7700HQ vs 7700K – Laptop CPU. We’re going to compare the Intel 7700HQ CPU against the 7700K in two different laptops. We’ll run some benchmarks to see how they perform, and discuss the differences between them to help you decide which you should get in your next laptop.
It’s important to note that the 7700HQ is typically a mobile chip for use in laptops, while the 7700K is a more traditional unlocked desktop chip, however with that said there are laptops available with the 7700K so I think it’s useful to understand the differences in performance and features between them when buying a laptop.
You might be tempted to think that they are similar based purely on their similar names, so let’s find out. First let’s note the similarities between these two chips. Both have 4 CPU cores with 8 threads thanks to hyperthreading, a 14nm manufacturing process, support for up to 64GB of RAM with 2 memory channels, and 16 PCI Express lanes.
Both also have the same Intel HD 630 graphics, and were released in the same period, Q1 of 2017. That’s where the majority of similarities end, so how do they differ? The main difference is in the clock speed, where the 7700HQ has a base clock of 2.8GHz and can turbo up to 3.8GHz while the 7700K has a much higher base clock of 4.2 GHZ and can turbo up to 4.5GHz. Not only that, but the 7700K is unlocked and can also be overclocked for even higher levels of performance, of course this depends greatly on an adequate cooling solution, especially if used in a laptop rather than a desktop where cooling space is more scarce. The K CPU also has 8MB of cache, while the HQ has 6MB.
The K has a TDP of 91W while the HQ’s is 45W. HQ CPUs are also typically soldered onto the board and can’t be changed without full motherboard replacement, so they aren’t too great for future upgrades. The turbo boost also works a bit differently between the two, with the mobile chip not boosting as high when more cores in use during multicore workloads, we’ll see an example of this soon. Ok great, but how do they actually perform in real world tests? In these tests I’m running the 7700HQ at stock speeds as it can’t be overclocked, and I’ve tested the 7700K at stock speeds as well as while overclocked to 4.9GHz which was as far as I could push it in this laptop.
Both laptops are running Windows 10 with all available updates installed on an SSD, and have 16GB of DDR4 RAM @ 2400MHz. Apart from the differences in graphics cards, the main difference is the CPUs which is what we’re testing here, so the laptops are pretty similar otherwise. In Cinebench the CPU score for the 7700HQ was 740, while the 7700K received 894, a pretty decent increase but nothing too crazy. While overclocked the 7700K got a small bump to 923.
In the PassMark CPU benchmark the 7700HQ got a CPU score of 8,820, while the 7700K received 10,667, again a nice boost in comparison, and again the 4.9GHz overclock only slightly increased it to 10,936. In GeekBench 4 the 7700HQ got 4,402 for single core, and 12,293 for multi-core. The 7700K on the other hand got 5,265 for the single core score, and 16,347 for the multicore score.
These increases for the 7700K are starting to look fairly consistent, however I think the difference in the way turbo boost works shows here. The multicore test shows the 7700K as performing around 25% better than the HQ, however in the single core test the K chip is performing around 16% better. The difference in the multicore workload is larger than single core, likely due to way turbo boost works as mentioned earlier.
Interestingly with the 4.9GHz overclock on the 7700K we can see that the single threaded performance improves more than the multicore performance does, so overclocking may be of more use to you in single threaded applications. The 7-Zip benchmark was run for 10 passes with a dictionary size of 32mb. The 7700HQ got a total rating of 19,602MIPS, while the 7700K got a total rating of 25,044MIPS, so again as expected the 7700K comes out on top for compression.
The overclock only pushed it a little higher to 25,867 MIPS. I then used Handbrake to encode a 500mb MP4 video file that I recorded from 1080p to 720p. The 7700HQ completed the job at an average speed of 37.9 FPS, while the 7700K completed encoding the same file at 45.3 FPS. The 7700K was a fair bit faster in the encoding test, which could definitely be useful if you need to render a lot of video. With the overclock we were almost able to get another 2 FPS improvement.
In regards to temperature differences keep in mind that the cooling implementations of each laptop would differ which would affect these results. All testing was performed in a room with an ambient temperature of 20 degrees celsius. At idle the 7700HQ was sitting at around 25 degrees celsius while the 7700K sat at 27 degrees celsius.
Under full load the 7700HQ went up to 56 degrees celsius while the 7700K went to 81 degrees celsius! Again keep in mind that these temperatures are just with stock speeds. After I overclocked the 7700K, the idle temperature only slightly increased, however under full load we were sitting just under 100 degrees celsius! Kind of crazy and I wouldn’t want to run it that hot on a regular basis. As we expected, the 7700K performs a fair amount better than the 7700HQ in all tests.
On average throughout all of these tests, the 7700K performed approximately 17.6% better at stock clock speeds. To be honest I actually expected the 7700K to score quite a bit better in these tests based on what I’ve read online, so I’m glad I ran the comparisons myself, as I can now see the difference isn’t anything too crazy.
The overclock to 4.9GHz in these tests only improved the average performance by 3.7%, to me that doesn’t really seem worth it for the large increase in temperature for such small performance change. Of course this would be much less of an issue in a desktop with proper cooling, but keep in mind that we’re dealing with a laptop here. So which of these CPUs should you get in a laptop? Personally I’ve been using a laptop with 7700HQ for a few months now and haven’t had any performance issues.
I still use my 6700HQ based laptop at work and no issues there either, it’s plenty for me. As you may know, we’ve pretty much gotten to the point where for many games the CPU is not the bottleneck anymore, so I think pairing the HQ CPU with a good graphics card will still provide you with a great gaming experience. I haven’t featured any gaming benchmarks here as both laptops that I tested have different graphics cards which introduces too much variance.
For the same reason I haven’t attempted to compare any differences in power usage, as it just wouldn’t be a fair test. I will be performing gaming benchmarks on the 7700K laptop in the future though, so keep an eye out for my video there as I’ll include results with and without overclocking. If you can afford the 7700K then by all means go for it, however note that it will run hotter, requiring more cooling which adds more weight, and drain more power from your battery. This will be made worse if you add overclocking into the mix.
Personally I think the 7700HQ is a great laptop CPU, as it’s still quite powerful and works well, I think I’ll be leaving the 7700K in the desktop for the time being, or at the very least I wouldn’t be looking to overclock the 7700K in a laptop for such little performance improvements.
I hope this review 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 for your laptop, and leave a share on the post if you found it useful.