Intel i5-7600K Review Ft. 5 Generations of i5 & i7 CPUs

By Published February 04, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Additional Info

  • Component: CPU
  • Original MSRP: 240
  • Manufacturer: Intel


Watch Dogs 2 CPU Benchmark – i5-7600K vs. 6600K, 4690K, etc.

We recently posted a Watch Dogs 2 CPU optimization guide for graphics settings, as the game has proven to be one of the few titles that takes advantage of additional threads from higher-end CPUs. The line dividing i7 and i5 CPUs here is clear, with i7 CPUs dating back to Devil’s Canyon outranking the i5-7600K, even with its overclocked 4.7GHz configuration. We’re seeing an average FPS of about 93 for the overclocked 7600K, with the lows tightly timed as shown with the other CPUs. The non-overclocked version rests at 84FPS AVG. The Intel i7-7700K stock operates at 113FPS AVG, so we’ve got a gap of about 20FPS between the two stock Kaby Lake CPUs.

Looking at the previous generation, the i5-6600K operates at around 79FPS AVG, so we’re gaining approximately 5-6FPS generationally. That’s a gain of about 7%, which is sadly pretty good for this generation of Intel CPUs.


Battlefield 1 CPU Benchmark – i5-7600K vs. i7-7700K, i5-6600K, more

For Battlefield 1, we’re seeing the Intel i5-7600K stock land at around 141FPS AVG, roughly equal to the i7-6700K from last generation. To be fair, it’s also roughly equal to the i7-7700K that also caps out around 141FPS AVG.


Compared to the i5-6600K, there’s not a ton of improvement. We’re moving from 137FPS AVG to 140.5FPS AVG, or a gain of ~2.6%. Not that exciting. We only start seeing meaningful gaps once down to the 3570K, but even that’s not very relevant unless dying for 144Hz gameplay.

Total War: Warhammer CPU Benchmark – i5-7600K


Total War has always been a CPU-intensive series, and that continues to be shown with these benchmarks. As noted previously, the frametimes have a larger range of variance in Total War than we’re used to, so the 0.1% values aren’t quite as useful as normally.

We’re seeing large scalability over the generations of i5 CPUs in this benchmark, with the i5-7600K stock landing at 156FPS AVG and the i5-6600K at around 156FPS AVG. The i5-4690K from Devil’s Canyon operates around 143FPS AVG, with the 3570K at 99FPS AVG. The scaling here shows that there would be a major benefit of upgrade for this particular title if moving up from Ivy Bridge or prior.

The overclocked 7600K shows that frequency matters with Total War, and plants us around 177FPS AVG.

Ashes of the Singularity CPU Benchmark – i5-7600K


Ashes of the Singularity’s CPU-focused benchmark provides a look at DirectX 12 performance with a title that’s well-optimized for the new API. The 7600K stock performs just ahead of the 6600K and just below the 4790K, as we’ve seen in a few other charts thus far. Moving to the overclocked variant of the i5-7600K, we’re posting an FPS that is still below the 4790K, but getting a bit closer to the next step up.

As for overclocking, the 4.7GHz number used throughout these tests was our maximum achievable overclock. Pushing a vCore of 1.4v got us close to stability with 4.8GHz, but we couldn’t maintain a stable overclock to run games, and so stepped down to 4.7GHz. The chip isn’t quite as impressive as our 7700K sample was for overclocking. It’s still a good overclocker, but our unit may be a bit of a dud. Hard to say without a larger sample size. For what it’s worth, our 7600K is a retail sample that GN purchased.

Conclusion: Is Upgrading to the i5-7600K Worth It?

The 7600K has mostly the same conclusion as the i7-7700K: If you’re on Skylake, stick with it. If you’re on something as old as Ivy Bridge, it’s probably worth considering an upgrade to better enable high-end GPUs with some of these titles, but that’s about where the decision point is.

Of course, Zen will come soon and we are still waiting for further, final info on the new AMD CPU. At this point, we’d recommend waiting around to see how the new AMD architecture performs or sticking with your existing Intel hardware from recent generations.

Editor-in-Chief, Test Lead: Steve Burke
Sr. Editor: Patrick Lathan
Video Producer: Andrew Coleman

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Last modified on February 04, 2017 at 4:43 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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