After their debut in laptops and mobile devices in September, Intel’s 7th Generation Core (aka “Kaby Lake”) processors are now available across the entire spectrum of Intel-powered machines, from Xeon-based mobile workstations to gaming laptops to what’s left of the consumer desktop market.
While Intel is releasing its latest Core processors for what used to be the company’s bread and butter—desktops—four months after their availability for lower-end portables and mobile devices, that doesn’t mean the company is ignoring PC enthusiasts and professionals who demand lots of computing power.
Intel says that the new high-end Core i7-7700K processor delivers a 35 percent performance boost for applications like the Adobe Premiere Pro%displayPrice% at %seller% video editing suite, compared with an equivalent processor from three years ago. It’s unlocked, too, and users who need even more power can overclock it thanks to simplified voltage control that Intel claims will offer more stable overclocking; a Russian blog recently recorded a blistering clock speed of 7GHz.
Another intriguing option for enthusiasts is the Core i3-7350K, a two-core, four-thread chip that’s also unlocked. This marks the first time that Intel has released an overclockable Core i3 chip, moving heavy-duty overclocking capabilities into its budget-oriented family.
The new processor lineup is also poised to usher in an era of 4K video, even for machines that don’t have discrete graphics cards. Every Kaby Lake processor—even the Core i3—supports 4K streaming thanks to improved Intel Iris graphics, assuming you also have an Ultra HD display, a robust broadband connection (Intel recommends at least 25Mbps), and a premium Netflix subscription.
As for Kaby Lake–powered workstations and business PCs, Intel is promising its enterprise customers more robust security, including support for hardware authentication features like biometrics, secure PINs, and proximity sensors. The processors have built-in two-factor authentication support for Dropbox and other cloud storage providers and the ability to keep duplicate copies of passwords stored in Dashlane, 1Password, and other password managers.
If you’re building a new system from scratch, the cheapest Core i3 processors are priced at around $100, with Xeons and Core i7s topping out at over $500. Meanwhile, Intel estimates that more than 100 consumer and enterprise Kaby Lake–powered systems are already on the market.