Kaby Lake 7700K vs Sandy Bridge 2600K IPC Review

There are many HardOCP readers that are still running Sandy Bridge CPUs and have been waiting with anticipation of one day upgrading to a new system. One of the biggest things asked in the last month is just how the 2600K stacks up against the new 7700K processor. So we got hold of one of our readers 2600K systems and put it to the test.

The Kaby Sandy Lake Bridge Showdown

Many [H] readers asked for this, so I started digging through drawers and boxes and bags full of old CPUs. But alas, there were no Sandy Bridge 2600K processors to be found in the Underground Bunker. While I am not 100% sure why there was not at least one left around here for testing, I am fairly positive it is because the 2500K and 2600K processors were so awesome that we used all those for system builds instead of letting those go to waste in a desk drawer. Long...LONG time reader "Nimisys" chimed into our forum thread and let us know he had one and would ship it out ASAP, and that is exactly what he did.

I'd be willing to loan out my 2600k, Asus z68 Mobo and 16gb ram for such a test, but given the failing state of the Mobo, not sure how valid the results would be. Up to Kyle if it's worth the hassle...

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The ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/Gen 3 was up and running quickly, but try as we may to get our Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM rated at 2400MHz up to 2400MHz was not in the cards. The best RAM speed I could get with good stability was 2133MHz. Looking back through our reviews of Z68 chipset motherboards and overclocking, 2400MHz was the upper edge many times and was the maximum supported by the chipset. So "settling" on 2133MHz seemed like a good place to settle. Instead of neutering our 7700K with 2166MHz RAM, we decided to stick with 2666MHz DDR4 speeds as this seems like it is a very likely speed for an everyday Kaby Lake enthusiast desktop machine.

Just to be clear, the 7700K has 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, and our 2600K has 2133MHz DDR3 RAM.

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Both the processors are clocked at 4.5GHz. Both systems used Windows 10 Pro 64-bit operating systems with identical drivers and software. Samsung 840 SSDs were used for storage. An NVIDIA Titan video card with v355.82 drivers was used. We use this older driver to keep parity across our motherboard testing so we can compare gaming benchmarks.

The motherboard used for the 7700K system is the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula. Sorry for the stock picture, I have already turned over the motherboard to Dan for further review, so I did not have it in the office.

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Previous Kaby Lake Coverage

As you might be aware, we have been covering Kaby Lake for quite a while now. You can catch up at the following links:

Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K Overclocking Preview

Core i7-7700K - Kaby Lake & Corsair RAM Overclocking

Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K IPC Review

Intel Core i7-7700K CPU Synthetic Benchmark Sneak Peek

Now that we all are on the same page, let's move forward and see what the data has to say.