Report: unlocked Kaby Lake Core i3 CPU may be on the way

Intel has historically been at best ambivalent when it comes to allowing overclocking of its low-end and mid-range CPUs. The golden days of Celeron 300A CPUs being overclocked to near-performance-equivalence with the Pentium III 450 are in the distant past. The only throwback to that time that the silicon giant has offered in the last decade was the multiplier-unlocked Pentium G3258 from mid-2014. That situation could change, if rumors that sprung up over the weekend about an unlocked Core i3 CPU prove true. A price list posted by online vendor ShopBLT suggests the existence of a Core i3-7350K CPU based on Intel's latest 14-nm seventh-generation Core "Kaby Lake" architecture.

Notorious rumor mill website WCCFTech goes on to speculate that this CPU will have an unlocked multiplier and support for Intel's Turbo Boost feature, something that up until now hasn't been offered in Core i3 processors. The anticipated i3-7350K will allegedly pack two cores with Hyper-threading, backed up by 4MB of on-die cache. The leak says the factory base clock speed will be 4.0GHz, and can use Turbo Boost to reach 4.2GHz.

This information isn't completely surprising, however. Back in August, Jeff had a little chat with Intel's Dan Ragland, who sort-of-alluded to a value-oriented overclockable chip. Kaby Lake's improved process technology and resulting clock headroom seem like a good basis for an overclockable CPU, too.

WCCFTech claims contradictory TDP specifications of 61W and 91W for the dual-core chip. The site offered no information with respect to integrated graphics, but we would be shocked if the Core i3-7350K lacked Kaby Lake's more efficient graphics architecture with hardware support for H.265 video.

WCCFTech's SKU list also lists several other Core i3 models with Turbo Boost. Similarly, the rumor mongers suggest simultaneous multi-threading is spreading from Intel's Core CPU line to a pair of Pentium SKUs, the Pentium G4600 and G4620.

The ShopBLT listing pegs the Core i3-7350K at $177. That price is closer to the current cheapest unlocked Intel CPU, the $242 Core i5-6600K, than it is to the Pentium G3258's introductory price of $72.

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