Intel Core i7-7820HK vs Core i7-7700HQ – best high-end CPU?

We’re back with another comparison, this time taking a step away from GPUs and moving the focus on processors. When it comes to gaming, you usually have three option – the mid-range Core i5-7300HQ, the most common Core i7-7700HQ, and the high-end Core i7-7820HK. We have already compared the Core i5-7300HQ and the Core i7-7700HQ – you can read the full article over here.

Now, it’s time to take a look at the Core i7-7700HQ and the Core i7-7820HK. Most gaming notebooks are powered by the Core i7-7700HQ and a GPU of your choice but some models come with an optional Core i7-7820HK which is an overclockable CPU. However, the extra features and power come at a higher price. Today we are going to compare the two CPUs and see if it is really worth the extra cash.

We are using the Acer Predator 17X (GX-792) and the HP Omen 17 (mid-2017) for our tests.

You can check out the price and availability of the Acer Predator 17X over here:

You can check out the price and availability of the HP Omen 17 over here:

Technical specifications comparison

There aren’t too many differences between the two models. The Core i7-7820HK has slightly better technical specifications which on paper should increase performance. We are going to check out just how much of an increase there is further down in the comparison.

Both processors have four physical cores but eight threads thanks to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology. The base clock of the Core i7-7700HQ is 2.80 GHz with Boost frequencies reaching up to 3.80 GHz. The Core i7-7820HK has 100 MHz higher clock speeds but it is also unlocked for overclocking which might be a serious advantage for enthusiasts. Despite the higher clocks, the Core i7-7820HK maintains the same 45W TDP of the Core i7-7700HQ.

Maybe the biggest advantage of the Core i7-7820HK, in our opinion, is the higher amount of L2 cache – 8 MB vs 6 MB. Other than that, the two models are nearly identical – the Core i7-7820HK supports Intel TSX-NI instruction set which improves multi-threaded performance. Both chips rock the Intel HD Graphics 630 but this is of little importance as considering that you are a gamer, you would use a dedicated graphics card.


As you can see from the graph below, there is almost no difference between the two CPUs when it comes to synthetic benchmarks. In the NovaBench test, the Core i7-7700HQ pulled a score of 891 points which is just two points or 0.22% lower than Core i7-7820HK’s result which is just negligible. The difference in the Cinebench 11 benchmarks is higher yet marginal – 3.22%.

However, our real-world performance test in Photoshop showed a somewhat considerable difference. We load an image into Photoshop and run a set of actions on it and track the time it takes for the CPU to perform all of them. With this in mind, you probably guess that lower scores are better. Enough explanations, let’s take a look at the actual results.

The Core i7-7700HQ managed to perform our action list for 10.75 seconds while the Core i7-7820HK did the same for 9.05 seconds. Therefore, the Core i7-7700HQ takes 18.78% more time to perform the same time. However, this 18.78% actually resemble 1.70 seconds in real life which isn’t something that will set you back too much. On the other hand, while 1.70 seconds aren’t a big period of time, the time difference will increase as the processor gets loaded with more complex tasks. To summarize this in a few words, the difference in performance is relative to the complexity of the task and it is negligible in some cases.

Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)

Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)


The conclusion we can draw is that the Core i7-7820HK is only worth the extra money if you are going to seriously load it with heavy tasks. And by heavy we mean really heavy like rendering, not light photo editing. Maybe the Core i7-7820HK will save you a decent amount of time on some big project. In other words, the Core i7-7820HK is suitable for high-end workstations designed for professionals.

When it comes to gaming, the Core i7-7820HK is just an overkill in our opinion. The Core i7-7700HQ is powerful-enough to not bottleneck even high-end graphics cards. It also delivers the necessary amount of computing power. The GPU makes more difference for gaming performance than the CPU so if you can opt for a Core i7-7700HQ + a higher-end GPU you won’t regret it. Maybe the Core i7-7820HK would give a small performance bump in some really resource-intensive games which enthusiasts will appreciate but if you are looking for the best possible performance maybe you should consider a desktop PC.

To summarize everything, if you are a film studio or something like that the Core i7-7820HK will be a better choice for you otherwise the Core i7-7700HQ should be enough.

You can check out the price and availability of the Acer Predator 17X over here:

You can check out the price and availability of the HP Omen 17 over here:

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5 years ago

in my alienware 17 R4 Intel® Core™ i7-7820HK overclock 4.4GHZ with 8MBcash wile in Core i7-7700HQ 6MB cash just overclock 3.9GHZ it about 11% faster