are likely to ask is, what about the H270? There is a motherboard, not here, between the B250 and the Z270 and it’s called the H270. The feature differences and the expandability, the options available on an H270 are not dramatically different from a B250. If you want more features, more USB ports, more PCI express lanes than the B250 has to offer, I would recommend making the leap and going ahead and getting a Z270 board. I would skip the H270 completely in this generation of processors.
Now, I’ve mentioned the Z270 several times. Let me mention prices for a minute. There are Z270 boards as low as $110. I actually have one of them from Gigabyte. You’ll be seeing an upcoming video on that board. This is a $200 board and there’s many boards in between. $130, $150, $170, and they go up from there. You can absolutely install any of these CPUs on a Z board, but if you’re going to buy a Z board, get a K processor, it at least gives you the option to overclock it if you want.
And speaking of Z boards, that brings us to the i5 7600 K. This processor has a base clock speed of 4.2, but that doesn’t matter. If you’re buying a K chip and you’re installing it on a Z board, you’re going to overclock it, or you should be anyway. So the shipping clock speed really shouldn’t matter. This Will run comfortably with adequate cooling. A good 120 to 240 millimeter liquid cooler will easily run this at five gigahertz. Now, if you want to install a less expensive air cooler on it, such as a Hyper 212 EVO from Cooler Master for $30, you may not get five gigahertz out of it, you may only get 4.8. Honestly, the performance difference between 4.8 and five is not a large difference. That’s a fairly small difference. It’s more psychological in your mind to hit that 5.0 number than it is any real difference between 4.8 and 5.0, but you can absolutely drop it down a little bit and use a less expensive cooler if you want to.
That brings us to the i7 series of processors. What is this and why should you consider one? Well, there are actually two different i7 processors, but there’s really only one that I think you should consider. This is the Core i7 7700K for $350. There is an i7 7700 non-K chip for about $30 less expensive. I don’t think it’s worth considering. The i7 7700 runs at 3.6 gigahertz base speed, turbo boosting to 4.2. It does come with an Intel heat sink and fan, although I think 4.2 is quite high for that chip, but it will run on it, and, you can install the i7 7700 into the B250 board. However, if you are going to spend $320 on a processor, $350 does not strike me as unreasonable in terms of a price jump, it’s about 10% more money. Now ignoring overclocking for a minute, the base clock speed of the K chip is 4.2, with a turbo boost to 4.5. That is a noticeable performance jump over the 3.6 gigahertz base of the non-K chip, so we’re not going to talk about the non-K i7 anymore.
I really recommend that if you have a need for an i7, you step up to the 7700K. Furthermore, it should be installed in a Z270 board. Now you may or may not want to spend $200 on a wonderful board like this ASUS Republic of Gamers Strix Z270E board, previously reviewed, and installed in my $1,500 build. But there are some excellent $150 options available that still give you NVIDIA SLI support and four memory slots and many USB 3.0 and 3.1 slots. There’s many, many, many great choices to install one of these chips into. The i7 processors have four processing cores, just like the i5 does, but it has hyperthreading like the i3 does, so it has eight threads. What this means is that windows and your program see it as an eight core chip. It’s not, it’s a four core chip. It is not double the performance of an i3, but there are situations where it is a noticeable benefit over an i5.
What situations might make you want to step up to an i7 processor? There’s basically three situations where I can see most people would want to consider the leap from the i5 to the i7 chip. Number one, gaming. Do you want to play Battlefield One? Do you want to play the new crop of AAA game titles coming out in 2017? I would highly recommend it if your budget allows stepping up to the i7 7700K games are starting to use more than four threads. There is a difference in terms of smoothness in games such as Battlefield One on an i7 versus an i5. Please note, this does not mean that your maximum or average frame rates in games are going to be noticeably higher. Your minimum frame rates are going to be better. This is a very important distinction because if you just look at benchmarks where you look at average frame performance between an i5 and an i7, you won’t see a lot of difference. It’s the minimums that will be better. It’s the smoothness of play. It’s one thing to have a lot of large spikes in your overall game play, but if your lows, if your stutters are quite bad, you still have a pretty poor overall experience. One of the things the extra threads on an i7 give a game like Battlefield One, that will use more than four threads, is the ability to run smoother, not faster, smoother.
The second reason you might consider an i7 processor is content creation. If you’re serious about doing video editing, video rendering, 3D animation, anything to do with content creation, the extra money spent on an i7 processor will pay for itself over the three to five years that you’re likely to own such a chip. Again, just like games, having an i7 does not mean that your videos will render twice as fast, but they will render up to 30% faster depending upon the video, the application you’re using, and how well it can actually utilize the hyperthreads to better optimize the render process. I have seen a performance jump in the low single digits, all the way up to 30%, depending upon the application being used. 3D rendering really loves i7’s over i5’s. But if you’re serious about it, if you’re doing a lot of content, it’s $100 more, give or take, get the i7 and be happy with your machine.
Let me offer one addendum there. If you are very casual with video, if you just record some casual gameplay, you render it in 1080P and you upload to YouTube for fun, an i5 is fine. There’s nothing wrong with an i5 for that application. If you’re working in a 4K video or you do anything remotely approaching the tag “professional,” get the i7. The third group of people who should consider an i7 are professional workstation users, multitasking users, anybody who would consider their computer to be a server or multiuser workstation. If you have virtual machines running in the background, if you are doing heavy multitasking, if you’re having multiple people access the computer remotely and running programs on it, by all means definitely get the most CPU you can possibly afford. Those type of situations call for lots of threads, lots of cores, lots of on chip cache. Definitely get at least an i7. Maybe even more than this depending upon your needs, but I wouldn’t get anything less than an i7 for that type of use case.
This has been my summary of the 7th Generation of Kaby Lake processors and motherboards. Now, everything I’ve mentioned in this video will be linked in the video description below. I know it’s a lot of information, that’s why I’ve put some of it up here in text as the video has gone along. Let me just do a quick recap.
Budget oriented users looking for a nice upgrade on a very small budget, $65 for the Pentium G4560, $65 for a B250 motherboard. Those will be the first links down in the video description below. Great entry level budget option. Most mainstream users, I would recommend an i5, either an i5 7500 on a B250 board, such as this one, or an i5 7600K installed on a Z270 board, such as this one. And for power users, go with the i7, it’s worth the extra money. Games and multitasking and programs are using those hyperthreads now. A year or two ago I wouldn’t have given that advice. I would have said for games an i5 is all you need, that’s changed. My advice in 2017 is for heavy hardcore game users, i7, mainstream users, i5, and probably everybody else is perfectly happy with a Pentium G4560.