Best Kaby Lake Processors for Gaming [2022]

Kaby Lake processors announced on August 30th, 2016 are Intel’s 7th Gen Core series built on world-leading 14nm plus process technology. The Kaby Lake chip is not just great for gaming but it also gives you15x better on 4K UHD Usages for editing and creating content. However, in this article, our prime focus would be on the best Kaby Lake processors that excel in hardcore gaming.

First, you are going to notice a lot of similarities between 6th gen Skylake and 7th gen Kaby Lake processors. You’ve still got the same CPU socket for both, the LGA 1151. Unlocked, 91W TDP, quad-cores are still available in the 7700K with Hyperthreading.

And unlocked CPUs still won’t come with a stock heat sink fan. It’s still manufactured on a 14-nanometer processor and the micro-architecture is still the same.

Intel’s “Tick/Tock” product cycle is officially dead with Kaby Lake which is now replaced by the three-phase PAO method. Also, Kaby Lake processors are highly compatible with Windows 10. This means it is the minimum requirement and now mandatory for Windows 10 to be installed if you want to squeeze more juice out of your Kaby Lake chip.

List of the Best Kaby Lake Processors for PC Gaming

Below are some of the most reliable Kaby Lake Processors for Gaming from Intel. All of these CPUs are mainly targeted towards the Budget Gaming PC audience. Now, these 7th-gen CPUs are enough to play AAA game titles like Call of Duty Modern Warfare, PUBG, Fortnite, GTA 5, FIFA 2021, Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and many more.

Intel Core i7-7700K – The Overall Best 7th Gen Kaby Lake CPU

Core i7 7700 is one of the overall Best Kaby Lake Processors for Gaming

  • Base Clock Speed 4.2 GHz
  • Turbo Boost to 4.5 GHz
  • 4 Cores & 8 Threads
  • Hyperthreading

There are actually two processors, the normal Core i7 7700 and the 7700K, I recommend you go for the latter one because there is a noticeable performance jump over the non-K i7-7700 CPU. This is considered the best 7th gen intel processor for gaming.

There is a major difference when you are playing games such as Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Fortnite on an i7 vs an i5 processor. Also, if you are a Gamer & Content Creator, your videos will render 30-percent faster depending upon the video and the application you are using.

Well, there isn’t enough headroom for overclocking in this CPU but using a liquid-cooling motherboard and CPU cooler, you can overclock this CPU to 4.8 GHz without any problem.

This CPU is also best for professionals who consider their computer to be a server or multi-user workstation. If you have virtual machines running in the background if you are doing heavy multitasking.

Also, If you are having multiple people access the computer remotely, then, by all means, is one of the fastest Kaby Lake processors that you can get for your virtual machine.

Pros

  • All the new AAA Game titles which require more than 4 threads can be easily played.
  • Content Creation like Video Editing, Video Rendering, and 3D Animation can also be performed.

Cons

  • Only compatible with a Z270 motherboard.

Intel Core i5-7400 – Best Value Kaby Lake CPU for Gamers

The 7th gen Core i5 7400 is the best vaued CPU for gamers

  • Has a base clock speed of 3.0 GHz
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.5 GHz
  • 4 Core & 4 Threads

Intel Core i5-7400 is a low-budget CPU for gaming in the Intel Kaby Lake Series. There’s no hyperthreading here but if you are doing multitasking, video editing, rendering, and most important of all playing demanding games like the Rise of the Tomb Raider, then this CPU can easily let you through it.

So, if you are on a tight budget but still want a computer with a decent processor then your search ends here. The Intel Core i5-7400 is a cost-effective Kaby Lake processor which is an all-rounder in all aspects when it comes to video editing, gaming, and work-related tasks.

Pros

  • Comes with the Intel Stock Cooler
  • Affordable Price

Cons

  • Cannot be overclocked more than 3.5 GHz

Intel Core i3-7350K – Best Wallet-Friendly Intel 7th Gen CPU

Cost effective 7th generation kaby lake gaming CPU

  • Base Clock Speed 4.2GHz
  • Overclock up to 5.0 GHz.
  • 2 Cores/4 Threads

This 7th Gen Intel CPU comes with an unlocked CPU multiplier. This is the first overclockable i3 that intel has shipped to the enthusiast’s market. The i3-7350K has 4 megabytes of intel’s smart cache. The Core i3-7350K is capable of running many entry-level games at 60fps. However, sometimes overclocking a CPU with just 2 cores isn’t enough to meet the minimum requirements of demanding titles.

It is not the best 7th gen intel processor for gaming but you can still manage to play some famous game titles by compromising on the graphics quality and lower fps. However, this CPU is much better in terms of performance and gaming experience as compared to older generations of Core i3.

Pros

  • Can run games on minimum settings
  • It is fairly power efficient with 60W TDP

Cons

  • No stock cooler included in the box
  • Compatible only with Z-Series motherboard

Intel Core i3-7100 – Best Low Budget Kaby Lake Chip for Entry-Level Gaming

a low budget kaby lake processor for light gaming needs

  • Base clock speed 3.9 GHz
  • 2 Cores/4 Threads

This is one of the low specs Core i3 in the Kaby Lake Series. With a base clock speed of 3.9 GHz, it’s less expensive than the i3-7350K. Although this CPU packs fewer cores and threads, it still manages to give your better gaming performance in most AAA titles.

We managed to play Battlefield 1 at high settings, and the average frame rates were around 70 to 77 fps most of the time.

Also, the GTA 5 with a very high setting gives an average of 60fps which is quite good. While playing DOTA 2, you can expect the Core i3-7100 to deliver around 120fps at medium-high settings if you are using a powerful graphics card.

Pros

  • Works perfectly in a B250 motherboard.
  • Comes with an Intel HD Graphics 630 and a CPU fan.

Cons

  • It cannot be overclocked.

Intel Pentium Gold G5420 – A Cheaper 7th Gen Gaming CPU

wallet-friendly Intel kaby lake chip

  • Base Clock Speed 3.8 GHz
  • 2 Cores/4 Threads

An excellent value for the money with improved multi-tasking and game performance. This processor also has a built-in Intel UHD 610 Graphics and an L3 cache of 4MB. This is a cheaper Kaby Lake processor used mostly for surfing the internet and performing office-related tasks. It’s not a CPU meant for a whole lot of high-end gaming or computer animations.

However, you can still play games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare if you have a low-budget graphics card. GTA 5 is also playable on this 7th Gen Intel CPU with an average of 39fps. The G5420 is a wallet-friendly Kaby Lake CPU for a light gaming experience.

Pros

  • Works perfectly in a B250 motherboard.
  • Comes with an Intel CPU fan and with 54W TDP it is power efficient also.

Cons

  • No overclocking

Conclusion & Recommendation

I have made this selection of processors after gathering and testing the best 7th gen intel processor for gaming. So you don’t need to do a lot of research in choosing which one is right for you. If you choose to buy any of the above processors according to your budget and need, you will definitely be satisfied. Because these are the most reliable Intel 7th gen processors for every gaming budget.

As far as my recommendation is concerned, I highly recommend you to go for 7700K in the Kaby Lake lineup. This CPU meets the minimum requirements of the most demanding PC games in the market. Moreover, you can overclock it to get the most out of it in hardcore gaming.

However, for low-budget gamers, the Intel Core i5-7400 just lies on the sweet spot between price and performance. Where most games still don’t need more than four cores, the Core i5-7400 could be enough to play those games at 60fps.

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