Are you looking for a reason to be excited about Kaby Lake? You're in the same boat as many enthusiasts who hoped we'd be close to a Cannonlake launch by now. As it turns out, getting to 10nm isn't all that easy, so Intel delayed Cannonlake until late 2017 and decided to fill the gap between it and Skylake with Kaby Lake, a surprise processor architecture that disrupts Intel's traditional tick-tock release cadence. While power users aren't exactly frothing at the mouth waiting for Kaby Lake to arrive, some leaked benchmark results suggest Kaby Lake is worth getting excited about, especially if you're into overclocking.
Over at Geekbench, Intel's upcoming Core i3-7350K put on a show by scoring 5,137 in single-core performance and in 10,048 in multi-core testing. Or put another way, the spunky dual-core chip just outperformed nearly every single current generation Core i5 quad-core processor, including the Core i5-6400 that scored 3,686 and 9,982 in single and multi-core testing, respectively. And if that's not enough to turn some heads, the Core i3 part sports an unlocked multiplier.
An unlocked Core i3 processor with overclocking chops is something that enthusiasts have been asking from Intel for a long time, and it looks like the Santa Clara chip maker will deliver exactly that with Kaby Lake. The Core i3-7350K has two processor cores with Hyper Threading support. Barring any changes between now and when it releases, it will feature a 4GHz core clock and a 4.2GHz boost clock, along 4MB of cache and a 91W TDP.
What Intel is essentially offering here is a processor based in large part on the Skylake microarchitecture but with several optimizations and tweaks to push clockspeeds past Skylake while remaining power efficient. That should help steal some of the thunder from AMD's Zen launch, assuming Zen lives up to the hype, while the unlocked multiplier on the Core i3 part is a big bonus.
With Kaby Lake, Intel will overclocking friendly chips at each tier. In addition to the Core i3-7350K, which is expected to retail for $177, there will be the Core i5-7600K (4 cores, 4 threads, 3.8-4.2GHz, 6MB cache, 91W) for $239 and the Core i7-7700K (4 cores, 8 threads, 4.2GHz to 4.5GHz, 8MB cache, 91W TPD) for $349.