6700K vs 7700K – Laptop CPU Comparison and Benchmarks. We’re going to compare the Intel Skylake 6700K CPU against the newer Kabylake 7700K. While both of these are desktop CPUs, I’ll be running benchmarks on both of them within two different laptops to see how they perform. We’ll then discuss the differences between them to help you find out which you should get in your laptop.
First let’s note the similarities between these two chips. Both have 4 CPU cores with 8 threads, are based on a 14nm manufacturing process, they also have the same 91W TDP with 8MB of cache available. Both CPUs support up to 64GB of RAM with 2 memory channels, and provide 16 PCI Express lanes. That’s where the majority of important similarities ends, so how do they differ?
The main difference is that the older 6700K is clocked slightly lower, at 4.0GHz and can turbo up to 4.2GHz, while the newer 7700K is clocked at 4.2GHz and can turbo up to 4.5GHz. How much of a performance difference does this make practically? To test this we’ve run some CPU specific benchmarks on two different laptops with these processors to find out. Both laptops are running Windows 10 with all available updates installed on an SSD, and have 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
The laptop with the 6700K is running at 2,133MHz while the 7700K’s RAM is running at 2,400MHz. Apart from the differences in graphics cards, the main difference is the CPUs which is what we’re testing, so the laptops are fairly similar otherwise. In Cinebench the CPU score for the 6700K was 836, while the 7700K received 894, so a little improvement but an improvement nonetheless. In the PassMark CPU benchmark the 6700K received a CPU score of 11,108, interestingly the 7700K received a score of 10,667 which is actually slightly lower.
I ran this test a few times and got similar results, the newer Kabylake CPU came behind the older Skylake CPU in terms of overall score on this test consistently. In my 6700HQ vs 7700HQ CPU video we actually had the same result, where the Skylake CPU beat Kabylake, so I’m not sure if what is being tested is actually better on the older chip, or more likely the particular benchmark hasn’t properly been optimized for Kabylake chips.
Despite this if we actually look at the number for the individual tests in most cases the 7700K is actually slightly ahead, so it could also be that this particular benchmark generates the final score in a strange manner. In GeekBench 4 the 6700K got 5,081 for single core, and 16,177 for multi-core. The 7700K got 5,265 for the single core score, and 16,347 for the multicore score.
This was another interesting test, although the single core performance of the 7700K is higher as expected, the multicore performance result was much closer. Again this depends on what the test actually does behind the scenes, however I found it interesting that the results seemed to favour single core performance over multicore. The 7-Zip benchmark was also very close. I ran it for 10 passes with a dictionary size of 32mb.
The 6700K got a total rating of 24,548MIPS, while the 7700K got a total rating of 25,044MIPS, so the 7700K was only slightly faster at compression tasks here. I then used Handbrake to encode a 500mb MP4 video file that I recorded from 1080p to 720p. The 6700K completed the job at an average speed of 43.7 FPS, while the 7700K completed encoding the same file at 45.3 FPS. The 7700K was only slightly faster in the encoding test.
Temperatures were not tested here as the cooling solutions were quite different between the two laptops that were tested, so I did not believe that they would be a fair comparison. In general however the Kabylake CPU was slightly warmer as expected. Assuming your particular laptop can keep your temperatures in check then you could attempt overclocking, however as this would increase power draw and heat it doesn’t really seem as appealing in the laptop form factor when compared against overclocking in a desktop PC.
Based on these tests the 7700K appears to only be a very small incremental upgrade. On average with all of these tests combined, the 7700K performed approximately 2.1% better at stock clock speeds when compared against the 6700K, so in a word, kind of pathetic. I figured that this would be the case after watching a bunch of other 6700K and 7700K benchmark reviews previously when Kabylake was released, however I wanted to test these CPUs in a laptop rather than a desktop to get an idea of laptop performance and find out if they are worth considering.
Overall I found the results a bit disappointing, as the 6700K was released in Q3 of 2015 while the 7700K came out in Q1 of 2017, so despite being quite a lot newer it’s not that much better. Hopefully the recent release of Ryzen CPUs starts to change this trend in weak performance increase we’ve seen from Intel. I didn’t notice any practical difference between using the two laptops with either of these CPUs day to day, so if you’re looking at a new laptop the 6700K is definitely still fine, as the newer version only offers extremely small performance improvements, at least in the workloads demonstrated here.
By all means if your new laptop has a 7700K CPU and you can afford it then go for it, but if you’re looking at one that has a 6700K then it’s definitely still a good competitor and might be cheaper now due to it being last generation. If the prices are similar then I’d suggest going for the newer 7700K, otherwise you’ll need to determine if the extra cost is worth it based on the small performance increase that we’ve measured in our tests here.
If you’re already running a 6700K there’s basically no incentive to upgrade to the next generation unless you need to buy a new laptop anyway for other reasons, or require Kabylake specific features such as 4K decoding at the hardware level. Unless something drastically changes within the CPU area in the near future, you probably won’t need to upgrade your laptop in terms of CPU power for quite some time with either of these chips.
I hope this post has helped you see the real world differences in performance between these two CPUs. Be sure to leave a comment on the post and let me know which of these CPU’s you’d pick, and leave a share on the post if you found it useful.