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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz Core i3-7101E 2-Core 3.9GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 38% 40%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 20% 79%
eFootball PES 2020 40% 35%
Total War: Three Kingdoms 0% 124%
Grand Theft Auto VI 0% 124%
Borderlands 3 38% 40%
Red Dead Redemption 2 16% 88%
F1 2019 16% 87%
Control 20% 79%
Doom Eternal 40% 35%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i3-7101E 2-Core 3.9GHz 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 i7-8700K 6-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i3-7101E 2-Core, and so the Core i7-8700K 6-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i3-7101E 2-Core when 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 i7-8700K 6-Core has 4 more cores than the Core i3-7101E 2-Core. With 6 cores, the Core i7-8700K 6-Core is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Core i7-8700K 6-Core has 8 more threads than the Core i3-7101E 2-Core. Both the Core i7-8700K 6-Core and the Core i3-7101E 2-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i7-8700K 6-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i3-7101E 2-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 i7-8700K 6-Core and Core i3-7101E 2-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 i3-7101E 2-Core has a 0.2 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. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

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 i3-7101E 2-Core has a 41 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i7-8700K 6-Core (though they were created with the same size 14 nm manufacturing technology). What this means is the Core i3-7101E 2-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).

Can I Run It

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CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCoffee LakeKaby Lake
MoBo SocketLGA 1151Not sure
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date05 Oct 201730 Nov -0001
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores6vs2
CPU Threads12vs4
Clock Speed3.7 GHzvs3.9 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.3 GHzvs-
Max TDP95 Wvs54 W
Lithography14 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs64 KB
L2 Cache Size-vs512 KB
L3 Cache Size12 MBvs3 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
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 ReviewThe Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 14nm Coffee Lake micro architecture. It offers 6 physical cores (12 logical), initially clocked at 3.7GHz, which may go up to 4.3GHz using 6 cores with Turbo Boost, or up to 4.7GHz boost clock on a single core. The i7-8700K has 12MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization are activated and the processor has its multiplier unlocked. This Core i7-8700K CPU offers the fastest gaming performance of any Intel CPU as of 2017, and will not be the bottleneck in any modern gaming PC. It will be able to play all modern games comfortably on high/ultra graphics performance without being a hindrance to the accompanying GPU. [Please be aware that GD data is constantly refined as more information and reports are made available.]The Core i3-7101E 2-Core 3.9GHz is a Middle-Class CPU based on Intel's 7th Gen 14nm, Kaby Lake microarchitecture. It offers 2 physical cores (4 logical), clocked at 3.9GHz. It doesn't have an unlocked multiplier therefore it can't be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 3MB of L3 Cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. It has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 54W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many features, Intel Enhanced Speedstep, HyperThreading and Virtualization are activated. It integrates Intel HD Graphics 630 on board. It has a base frequency of 350MHz which can go up to 1GHz as well as offering DirectX 12 support. This CPU is likely to offer good computational performance but may suffer from performance dips on higher resolutions and demanding applications.

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