Over the years, Intel has been known to limit the overclocking capabilities of its lower end processors like the Core i3 in order to push more people over to the higher-end unlocked Core i5 and Core i7 SKUs. The only standout to this recently has been the Pentium Anniversary chip back in 2014. However, with Kaby Lake it looks like Intel’s strategy may change as rumour has it that there will be an unlocked Core i3 on the way, which would offer overclocking on a much tighter budget.
We have seen a few leaks over the last few months detailing Intel’s upcoming desktop line of Kaby Lake processors. However, this may be the biggest surprise so far. This information comes from a retail price list leak, which lists the upcoming Kaby Lake CPU variations and their US pricing.
According to the list, we will be getting four flavours of Core i3 in early 2017, starting with the i3-7100 priced at a little over $122. The surprise entry to this list is the Core i3-7350K, an unlocked version of the dual-core, hyper-threaded CPU with a boost clock speed of 4.2GHz. The unlocked i3 does cost a bit more though, coming in at $177.34.
To give you a better idea of where this sits in the lineup price-wise, the unlocked Core i5-7600K is said to cost $250 and will have the same boost clock of 4.2GHz, so those with the extra cash may still want to make the jump to a true quad-core chip. Meanwhile, the Core i7-7700K is apparently set to retail at $350 with a 4.5GHz boost, though this is information we have heard from other sources in the past.
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KitGuru Says: A lot of people jumped at the chance to grab an Intel Pentium Anniversary chip and see how far they could push it. That said, that particular CPU only cost $75 and this unlocked Core i3 will cost quite a bit more by comparison. Still, it will be interesting to see how much performance you could squeeze from an unlocked Core i3 if this leak ends up being accurate.