Intel Core i3-7350K Kaby Lake CPU Performance

When Intel rolled out the Kaby Lake desktop processor lineup last week we were excited about the Intel Core i3-7350K processor. The Intel Core i3-7350K is an interesting part as it is a dual-core unlocked K-sku processor with relatively high clock speeds (4.2GHz) and hyper-threading technology for a modest $168.  Not bad for a chip that has 4MB of L3 cache, Intel HD 630 graphics and a TDP of just 60 Watts. The Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition dual-core 3.2 GHz processor back in 2014 was the last true enthusiast friendly unlocked dual-core processor and it didn't feature Hyper-Threading, but was priced lower at just $72. The new Intel Core i3-7350K  is priced more than twice that, so it is nice to see Intel supporting the budget friendly enthusiast market albeit at higher priced here in 2017. Intel Core i7-7700K and Core i3-7350K

Intel 7th Generation 'Kaby Lake' LGA1151 Desktop CPU Lineup

SKU Name Cores/Threads Core Clock Boost Clock L3 Cache TDP Graphics Price (USD)
Core i7-7700K 4/8 4.2 GHz 4.5 GHz 8 MB 91W 630 $339
Core i7-7700 4/8 3.6 GHz 4.2 GHz 8 MB 65W 630 $303
Core i7-7700T 4/8 2.9 GHz 3.8 GHz 8 MB 35W 630 $303
Core i5-7600K 4/4 3.8 GHz 4.2 GHz 6 MB 91W 630 $242
Core i5-7600 4/4 3.5 GHz 4.1 GHz 6 MB 65W 630 $213
Core i5-7600T 4/4 2.8 GHz 3.7 GHz 6 MB 35W 630 $213
Core i5-7500 4/4 3.4 GHz 3.8 GHz 6 MB 65W 630 $192
Core i5-7500T 4/4 2.7 GHz 3.3 GHz 6 MB 35W 630 $192
Core i5-7400 4/4 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 6 MB 65W 630 $182
Core i5-7400T 4/4 2.4 GHz 3.0 GHz 6 MB 35W 630 $182
Core i3-7350K 2/4 4.2 GHz N/A 4 MB 60W 630 $168
Core i3-7320 2/4 4.1 GHz N/A 4 MB 51W 630 $149
Core i3-7300 2/4 4.0 GHz N/A 4 MB 51W 630 $138
Core i3-7300T 2/4 3.5 GHz N/A 3 MB 35W 630 $138
Core i3-7100 2/4 3.9 GHz N/A 3 MB 51W 630 $117
Core i3-7100T 2/4 3.4 GHz N/A 3 MB 35W 630 $117
  The Intel Core i3-7350K processor is a 60W TDP dual-core processor with 4-threads since it has Intel Hyper-Threading technology. It does not have a boost clock, like all Intel Core i3 processors, so it it runs at it's base clock of 4.2 GHz while under varying states of load. You can think of an Intel Core i3-7350K processor as half an Intel Core i7-7700K as it has the same base core clock with half the cores, cache and price tag. Intel Core i7-7700K and Core i3-7350K Pins Intel sent us over a bare Intel Core i3-7350K ES processor, so we don't have any retail packaging to show you or CPU coolers to talk about! Let's take a look at the test system and then the test results!

Our CPU Test Systems

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We tested on five different desktop platforms (Intel Z77, Intel Z97, Intel Z270, Intel X99 and AMD AM3+) in this article, so we'll just quickly touch on each as all shared common parts (CPU Cooler, Video Card, SSD, Power Supply) and only differed in the board, processor, memory kit and memory timings. Core i7-7700K Test System Picture The Intel Z270 platform that we used to test the Intel 1151 processors was running the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 with UEFI F5e that came out on 12/28/2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings as we wanted to test with one of the most popular clock frequencies sold today. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card with GeForce 376.33 WHQL drivers for all of the systems. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply, Corsair Hydro Series H105 water cooler and Crucial MX300 1050GB SSDs on all of the desktop systems.
Intel LGA1151 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-7700K

Motherboard

Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 5 Click Here

Memory

16GB Vengeance 3000MHz DDR4 Click Here

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 FE Click Here

Hard Drive

Crucial MX300 1050GB Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H105 Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K70 RGB Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M65 Pro Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Monitor

ASUS VE278Q 27" Click Here

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit Click Here
Intel Z97 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 2801 that came out on 11/15/2015. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 11-11-11-28 1T memory timings. Intel Z77 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1155 processors was running the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H (rev 1.0) motherboard with BIOS F16h that came out on 07/11/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2133 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Intel X99 Platform: The Intel X99 platform we picked to use for the LGA2011-v3 processors was the ASUS X99-E-10G WS board with BIOS 0403 and that is the initial release UEFI as no newer version has come out since the introduction of that board in 2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings. AMD AM3+  Platform: The AMD AM3+ platform that we used to test the AM3+ processors featured the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer  motherboard with BIOS 1.60 that came out on 01/14/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Laptops:  Just for fun we also included Dell XPS 13 9350 and Dell Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop results! These are retail Dell laptops with clean installs of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 installed for comparison to the desktop platforms. Let's take a look at overclocking and move onto the benchmarks!

Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 SP3 Memory Bandwidth: link

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 is a utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. This test has been popular for CPU and memory benchmarks for well over a decade and it is one of the easiest benchmarks out there to run.

AIDA64 5.80 Memory & Cache Benchmark: link

AIDA64 is an industry-leading system information tool, loved by PC enthusiasts around the world, which not only provides extremely detailed information about both hardware and installed software, but also helps users diagnose issues and offers benchmarks to measure the performance of the computer. Memory Bandwidth Results Summary: The We tested the Intel Core i7-7700K, Core i3-7350K and the Core i7-6700K on the same exact Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 motherboard with Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000MHz memory kit with CL15 timings, so it's not a big shocker that the memory performance is very close. We were a little shocked to see that the memory bandwidth was reported as fastest of any dual-channel platform in Sandra 2016 SP3, but we'll take it!

Real World Benchmarks

Dolphin 5.0 x64 Emulator Benchmark: link

The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release happened in 2016 and thanks to a major cleaning up of the codebase Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. Dolphin is considered by many to be the best Nintendo Wii emulator for PC you can find. It also works for Gamecube. We are running the official Dolphin 5.0 benchmark as it offers closer mapping to real world Dolphin performance as the previous version was extremely floating point heavy. We feel this is a pretty good general CPU benchmark for real world performance as emulation workloads are something that most gamers will run at one point or another.  We benchmark the standard Wii homebrew application and run it with the speed limit set to 'unlimited' and the External Frame Buffer set to 'real' in case you wanted to run this on your personal system.

Agisoft Photoscan 1.2.6 x64 - 2D to 3D Image Manipulation Benchmark: link

Agisoft PhotoScan is a stand-alone software product that performs photogrammetric processing of 2D digital images and generates 3D spatial data to be used in GIS applications, cultural heritage documentation, and visual effects production as well as for indirect measurements of objects of various scales. We us the 50 images from the 'Building' sample data download page for our benchmark. We take the total time it takes to complete four steps: Align Photos, Build Dense Cloud, Build Model, Build Texture with all the default settings for each.

KeyShot 6.3 - 3D Rendering and Animation: link

KeyShot 3D rendering and animation software is one of the fastest, easiest way to create amazing, photographic visuals of your 3D data. We installed KeyShot 6.3 to do some benchmarking and real-world stress testing using the camera_benchmark.bip scene that is included with the application. This benchmark tests a 800x554 pixel image with a continuous sample rate and shows the Frames Per Second (FPS) that the scene is being rendered from. This scene has nearly 42,000 triangles and does a good job at using all available cores to render the scene.

Blender 2.78a Open Source 3D Creation Benchmark: link

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. We use the BMW CPU Benchmark (CCO, 3MB) created by Mike Pan for our testing. Real World Benchmark Results Summary: When it comes to our 'real world' benchmark tests we found the Intel Core i3-7350K excelled in lightly threaded benchmark tests like Dolphin 5.0, but fell behind against all the other quad-cores in applications using more threads.

Media Encoding & Encryption Benchmarks

HandBrake v1.0.1 - link

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded. We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. For our benchmark scenario we used a standard 2D 4K (3840x2160) 60 FPS clip in the MP4 format and used Handbrake version 1.0.1 to do two things. We used the new Fast 1080p30 preset to shrink that down to a 1920 x 1080 video clip to reduce the file size. This is something people often do to save space to put movies onto mobile devices. We also ran the workload using the normal preset as it puts the CPU at a higher load than the Fast 1080p30 preset.

X264 HD Encoding - link

the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test. Media Encoding Benchmark Results Summary: Our media tests showed that the Intel Core i7-7700K Kabylake processor was 6-7% faster in our handbrake test than the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor and an impressive 13-14% faster than the Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell processor. More impressive is the fact that it was 30% to 46% faster than the Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge processor overclocked up to the same 4.5GHz clock speed. In our x264 HD benchmark the Intel Core i7-7700K  was 5% faster on the first pass and a solid 7% faster in the second pass versus the Core i7-6700K.  Not bad results here as this will shave tens of minutes off transcoding entire movies.

VeraCrypt 1.19 - link

VeraCrypt is an open-source disk encryption software brought to you by IDRIX and is a fork based on the discontinued TrueCrypt 7.1a utility. The developers claim that weaknesses found in TrueCrypt have been resolved with the VeraCrypt project. This is a popular utility used by people that don't want to use Microsoft's built-in encyption tool for Windows 10 called Bitlocker. Encryption Benchmark Results Summary: If you plan on doing a ton of video editing or encryption, you are way better off with a quad-core processor as the Intel Core i3-7350K just doesn't have enough cores to keep up!

Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks

Mozilla Kraken 1.1: link

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. Kraken uses a test harness based on the SunSpider benchmark. Results are reported in milliseconds (lower is better).

Google Octane 2.0: link

Octane 2.0 is a benchmark created by Google that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests that is supposed to be representative of today’s complex and demanding web applications. Octane‘s goal is to measure the performance of JavaScript code found in large, real-world web applications, running on modern mobile and desktop browsers. The latest Octane 2.0 benchmark includes four new tests to measure new aspects of JavaScript performance, including garbage collection / compiler latency and asm.js-style JavaScript performance.

JetStream 1.1: link

JetStream combines a variety of JavaScript benchmarks, covering a variety of advanced workloads and programming techniques, and reports a single score that balances them using geometric mean. JetStream includes benchmarks from the SunSpider 1.0.2 and Octane 2 JavaScript benchmark suites. It also includes benchmarks from the LLVM compiler open source project, compiled to JavaScript using Emscripten 1.13. It also includes a benchmark based on the Apache Harmony open source project's HashMap and a port of the CDx benchmark, hand-translated to JavaScript.

WebXPRT 2015: link

WebXPRT 2015 uses scenarios created to mirror the tasks you do every day to compare the performance of almost any Web-enabled device. It contains six HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Enhancement, Organize Album, Stock Option Pricing, Local Notes, Sales Graphs, and Explore DNA Sequencing. Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks Results Summary: When it comes to online browsing it is clear that Kaby Lake is superior thanks to Intel Speed Shift v2 technology that allows the processors in this series to run at high power states sooner than previous versions. The Intel Core i3-7350K does good on these HTML5 and JavaScript heavy tests as Kraken uses just one thread, Octane uses up to two threads and lastly Jetstream and WebXPRT use up to four.

3DMark & Cinebench

Futuremark 3DMark 2.2.3509 - link

3DMark is a popular gaming performance benchmark that includes everything you need to benchmark your PC whether you're gaming on a desktop PC, laptop, notebook, or a tablet. 3DMark includes seven benchmark tests and we'll be running 'Sky Diver' that is aimed at gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.

Maxon Cinebench R15.038 - link 

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. 3DMark and Cinebench Benchmarks Results Summary: Not the fastest performance numbers of the processors tested, but the Core i7-7350K still has respectable performance and it's still crazy to see a dual-core Kaby Lake processor beating the AMD FX-8370 quad-core CPU in many benchmarks.

Discrete GPU Gaming Performance

Thief

Thief is a series of stealth video games in which the player takes the role of Garrett, a master thief in a fantasy/steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with more advanced technologies interspersed. Thief is the fourth title in the Thief series, developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix on February 25, 2014. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015.  Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos.  It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations. The game was released on August 23rd, 2016 for PC users and we are using it to show DX12 performance on the CPUs that we tested. DX12 removed most all of the CPU overhead, so we wanted to see what happens to performance on DX12 game titles as well. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; DX12 enabled, exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz, medium graphics. Discrete Gaming Benchmarks Results Summary: On the three game titles we tested the Intel Core i3-7350K actually does really well, but it is worth noting that a dual-core processor for gaming is arguably not enough these days. Many Intel Pentium G3258 dual-core processor owners recently found that Titanfall 2 would not launch on their dual-core processor without Hyper-Threading even in compatibility mode. Gamers found a way to use Extreme Injector with special DLL files in order to get the game to work and by replacing the DLL files it ran fine. The Intel Core i3-7350K has Intel Hyper-Threading technology and we think Intel gave this processor Hyper-Threading to prevent issues like that on true dual-core processors.

Power Consumption and Temperatures

No review is complete without taking a look at power and the Intel Core i3-7350K doesn't disappoint when we looked closer at the power numbers. At idle the Intel Core i3-7350K Kaby Lake platform used just 37.1W at idle and that is impressive as includes the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 motherboard,  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE video card, Crucial MX300 1050GB SSD and the Corsair H105 water cooler. The processor topped out at 78.6W in Handbrake and 247W when playing Thief. We just took a quick look at temperatures at stock speeds on the Intel Core i7-7700K under the Corsair Hydro H105 CPU cooler ($103.99 shipped). A quick 5 minute run of the AIDA64 stress test and found that the temps topped out at 52C on one of the individual cores. Let's overclock the Intel Core i3-7350K processor!

Core i3-7350K Kaby Lake Overclocking

To overclock the Intel Core i3-7350K Kaby Lake processor we used the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-UD5 motherboard and simply increased the multiplier and core voltage until we hit a wall. That wall on this particular board, processor and UEFI version just happened to be at 5,100 MHz or 5.1 GHz, which is pretty impressive. We've saw a demo at CES 2017 where Intel was running a Core i3-7350K under a comparable water cooler and only reached 5.0 GHz with more voltage, so we are pretty happy with our overclock. Intel Core i3-7350K Overclock To get the Intel Core i3-7350K Processor up to 5.1 GHz we increased the CPU core voltage to 1.40V and the multiplier up to 51x and that is it. Overclocking was very simple and you can really tell a difference between the system running at 4.2 GHz and 5.1 GHz. With the CPU core voltage set to 1.40V we were seeing 1.38V under full load in AIDA64 and CPU-Z. The Intel Core i3-7350K temperatures topped out at stock settings at 52C and here with our overclock we were hitting 69C. That 900 MHz overclock and voltage increase caused the CPU load temperature to go up 17C with out water cooler, so if you have air cooling you'll need to keep an eye out on the temps. This was a 33% increase in temperatures due to the overclock. Our load power consumption went from 78.6W to 94.6W, so our power consumption went up 16 Watts or 20%. Single or lightly threaded benchmarks on the Intel Core i3-7350K running at 5.1 GHz are simply amazing and it is very comparable to the stock or overclocked Intel Core i7-7700K processor in these types of situations. The Intel Core i3-7350K actually beats the 7700K in Kraken, but there is a +/- 0.5% of wiggle room in this benchmark, so it's a virtual tie. It's only in the heavy multi-threaded applications where the Intel Core i3-7350K can't compete as it just doesn't have enough cores. The overclocking performance of the Intel Core i3-7350K is solid! Let's wrap this review up!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

  The Intel Core i7-7350K processor is a quick dual-core processor with Intel Hyper-Threading technology that delivers outstanding performance in lightly threaded applications. This processor won't challenge recent Intel quad-core processors in heavily threaded applications, but that is why it has a $168 price point. The Intel Core i7-7700K processor cores has 1ku tray pricing at $339.00, so when you think about it the pricing makes sense as both have the same base clock speed and the Core i3-7350K has half as many physical cores. Half price for half the cores. Intel Core i7-7700K and Core i3-7350K   Overclocking performance on the Intel Core i3-7350K processor was solid and that is what most will expect from a Intel 'K' series unlocked processor. We managed to go from the processors 4.2 GHz base clock to 5.1 GHz by simply increasing the CPU voltage and multiplier. Overclocking like this is easy and can be easily done by novice overclockers in just a few minutes. If the performance numbers in this article weren't high enough for you we suggest taking a closer look at the Intel Core i5-7600K unlocked processor that has the same 4.2 GHz base clock, but four physical cores along with more cache, and an actual boost clock for $242. If you want something with four cores and Intel Hyper-Threading technology, the Intel Core i7-7700K is still the way to go for $339. The Intel Core i7-7700K might be double the price, but it is also twice as fast when it comes to transcoding and other CPU intensive tasks. This processor is ideal for an enthusiast on a budget that wants an unlocked processor that they can overclock for doing light tasks. For things like web surfing and simple daily tasks you can't feel the difference between the Core i3-7350K and the Core i7-7700K. It's only when you get to converting movies or manipulating 3D images when you wish you had extra cores. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core i3-7350K offers impressive performance on lightly threaded applications and easily overclocks up to and beyond 5 GHz!