System Specs and Performance

Test Setup Specification

Test System Setup
Motherboard ASUS Strix Z270E Gamine
CPU Intel Core i7-7700K
Stock – 4.2GHz CPU and Ring Bus, 100MHz Base Clock
Overclocked – 5.0GHz CPU, 4.7GHz Ring Bus, 100MHz Base Clock
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
Stock – 2400MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V
Overclocked – 2667MHz, 16-18-18-35-2T, 1.225V
Hard Drive Intel 730 240GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA III HD
Sound Card On-board sound
Video Card NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB
CPU Cooling Koolance CPU-360i water block
Video Drivers NVIDIA 376.33
Power Supply Corsair HX750
Operating System Windows 10 Pro x64 Anniversary Release (build 1607)
Thermal Paste MG Chemicals 860-60G Silicone Heat Transfer Compound

CPU Temperature Testing Methods

To best gage the effectiveness of the relidding procedure, system CPU temperature were taken with the CPU at idle and under load. To replicate CPU idle conditions, the system was rebooted and allowed to sit idle for 10 minutes. To replicate a stress system load, AIDA64 System Stability Test was used in conjunction with EVGA OC Scanner X for 30 minutes per run. After each run, the system was shut down and allowed to rest for 10 minutes to cool down. Then the CPU cooler was removed, cleaned, and remounted to the CPU with fresh thermal paste applied. This procedure was repeated a total of twelve times – three times each for the stock and overclocking speed runs before and after the re-lid procedure.

Temperature measurements were taken directly from the CPU thermistors using CoreTemp v1.5. Because of the volatile nature of the Kaby Lake thermistor readings, the system temperatures were measured as follows. For idle temperatures, the lowest recorded value was used for the run. For load temperatures, a series of three values were notated: the average (high and low) across all cores, the average (high and low) across the single hottest core, and the high temperature of the hottest core.

Note that the temperature values are reported as deltas rather than absolute temperatures with the delta value reported calculated as CPU temperature – ambient temperature. For all tests, room ambient temperature was maintained between 23-27C.

Intel Z270-based Kaby Lake System Testing

CPU Stock Speed Testing

The CPU stock speed testing was conducted with the BIOS defaults set for the CPU (including enabling of the CPU-integrated graphics processor) and Turbo Mode disabled, equating to a 4.2GHz CPU speed, 2400MHz memory speed, 4.2GHz ring bus speed, and 100MHz base clock. The Intel Speedstep functionality remained enabled for the duration of the testing to get realistic CPU idle performance conditions.

At stock processor speed, the processor temp fell an average of 10C across all measured areas, a significant decrease in temperature. If you assume a room temperature of 25C, that's the difference between a maximum core value of 69C in the stock configuration and 59C after the processor was relidded.

CPU Overclocked Speed Testing

The CPU overclocked speed testing was conducted with known stable settings from a previous board review, equating to a 5.0GHz CPU speed, 2667MHz memory speed, 4.7GHz ring bus speed, and 100MHz base clock. Also, the CPU-integrated graphics processor was disabled to reduce the processor heat generation and increase system stability. The Intel Speedstep functionality remained enabled for the duration of the testing to get realistic CPU idle performance conditions.

Board voltage settings were configured as follows:

  • CPU Core Voltage – 1.31V
  • DRAM Voltage – 1.23V
  • All other settings set to Auto or stock settings

At overclocked speeds, the temperature differences between the factory configuration and the relidded processor were more significant. The relidded processor saw a temperature drop of 14C in its measured average temperature across all cores and a 20C drop in it maximum core temperature. To put those numbers in perspective, that's a drop from 94C to 74C on the maximum core temperature and 72C to 58C on the average temperature over all cores with a room temperature of 25C. That's quite a significant temperature drop not to mention the real probability of increased processor stability at those overclocked speeds.


With lowering the operating temperature of the processor comes the possibility of increased overclocking headroom. Prior to the relidding operation, the 7700K processor could reach a maximum speed of 5.0GHz with a 4.7GHz ring bus speed, operating at nearly chip crippling temperatures (read as 85-90C+). After the successfully relidding of the 7700k, the processor overclocked to a 5.1GHz core speed and a 4.8GHz ring bus speed with all cores enabled and only the graphics processor disabled for stability and heat reasons. The CPU voltage had to be bumped up a bit to 1.33V (from 1.31 voltage as 5.0GHz/4.7GHz operating speeds), but the temps did not increase dramatically as a result (with the maximium temperature showing a relatively cool 75C max core temperature in the screencap).

5.1GHz Core Speed with 4.8GHz Ring Bus Stats

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