Intel began shipping a limited selection of its new Kaby Lake CPUs to OEMs in July, and a few manufacturers have already announced products with the new chips. Desktop CPUs based on Kaby Lake architecture, part of the "optimize" phase of Intel's process-architecture-optimize cadence of product launches, aren't expected until the first quarter of 2017.
The three-month gap separating the present from 2017 hasn't stopped Estonian retailer Faunder from accepting pre-orders for the line-topping Core i7-7700K CPU. The Core i7-7700K, like its Skylake Core i7-6700K forebearer, is a quad-core, eight-thread CPU fabricated using Intel's 14-nm process technology. The Kaby Lake and Skylake parts fit the same LGA 1151 socket and have unlocked multipliers for Intel-sanctioned overclocking, when paired with an appropriate motherboard.
The Core i7-7700K is clocked at 4.2GHz (200 MHz more than its Skylake predecessor) and packs 8MB of L3 cache, all in a 95W TDP. Faunder's Core i7-7700K product page lists a 4.5GHz Turbo Boost frequency, a 300 MHz increase compared to the current-generation chip.
Faunder is accepting pre-orders for Intel's latest desktop CPU for just over 360€. At current exchange rates, that figure comes to just over $400. For the sake of comparison, today's Core i7-6700K will drain a wallet of a little less than $350. U.S. prices for desktop Kaby Lake parts have not yet been announced, but new Intel parts are rarely substantially more expensive than outgoing SKUs.
Based on past releases, the upcoming Kaby Lake "optimization" step is likely to deliver the meager performance improvements along with reduced power consumption. Kaby Lake's video component will offer improved video hardware encoding and decoding support. Intel claims that Kaby Lake can pull as little as 0.5W while decoding 4K HEVC (H.265) video, compared to 10.2W for the same task on an equivalent Skylake chip.
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