Intel Core i5-7500 Kaby Lake Processor Review

/ 6 years ago

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Final Thoughts


Unfortunately, Intel hasn’t disclosed any information at this time regarding the official Kaby Lake prices. Therefore, it’s difficult to analyse the value proposition and compare the price to performance ratio against previous generation products. While this is pure speculation, it’s likely that Intel will follow a similar pricing strategy to Skylake and enact a small increase. I wouldn’t be too surprised if retailers add a premium for the launch to achieve higher profits during the first phase of sales. However, this shouldn’t apply to the i5-7500 which targets a different demographic.


Intel’s i5-7500 has been tailored towards users who feel intimidated by the thought of overclocking their CPU or simply want to save some money because it’s a feature they’re unlikely to take advantage of. While the i5-7600 is the better option for a direct comparison, the i5-7500 should become a popular chip for more budget-orientated PCs. Subsequently, it’s an interesting product to assess because it’s an integral part of Intel’s latest Kaby Lake series. Unfortunately, the CPU like other Kaby Lake solutions is disappointing and devoid of any meaningful performance enhancements. While the CPU undoubtedly fares better than its predecessor, the advantage is down to a pitiful 200MHz frequency boost. Furthermore, the processor doesn’t have any IPC improvements over the previous microarchitecture and is perceived as playing it far too safe, especially with AMD looking competitive for the first time in years.

The i5-7500 implements new media capabilities such as 4K HEVC 10-bit decode/encode and support for HDCP 2.2 as well as Microsoft PlayReady 3. This means you can access 4K video streams using the Edge browser. To be fair, I don’t think this is a huge selling point for the desktop market and something which probably appeals more to laptop users. Another fantastic invention is Intel’s Optane technology which could revolutionise DRAM and storage speeds while maintaining an accessible price point. Kaby Lake is the first line-up of CPUs to support this staggering technological development, although it might take some time for manufacturers to release products due to the narrow user base. On another note, the iGPU performance is pretty decent and has enough horsepower to drive games on low settings. Furthermore, there’s a clear performance boost versus Skylake products.

As previously mentioned, overclocking the i5-7500 is going to be tricky due to locked multiplier and Intel’s previous attitude towards BCLK changes. Despite this, I was able to modify the BCLK in the BIOS and made minor tweaks as the CPU doesn’t have specific straps like 100MHz, 125MHz and 150MHz. Of course, this had been introduced in Skylake and carries forward to Intel’s 7th generation processors. Sadly, the BCLK alternations wouldn’t save once the system posted and the CPU consistently defaulted back to the 100MHz BCLK. Honestly, I don’t think BCLK overclocking is a viable option and you’ll most likely have to accept the default configuration.

Overall, the Intel Core i5-7500 is a decent processor and works beautifully alongside a high-end graphics card. On the other hand, it’s an unimaginative release which struggles to evoke a sense of excitement. The lack of IPC enhancements and tiny frequency boost makes it a slightly refined version of the i5-6500. This means, if you own a relatively modern CPU, there’s no need to rush out and buy one, especially with Zen approaching. Even though the i5-7500 is faster than the previous model, it’s the perfect example of stagnation in today’s market and Intel resting on their laurels far too much.


  • 4K HEVC 10-bit decode/encode
  • Commendable iGPU performance
  • Employs a modest operational voltage range
  • Intel Optane technology has so much potential
  • Low power consumption
  • On-par with a stock i5-7600K in games
  • Superb memory performance
  • Supports HDCP 2.2 and Microsoft PlayReady 3


  • Doesn’t provide a reason to upgrade in a hurry
  • No IPC improvements over Skylake


  • Pricing is key because the i5-7600K offers more in the long-term

“The Intel Core i5-7500 is a solid choice for gamers not overly concerned with overclocking and want to save a bit of money. However, if the pricing difference isn’t substantial, the i5-7600K is a better option due to the higher Turbo frequency and extra performance through a simple multiplier tweak”.

Intel Core i5-7500 Kaby Lake Processor Review

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