Intel Core i3 7350K review: dual-core overclocking monster

Overclockable budget CPU

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Introduction

The Kaby Lake generation is not Intel's most innovative architecture ever, however a couple of changes in the cheaper segment make certain models much more enticing. There is now a Pentium with HyperThreading and a Core i3 with an unlocked multiplier, which we are discussing today. Is 180 pounds for a dual core processor still justifiable?


For a long time now, you'd need a special ''K'' processor in order to overclock an Intel processor freely. Normally these were only available in the i5 and i7 series - you pay an extra premium if you want to overclock, on top of the already not so low price of those processors. Intel has only broken this rule once, with the overclockable "Anniversary Edition" of a Haswell Pentium.

Now they've done it once again: as the suffix indicates, the Core i3 7350K is a dual core processor with an unlocked multiplier. The multiplier is the factor which the base clock is multiplied with to determine the actual clock speed of the CPU cores. By default the base clock is set to 100 MHz. This means that fresh out of the box, the i3 7350K runs at 4.2 GHz, thanks to its multiplier of 42, however through either the BIOS or software you can easily increase the multiplier to achieve even higher clock speeds. 

Other than the unlocked multiplier, the 7350K has the same features as a normal Core i3 processor. This means that the processor features two cores and that it supports HyperThreading. The cores each have 256 kb L2-cache and 4 MB of shared L3-cache. A HD 630 GPU, with a maximum clock speed of 1,150 MHz, is responsible for any graphics-intensive tasks.

The Intel Core i3 7350K costs about 180 pounds, at the time of writing. This makes it the most expensive i3 by far - for the same amount of money you can also get an i5 7400, which features twice the amount of cores, however that chip is not overclockable and also clocked a lot lower out of the box. We tested the CPU and of course we also went on an overclocking adventure.

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Intel Core i3 7350K Boxed

Socket 1151, 4.2 GHz, 2 cores, 60 W, 14 nm, Integrated graphics

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