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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-7920X 12-Core 2.9GHz Core i7-6700K 4-Core 4.0GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 45% 9%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 59% 33%
Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip 45% 9%
Cyberpunk 2077 53% 23%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 40% 2%
Borderlands 3 45% 9%
FIFA 20 60% 35%
The Outer Worlds 52% 21%
eFootball PES 2020 54% 26%
Ghost Recon Breakpoint 39% 0%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-7920X 12-Core 2.9GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i7-6700K 4-Core 4.0GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i9-7920X 12-Core was released over a year more recently than the Core i7-6700K 4-Core, and so the Core i9-7920X 12-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i9-7920X 12-Core has 8 more cores than the Core i7-6700K 4-Core. 12 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Core i7-6700K 4-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Core i9-7920X 12-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Core i9-7920X 12-Core has 16 more threads than the Core i7-6700K 4-Core. Both the Core i9-7920X 12-Core and the Core i7-6700K 4-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i9-7920X 12-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-6700K 4-Core has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i9-7920X 12-Core and Core i7-6700K 4-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i7-6700K 4-Core has a 1.1 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the Core i9-7920X 12-Core is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i7-6700K 4-Core has a 49 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i9-7920X 12-Core (though they were created with the same size 14 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Core i7-6700K 4-Core will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

The Core i7-6700K 4-Core has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core i9-7920X 12-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the HD i7 6700K, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameSkylake-XSkylake-S
MoBo SocketLGA 2066LGA 1151
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date28 Aug 201705 Aug 2015
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores12vs4
CPU Threads24vs8
Clock Speed2.9 GHzvs4 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.5 GHzvs4.2 GHz
Max TDP140 Wvs91 W
Lithography14 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs256 KB
L2 Cache Size-vs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size16.5 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs32 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i7 6700K
Base GPU Frequency-vs350 MHz
Max GPU Frequency-vs1150 MHz
DirectX-vs12.0
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i9-7920X 12-Core 2.9GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 14nm Skylake-X micro architecture. It offers 12 physical cores (24 logical), initially clocked at 2.9GHz, which may go up to 4.4GHz with boost, and 16.5MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, Turbo Boost 3.0 and Virtualization are activated and the processor has its multiplier unlocked. With a 140W TDP, the Core i9-7920X 12-core processor is very power hungry. The Intel Core i9-7920X is part of the first ever generation of Core i9 processors. These CPUs are designed to offer the fastest gaming performance of all Intel CPUs.Core i7-6700K 4-Core 4.0GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 14nm, Skylake MicroArchitecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 4.0GHz, which may go up to 4.2GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization are activated and the processor has its multiplier unlocked.

The processor integrates Powerful Graphics called HD i7 6700K, with 24 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1150MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 91W.

Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.

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