Intel i7 3770K vs i7 4770K Review

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With Intel having released it’s latest processor range (Haswell), which is now on the shelves of most PC component retailers and with many questions on people’s minds such as, what’s the difference in performance?  Is it worth upgrading to Haswell from Ivybridge?  I intend to answer the some of those questions with this short but informative shoot-out review.

Since the rumour mill surrounding Haswell is now over and we can all see what is on offer, I want to show people the major difference in performance between its older generation counterpart, which is the Intel i7 3770k (Ivybridge).  What are the pros and cons? Who will come out on top? Well let’s find out.

Let’s take a look at the specifications of each processor so we get a better idea of what the key differences are…

Intel i7 3770k (Ivybridge)

Essentials
Status Launched
Launch Date Q2’12
Processor Number i7-3770K
# of Cores 4
# of Threads 8
Clock Speed 3.5 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.9 GHz
Intel® Smart Cache 8 MB
DMI 5 GT/s
Instruction Set 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE4.1/4.2, AVX
Embedded Options Available No
Lithography 22 nm
Max TDP 77 W
Thermal Solution Specification 2011D
Recommended Customer Price TRAY: $332.00BOX : $342.00
Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600
# of Memory Channels 2
Max Memory Bandwidth 25.6 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported No

 

Graphics Specifications
Processor Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 4000
Graphics Base Frequency 650 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency 1.15 GHz
Intel® Quick Sync Video Yes
Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology Yes
Intel® Insider™ Yes
Intel® Wireless Display Yes
Intel® Flexible Display Interface (Intel® FDI) Yes
Intel® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
# of Displays Supported 3
Expansion Options
PCI Express Revision 3.0
PCI Express Configurations up to 1×16, 2×8, 1×8 & 2×4

 

Package Specifications
Max CPU Configuration 1
TCASE 67.4°C
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Sockets Supported FCLGA1155
Low Halogen Options Available See MDDS
Advanced Technologies
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Intel® vPro Technology No
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology Yes
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes
Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) No
Intel® VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT) Yes
Intel® Trusted Execution Technology No
AES New Instructions Yes
Intel® TSX-NI No
Intel® 64 Yes
Intel® Anti-Theft Technology Yes
Idle States Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology Yes
Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes
Execute Disable Bit Yes
Intel® Secure Key Yes
Intel® Identity Protection Technology Yes

 

Intel i7 4770k (Haswell)

Essentials
Status Launched
Launch Date Q2’13
Processor Number i7-4770K
# of Cores 4
# of Threads 8
Clock Speed 3.5 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.9 GHz
# of QPI Links 1
Instruction Set 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE 4.1/4.2, AVX 2.0
Embedded Options Available No
Lithography 22nm
Max TDP 84 W
Thermal Solution Specification PCG 2013D
Recommended Customer Price TRAY: $339.00BOX : $350.00
Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600
# of Memory Channels 2
Max Memory Bandwidth 25.6 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported No

 

Graphics Specifications
Processor Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 4600
Graphics Base Frequency 350 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency 1.25 GHz
Intel® Quick Sync Video Yes
Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology Yes
Intel® Insider™ Yes
Intel® Wireless Display Yes
Intel® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
# of Displays Supported 3
Expansion Options
PCI Express Revision 3.0
PCI Express Configurations Up to 1×16, 2×8, 1×8/2×4
# of PCI Express Lanes 16

 

Package Specifications
Max CPU Configuration 1
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Graphics and IMC Lithography 22nm
Sockets Supported FCLGA1150
Low Halogen Options Available See MDDS
Advanced Technologies
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Intel® vPro Technology No
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology Yes
Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes
Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) No
Intel® VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT) Yes
AES New Instructions Yes
Intel® TSX-NI No
Intel® 64 Yes
Intel® Anti-Theft Technology Yes
Idle States Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology Yes
Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes
Execute Disable Bit Yes
Intel® Secure Key Yes
Intel® Identity Protection Technology Yes

 

Well one of the main questions people have been asking has been what’s new with Haswell and why should they opt for the Z87 chipset instead of the Z77 chipset.

Well the main differences are the IPC (instructions per cycle) which makes it slightly better core for core than the i7 3770k.  Also the integrated graphics has had a serious re-vamp.  The HD 4600 has support for DX11.1 and also has OpenGL 4.0 support.  One of the major improvements is the support for 4k resolutions, so those looking for a processor for a media centre PC and have the luxury of a 4k TV/monitor, it won’t go to waste.

The HD 4600 also encodes and decodes videos faster and thus making it a more appealing processor for the budding video artists who spend a lot of the time encoding and uploading videos to the likes of YouTube.

Z87 also has up to 6 SATA 6GB/s ports which makes it a perfect choice for all those enthusiasts running RAID-0 or even those looking for the redundancy of RAID-1/5

Both the i7 3770k and the i7 4770k have a stock turbo speed of 3.9GHz, although the i7 4770k has a 100MHz increase in the stock base speed.

Let’s take a look at the 2 test setups and let’s start comparing.

Intel i3770k Setup

CPU – Intel i7 3770k

Motherboard – ASUS Z77 Sabertooth

Memory – G.Skill RipjawZ 8GB (2400MHz CAS10) 2x4GB

Graphics – MSI HD7950 Twin Frozr III Boost Edition @ 960/1250MHz

Cooler – Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme

Storage – Western Digital 320GB Caviar Blue (7200RPM 8MB Cache)

Intel i4770k Setup

CPU – Intel i7 4770k

Motherboard – ASRock Z87 Extreme3

Memory – G.Skill RipjawZ 8GB (2400MHz CAS10) 2x4GB

Graphics – MSI HD7950 Twin Frozr III Boost Edition @ 960/1250MHz

Cooler – Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme

Storage – Western Digital 320GB Caviar Blue (7200RPM 8MB Cache)

Please note all tests bar measuring the power consumption include a 7950, mainly because I feel anyone dropping £260+ on a CPU will be planning on using a dedicated graphics card.  This is to show if the Haswell CPU provides the GPU with more grunt but anyway, less chit chat, onto the actual benchmarks…

Power consumption is measured using everything on the test bench except the GPU.  This gives a more accurate reading of the motherboard and CPU’s power usage.  To load the CPU up to 100%, Prime95 is used.  This is done by using the tortue test feature.  The maximum reading is recorded.

 

 

This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard. At the same clock speed theoretically the processor with the shorter pipeline and smaller misprediction penalties will attain higher benchmark scores. For example — with HyperThreading disabled — the Intel Northwood core processors get higher scores than the Intel Prescott core based ones due to the 20-step vs 31-step long pipeline. CPU Queen test uses integer MMX, SSE2 and SSSE3 optimizations.

SANDRA 2013 in my opinion, is a pretty stringent benchmark, capable of testing your systems limits.  It is a pretty extensive suite of benchmarks but i have narrowed down the more relevant ones  to compare performance.

Designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.  Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

I decided to add an on-board shoot-out into the mix also, to show the improvements on the iGPU.  Both CPU’s were set to 4.5GHz and the iGPUs left at their stock setting.

Here are the results in 3DMark 11

As you can see, the difference in performance is pretty impressive.  With the HD4600 overclocked I would imagine the margin to be even greater and if your looking for a chip for a good HTPC, then Haswell should be considered.

So after running a small array of benchmarks we can see the results for ourselves.  Is Haswell worth the upgrade from Ivybridge?

The short answer is no, and let me explain my thoughts and feelings about why I feel this way.

First thing is the performance increase, it really isn’t that much of a noticeable improvement overall, unless of course you take into account the integrated GPU which I will compare another time.  Benchmarks were inconsistent and Ivybridge came out on top in a couple.  The main improvement in my opinion was Cinebench 11.5 in which Haswell spread its wings but is this a justifiable reason to spend money upgrading from Ivy? Not a chance.  When it comes to the iGPU, the difference is impressive and if your looking at Haswell for this reason, you won’t be disappointed.

Now if you are however upgrading from Sandybridge (another socket 1155 CPU), the predecessor to Ivybridge or any other platform for that matter , then I would say it is worth considering, especially if your jumping from the i5 2500k to the i7 4770k.  The main reason in doing this would be slightly higher average frame rates in game and of course, the CPUs ability to multithread applications with its Hyperthreading technology.

The other downside to Haswell is the insane temperatures when overclocking.  I wouldn’t recommend going over 1.3 volts on the CPU core unless you have adequate cooling and even then I still wouldn’t recommend it.  I wouldn’t say Ivybridges temperatures were that brilliant either but not to this extreme and I feel Intel have dropped the ball in this respect.

Haswell was supposedly to have a lower power consumption but from our tests, the Ivybridge chip pulled the least energy from the wall with pretty much the same test setup, bar the motherboard and CPU of course.

It’s a no brainer really in my eyes and with my experience using it, I will stick with Ivybridge in my PC until such time as there is something really worth shouting about coming from the Intel camp.  Although people will have already made their minds up about which CPU they want, please take into consideration the main factors such as cooling, what features you want as Z87 does include a few nice extras such as the inclusion of full native support for USB 3.0, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s and an integrated GPU with support for up to 4k resolutions.  These are all very good benefits and for those that are drawn to them features, will certainly get their moneys worth.

After all of that, I would happily recommend the i7 4770k to anyone looking for the latest, high performing Intel CPU on the market.  The performance increase is marginal, but it’s an increase and would be happy to have one in my system, but with that being said, if you’re considering it as an upgrade when you already have Ivybridge, then save your money.

Hope you enjoyed reading this Shoot-out style review, if you have any questions or anything to add, feel free to contribute on our community forums found here.

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