Game Benchmarking – Legacy & Updated
For game tests, we’re starting with legacy benchmarks first, then moving to our more data-limited new tests. Please keep in mind that these legacy benchmarks are primarily provided for scaling comparison against 10 years’ worth of Intel and AMD parts, but for modern tests, we’ll want to look to the new game benchmarks. The new charts are more limited on how much is present, as the tests were just instituted.
Legacy Game Benchmark – Battlefield 1 on 8700K
In Battlefield 1, the 8700K chart-tops at 151FPS AVG, placing it a few percent ahead of the 7700K. As for scalability, it goes like this: The i7-930 Nehalem CPU runs at 96FPS AVG, with the overclocked variant at 118FPS AVG. The i7-2600K runs at 118FPS AVG, with 4.7GHz performance at 132FPS AVG. That’s roughly a 23% climb stock-to-stock. We skip Ivy Bridge here and jump to the Devil’s Canyon 4790K, operating at 140FPS AVG, with the i7-6700K at 141FPS AVG and the 7700K at 146FPS AVG. Part of the reason for our new tests is this one: We’re bumping into other limits, so we’ll soon be moving on to the 1080 Ti and new games.
Legacy Game Benchmark – Watch Dogs 2 on 8700K
In our legacy Watch Dogs 2 test, the 8700K performed nearly the same as the 7700K, held back in some ways by the more limited boost clock. We noticed that our Gigabyte board often only turbos to 4.4GHz all-core during games, which is 100MHz lower than the 7700K’s all-core turbo. This sometimes means a slight deficit to framerate, despite the increased core-count; just like AMD’s trouble with heavily threaded CPUs, Intel is going to face an adoption challenge on the gaming front. In the future, it’ll happen – but for games out today, some will benefit from the threads and some would better benefit from speed. We have been told that some of the ASUS boards boost to 4.7GHz all-core in stock settings, which would net higher FPS.
New Game Benchmark Suite
Moving on to the new game tests, please note that none of these results are comparable with any previous tests. We are using a 1080 Ti, a newer version of windows, different memory, different settings, and different test patterns. Legacy tests use a 1080 FTW1.
8700K Civilization VI Benchmark
Starting with Civ VI, we used the AI benchmark to test the time required to compute AI turns, as FPS is useless here. The turn time is about the same at 1440p as it is at 1080p, though we did test both. AVG FPS actually goes up for worse CPUs, because the time spent sitting idle on the screen is longer, as it takes longer for the game to calculate a turn. This makes FPS an unusable metric for this particular AI benchmark.
The 5.0GHz overclocked i7-8700K holds the fastest average turn time, at about 15.4-15.5 seconds per turn. To give an idea for range, this is a 26.6% reduction from the slowest time. Although a 5-second range average turn time is not huge, keep in mind that this is per-turn, so a 5-player game would benefit from a 25-second reduction in total time to get back to your next turn. Across long play periods, this can add up, but the relevance is up to you.
Anyway, the 8700K stock CPU completes its turns in about 16.1 seconds, or about 4% slower than the overclock. The 7700K stock CPU completes its turns in 16.5 seconds, with the 4.1GHz 1600X not far behind. As you can tell by looking at the 1600X stock & OC numbers, the 1700 stock & OC numbers, and the 8700K, frequency matters in this game. The 7700K versus the 8700K indicates that frequency is of at least slightly more import than thread count.
Total War: Warhammer 1 CPU Benchmark – 8700K vs. R7 1700
For Total War’s new benchmark, we measured the 8700K as a chart-topper at 1080p, with 176FPS AVG and lows at 110 and 95FPS. We experienced a bottleneck at 1080p, with the overclock not providing any additional performance versus stock. The 7700K is 7.4% slower at 163FPS AVG, with the R5 1600X at 4.1GHz running a 147FPS AVG and 16% slower than the 8700K. Total War favors the frequency advantage of the 1600X over the stock 1700, clearly.
At 1440p, we equalize some of the distance with GPU limitations, but still see differences. The i7-8700K is clearly bottlenecked on the GPU, operating at 153FPS AVG for each SKU. The 7700K runs at 143, or 7% behind. The stock R7 1600X runs 20% behind the 8700K, here.
Project Cars 2 CPU Benchmark on i7-8700K
Project Cars at 1080p has the 5GHz 8700K at 127FPS AVG, benefiting from the frequency-focus of the game. The 4.4GHz all-core operating frequency condemns the 8700K to perform about the same as the 4.5GHz 7700K in our testing, both at around 108-110FPS AVG. The R7 1700 further demonstrates the frequency-focus of this game, placing at 78.5FPS stock, but 87FPS at 4GHz. The result is a staggering 45% advantage for the 5GHz 8700K versus the 4GHz 1700, or 43% if versus the 4.1GHz 1600X. Stock-to-stock, the difference shrinks to 27% versus the higher-clocked 1600X.
At 1440p, the 8700K manages 118FPS overclocked, 106FPS stock, with our all-core 100MHz deficit to the 7700K producing the expected favor for Kaby Lake. Ryzen performance remains more or less exactly where it was for the 1080p results, as a result of being CPU-bottlenecked.
GTA V CPU Benchmark – 8700K
Keep in mind that GTA V encounters a bug at 187.5FPS, triggering severe stuttering in some cases.