Before We Start
Before getting into these FPS benchmarks, keep in mind that we basically already reviewed this CPU, and we’ve updated all the testing with our 7900X review and R5 1600X benchmarks. For those reasons, we will primarily compare the 7740X to the 7700K here, as we’ve already analyzed all the other numbers in previous reviews.
Blender Benchmarks – Intel i7-7740X
Let’s look at Blender next.
The i7-7740X stock CPU completes our scene render in 42 minutes, which is basically the same as the i7-7700K’s 42.4-minute result. Overclocking the 7740X gets us to 37.1 minutes, for an improvement in performance of about 13%. Then again, you shouldn’t buy either of these CPUs for Blender rendering – if that’s the primary goal, an R7 1700 would do significantly better at 33 minutes and would cost the same. Granted, the i7 series CPUs do tend to hold an advantage in gaming – we’ll get there.
FireStrike Benchmarks – Intel i7-7740X vs. 7700K
Looking at FireStrike next, the 7740X runs a physics framerate of 46.49FPS, with the 7700K stock CPU at 45.96FPS. This is within test to test variance, actually, and isn’t really a significant difference. Overclocking gets us to 52.44FPS on the 7740X and 52.16FPS on the 7700K, with both at 5.1GHz.
Sorting by physics scores instead shows us the same thing: The 7740X, with its 14,645-physics score, is about 1.2% ahead of the 7700K.
TimeSpy Benchmarks – Intel i7-7740X vs. 7700K
With TimeSpy, it’s more of the same. The 7740X stock CPU runs a CPU framerate of 20FPS, with the 7700K stock CPU at 19.66FPS for the same test. That’s a 1.7% difference. Overclocking gets us to 21.88FPS versus 21.4FPS of the 7700K OC CPU.
Ashes of the Singularity – Intel i7-7740X vs. 7700K
Ashes of the Singularity with Dx12 puts the 7740X stock CPU at 42.4FPS for our 1080p/High test, with lows at 33.9 and 31FPS 0.1%. The 7700K runs its average at 41.5, lows at 32.7 and 30.9. That puts the 7740X at 2% ahead of the 7700K CPU, a little bit boring.
Ashes: Escalation – Intel i7-7740X vs. 7700K
Ashes Escalation, which we haven’t fully updated with all our CPUs yet, ranks the 7700K stock CPU at 44.3FPS AVG, 36.4FPS 1% lows, and 33.2FPS 0.1% lows. The 7740X is measurably but imperceptibly better, at 44.8FPS AVG, or 1.1% faster. This change, like all the others, could largely be chalked-up to even just the motherboard differences.
GTA V – Intel i7-7740X vs. 7700K
Grand Theft Auto V isn’t much difference. The stock 7740X measured at 149FPS AVG and 108FPS 1% lows, with the 7700K stock CPU at 149FPS AVG. The two overclocked SKUs are difference by less than 1FPS, and are within test-to-test variance. They are effectively identical in results.
MLL – Intel i7-7740X
Looking at Metro – useful as a benchmark, for it is largely unchanging – we see the 7700K operating at ~145FPS AVG, the 7740X operating also at ~145FPS AVG, and the overclocked variants both at around 146-147FPS AVG. Again, basically the same performance – just on a more expensive motherboard.
Watch Dogs 2 – Intel i7-7740X
Again, more of the same. When the 7700K and 7740X are different, it is often by less than 1FPS – easily accounted for in differences between boards and test passes.
That’s enough game benchmarks, given the predictable nature of the results.
Conclusion: No Reason to Buy
There’s no reason to buy this CPU. It’s a 7700K – which is a perfectly fine piece of silicon – but on a more expensive platform. Coupling the 7740X with an X299 results in a hamstrung, crippled motherboard the likes of which further complicates an already complex landscape of HSIO. X299 and the HEDT CPUs, like Skylake X, do have a place on the market. We can’t find a place for the 7740X, and anyone thinking that they might buy one and upgrade later should instead consider just going Z-series + 7700K. It’ll be cheaper, it won’t offer features that will go unused (those aren’t free – you pay for those features), and will ultimately offer the same performance. If going for X299, go full HEDT.
Taking a half-step will only stand to waste more money, as upgrading from a $330-$350 CPU doesn’t make much sense. An upgrade from a G4560 to a 7700K might make sense, but that’s a sub-$100 part.
We’re also not clear on why KBL-X must exist in its LGA2066 form factor; Intel was not able to supply an adequate answer for this. If the 7740X and 7640X were simple refreshes on the existing 200-series motherboards, that’d be a completely different story – there’s nothing wrong with a slight bump and a refresh, particularly at the same price. There is something wrong, though, with a refresh of the same hardware as unnecessarily relocated to a new platform (which must be purchased), while also stripping features out of the original product (IGP). Sure, the IGP doesn’t really go used – but there’s no reason to remove it and then charge the same price. Doubly so if Intel’s argument is that one can upgrade from KBL-X to SKY-X; if that’s the argument, let them live on the IGP, too.
Hard pass. If this CPU interests you, we’d suggest the 7700K instead. That’s still a good processor, it’s on a more mature chipset and platform, and it makes far more sense than these. If X299 interests you, go HEDT or consider Ryzen for production and CPU rendering workloads.
Review: Steve Burke
Testing: Patrick Lathan & Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman