People who buy the latest and greatest high-end Intel CPUs fit into a particular niche — they expect high performance. Some owners of Intel Core i7-7700 and i7-7700K chips have been complaining for months about mysterious temperature spikes, and now Intel has responded. However, that response was little more than canned PR nonsense, which has served only to further enrage affected users.
The Core i7-7700 and 7700K are both quad-core chips with Hyper-Threading to bring the number of threads to eight. These are both designed to be enthusiast CPUs, but the K variant is particularly popular. The 7700K has a clock speed of 4.2GHz compared with 3.6GHz for the regular 7700, and you can push it far past the stock setting thanks to its unlocked multiplier. You always need to be aware of temperatures when overclocking a chip, and this is where some owners of the 7700s are running into issues.
Multiple users have been noticing unusual temperature spikes as high as 90 degrees Celsius. In case you’re not familiar with CPU temperature ranges, that’s very high. The Core architecture has a maximum temperature threshold of 100 degrees, so owners have been understandably concerned. After 37 pages of complaints on Intel’s community forums, someone from the company finally issued a statement. It reads in part, “We do not recommend running outside the processor specifications, such as by exceeding processor frequency or voltage specifications, or removing of the integrated heat spreader (sometimes called “de-lidding”). These actions will void the processor warranty.” The spokesperson also said Intel has not identified any unexpected temperature variations in its testing. Basically, it thinks the temperature spikes are normal.
This isn’t sitting well with users on the forum, who point out it makes no sense for Intel to sell a K-series CPU with an unlocked multiplier while telling people not to overclock. Even some chips that aren’t overclocked seem to be affected, making the response all the more aggravating. The only useful bit of advice from Intel is to alter the fan speed curve so it ramps up more gradually. That will at least lessen the frantic whirring as fans race to catch up with the temperature spikes.
Several posters have pledged to ditch their Intel hardware and pick up an AMD CPU. That would have seemed like an idle threat in the recent past, but the new AMD Ryzen chips are getting high praise. This is not really the time for Intel to be upsetting its enthusiast base.
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