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[DigitalFoundry] Stock vs OC: 7350K vs 7600K vs 7700K

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daxzy

Senior member
Dec 22, 2013
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So you would argue that i5 @ 4.5 Ghz with DDR4 @ 3000 would be outclassed by i7 @ 3.7Ghz and DDR4 @ 2133?
Where are you getting your pricing numbers? Let's take a prospective buyer today looking for new items.

i5-6600K/7600K
Newegg: Z170 board ~$110 (cheapest is $90).
eBay: i5-6600K ~$200 (New, is $40 cheaper than NE) or (Newegg) ~$240 for a i5-7600K
Heatsink: $30 (Hyper 212 EVO)

i7-6700/7700
Newegg: H110 board ~$60 (cheapest is $45)
eBay: i7-6700 ~$275 (New, is $50 cheaper than NE) or (Newegg) $315 for a i7-7700
Heatsink: Stock

~$335 for a i7-6700, which is 4.0 Ghz turbo 4C/8T
~$340 for a i5-6600K, which you'll likely get 4.3-4.5 GHz 4C/4T at safe voltages using a budget O/C cooler.
~$375 for a i7-7700, which is 4.2 Ghz turbo 4C/8T (same as 6700K at stock)
~$380 for a i5-7600K, which you'll likely get 4.6-4.8 Ghz at safe voltages using a budget O/C cooler.

And based on a batch of benchmarks in this thread, yes an increasing amount of games would benefit from a lower clocked 4C/8T CPU than a higher clocked 4C/4T CPU. In all the games mentioned in the video, only 1 game had a 4.8 Ghz 4C/4T ahead (and it was only ahead by <0.5%). The rest of the games had the stock 4.2 Ghz 4C/8T ahead anywhere from 5-25+%. With most up by around 10-20%.

And of course, as evidenced by a lot of the "Rig" signatures on Anandtech, most people don't get a lower end Z170 board. Realistically, most people overclocking end up buying a midrange Z170 board (which is around $150), which skews the pricing even more.
 
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coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
4,162
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Where are you getting your pricing numbers?
What pricing numbers? I posted none, nor did I allude anything regarding your pricing comparison. As far as I'm concerned, the two system builds have comparable prices.

There are still 2 important mentions to be made regarding your comparison:
  • i7 6700 clocks at 3.7Ghz for quad core loads unless some form of All core enhancement is present on the board. Considering budget motherboards, it should be documented before purchase.
  • H110 chipsests do not officially support memory speeds above the stock 2133 for Skylake, XMP values default to 2133 and any overclock would have to be well documented for the specific board user is looking to buy.
So, unless you have a number of cheap boards with well documented "all core enhancement" and memory overclocking past 2133Mhz, the i7 configuration will boost at 3.7Ghz for quad core loads (games benefiting multithreading) and will run the memory at 2133Mhz. That can easily amount to a -20% performance penalty versus i7 @ 4Ghz and 3000+ DDR4, the kind of performance we see in reviews that use those expensive Z boards. (or even expensive H170 "pro" and "gaming" boards)
 
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Lepton87

Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2009
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I find it really puzzling that some people can't just admit that finally games make good use of 8 threads and that having less is no longer optimal. When I built my first SB rig it was hard to justify the 2600K over the 2500K but now things look really different even for games. I bought the 2500K and then I regretted I didn't just went straight for the 2600K because that CPU would last my a long time but with the 2500K I felt the need to upgrade to the i7 anyway. When I bought the 2500K games didn't make good use of the HT at all but 2 years later things already looked quite different with games finally making use of the additional threads already. Right now I think that buying the i5 7600K doesn't make sense at all. Paying more for just about any component so every thing in the computer is suitable for overclocking just to get an inferior frame-rate to the i7 for about the same price for the whole PC hardly seems worth it. So it's either the cheapest i5 or the i7, the K version of the i5 just doesn't make any sense from the value point of view. Finally games even make use of the HEDT cpus alas with HEDT we are stuck with an older core so what we gain from additional threads we more than lose in IPC and clock but that's for now soon we will get skylake HEDT and zen and the i7 7700K will no longer be the best CPU for games, that's for sure with the skylake but as for ZEN it remains to be seen I'm curious.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
4,162
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I find it really puzzling that some people can't just admit that finally games make good use of 8 threads and that having less is no longer optimal.
There is a clear difference between admitting new games do indeed benefit from 8 threaded CPUs and trying to promote the i7 as always better than i5 K.

Paying more for just about any component so every thing in the computer is suitable for overclocking just to get an inferior frame-rate to the i7 for about the same price for the whole PC hardly seems worth it.
As I posted above, using the i7 in a budget configuration leaves a lot of performance on the table, so much performance that the hyper threading benefit might actually be negated by lower CPU and memory clocks. I would love to be given examples of budget boards being able to overcome these limitations.

If I were offered to choose between i7 @ 4Ghz + DDR4 3000 and i5 @ 4.7 Ghz and DDR4 3000, I would definitely go for the i7 build. However, make me choose between i7 @ 3.7Ghz + DDR4 2133 and i5 @ 4.5 Ghz + DDR4 3000+ and I'll start asking questions, like what kind of loads and games will the system be used for - it's not a no brainer anymore.

Like it or not, Intel makes sure you get what you pay for.
 

CatMerc

Golden Member
Jul 16, 2016
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It's always important to remember that these tests are using top of the line expensive GPU's. For something like an RX 480 or GTX 1060, an i5 will do just fine pushing it.

If you intend to hold onto a platform for a long time, then yeah go ahead and get a highly threaded and high core count CPU. But if you replace your CPU and GPU together, then no point in getting an overpowered CPU.
 

Lepton87

Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2009
2,546
8
81
There is a clear difference between admitting new games do indeed benefit from 8 threaded CPUs and trying to promote the i7 as always better than i5 K.


As I posted above, using the i7 in a budget configuration leaves a lot of performance on the table, so much performance that the hyper threading benefit might actually be negated by lower CPU and memory clocks. I would love to be given examples of budget boards being able to overcome these limitations.

If I were offered to choose between i7 @ 4Ghz + DDR4 3000 and i5 @ 4.7 Ghz and DDR4 3000, I would definitely go for the i7 build. However, make me choose between i7 @ 3.7Ghz + DDR4 2133 and i5 @ 4.5 Ghz + DDR4 3000+ and I'll start asking questions, like what kind of loads and games will the system be used for - it's not a no brainer anymore.

Like it or not, Intel makes sure you get what you pay for.
Clearly DDR4 2133MHz just isn't optimal for a Skylake system and it indeed leaves too much performance on the table for my taste. I wouldn't pair the skylake i7 with anything less than 3000MHz. Officially supported memory speed might be important for an OEM computer maker but sticking to such a low speed for a DIY computer hampers performance a bit too much. It doesn't make sense to save a few dollars on memory. DDR4 3000MHz is cheap enough that buying slower memory actually results in lower performance per dollar for the whole computer.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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I wouldn't pair the skylake i7 with anything less than 3000MHz. Officially supported memory speed might be important for an OEM computer maker but sticking to such a low speed for a DIY computer hampers performance a bit too much. It doesn't make sense to save a few dollars on memory. DDR4 3000MHz is cheap enough that buying slower memory actually results in lower performance per dollar for the whole computer.
Great, so what budget MB that allows memory overclocking would you advise?
 
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[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
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Clearly DDR4 2133MHz just isn't optimal for a Skylake system and it indeed leaves too much performance on the table for my taste. I wouldn't pair the skylake i7 with anything less than 3000MHz. Officially supported memory speed might be important for an OEM computer maker but sticking to such a low speed for a DIY computer hampers performance a bit too much. It doesn't make sense to save a few dollars on memory. DDR4 3000MHz is cheap enough that buying slower memory actually results in lower performance per dollar for the whole computer.
You can actually get 3200 for about the same cost of 3000 now, within a few bucks. See g.skill tridentz ddr4.

Why is the i7 killing the i5 at the same clock speed?
Is HT making a bigger difference than usual?
i5's being 'just as good' as i7's ended a year or two ago tbh, depending on what class of titles you were looking at. I wouldn't touch anything less than an i7 at this point.

I would not consider my i5 build a budget build, My cpu cost me $150 used and will be faster than most systems out there. It pushes my $400 gtx1070 just fine.
My motherboard and ram cost me like $300!
Hate to break it to you, but nowadays $150 *is* budget for gaming. For a system that will last a while (4-5 yrs) I'd anticipate ~$150-$200 for mobo, $200-$400 for cpu (depending on AMD's offering, and/or what kind of deal you can get from intel's i7+ series), $200ish on RAM (which can clear 32GB of the good stuff nowadays),and $300-$500 on a vid card (depending on your target resolution). Anything dipping below those is likely to end up with you upgrading before the system is really outdated.
 

maddogmcgee

Senior member
Apr 20, 2015
283
139
116
I find it really puzzling that some people can't just admit that finally games make good use of 8 threads and that having less is no longer optimal. When I built my first SB rig it was hard to justify the 2600K over the 2500K but now things look really different even for games. I bought the 2500K and then I regretted I didn't just went straight for the 2600K because that CPU would last my a long time but with the 2500K I felt the need to upgrade to the i7 anyway. When I bought the 2500K games didn't make good use of the HT at all but 2 years later things already looked quite different with games finally making use of the additional threads already. Right now I think that buying the i5 7600K doesn't make sense at all. Paying more for just about any component so every thing in the computer is suitable for overclocking just to get an inferior frame-rate to the i7 for about the same price for the whole PC hardly seems worth it. So it's either the cheapest i5 or the i7, the K version of the i5 just doesn't make any sense from the value point of view. Finally games even make use of the HEDT cpus alas with HEDT we are stuck with an older core so what we gain from additional threads we more than lose in IPC and clock but that's for now soon we will get skylake HEDT and zen and the i7 7700K will no longer be the best CPU for games, that's for sure with the skylake but as for ZEN it remains to be seen I'm curious.
Yep, I upgraded from a 2500k to a 6700k partially because of the extra performance I gained from 4 more threads. I also think though that I will regret not waiting a little longer for 6 core to hit the mainstream.....if I had of known about Zen's likely performance last year I would have waited for sure. I can see 8 thread/4 core being beaten soundly by 6-8 real cores in the next few years.
 

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