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Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell Processor E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors
Written by David Ramsey   
Saturday, 01 June 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell Processor
Features and Specifications
Haswell and Z87
Processor Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark 7 Tests
CINEBENCH 11.5
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Test
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
HD4600: DX11 Performance
Core i7-4770K Overclocking
Haswell Final Thoughts
Core i7-4770K Conclusion

Haswell Final Thoughts

As a "tock"-cycle CPU, the Intel Core i7-4770K represents the first of a new CPU architecture, the 22nm equivalent of Sandy Bridge. If Intel sticks to its annual release schedule, we'll see the "tick"-cycle Broadwell CPUs, based on a smaller process (rumored to be 14nm), about this time next year. Perhaps this will bring more performance improvements, because I have to say I was disappointed in the performance of this CPU as compared to Ivy Bridge or even Sandy Bridge. Let's take a look at the stock-clocked performance difference on the CPU tests I ran between last year's 3770K and the new 4770K. For this chart I've normalized the 3770K scores as "1" and expressed the 4770K scores as the increase, so a 4770K score of "1.05" would mean that it's five percent faster on a given benchmark.

3770K 4770K 3770K 4770K
AIDA64 Queen 1.0 0.96 x264HD Pass 1 1.0 1.03
AIDA64 Photoworxx 1.0 1.02 x264HD Pass 2 1.0 1.07
AIDA64 AES 1.0 1.10 SPECviewperf Lightwave 1.0 1.05
AIDA64 ZLIB 1.0 0.95 SPECviewperf Maya 1.0 1.13
AIDA64 Hash 1.0 1.01 SPECviewperf TCVIS 1.0 1.18
CINEBENCH Single Core 1.0 1.07 SPECapc Lightwave Interactive 1.0 1.02
CINEBENCH Multi Core 1.0 1.11 SPECapc Lightwave Multitasking 1.0 1.04
Handbrake 0.96 1.0 1.06 SPECapc Lightwave Rendering 1.0 1.05
PCMark 7 PCMarks 1.0 1.06 Blender/Icetest 1.0 1.05
PCMArk 7 Productivity 1.0 1.09 POV-Ray 1.0 1.13
PCMArk 7 Creativity 1.0 1.02 Arcsoft Media Converter 1.0 1.04
PCMark 7 Computation 1.0 1.05 Average Performance Improvement 5.3%

As you can see, the average performance improvement as measured on these benchmarks was a mere 5.3%. The only impressive thing about this is that is beats the average 4.0% improvement Ivy Bridge had over Sandy Bridge. Things are brighter on the integrated video side, though:

HD4000 HD4600
Heaven 3.0 1.0 1.68
3DMark 11 GT1 1.0 1.34
3DMark 11 GT2 1.0 1.47
3DMark 11 GT3 1.0 1.90
3DMark 11 GT4 1.0 2.41
Alien vs. Predator 1.0 1.25
Lost Planet 1.0 0.73
Media Converter 1.0 1.05
Average Performance Improvement 47%

A 47% improvement is impressive, especially considering that there are only 25% more "execution units". What's even more impressive is that this comes on top of the 44% improvement we saw from Sandy Bridge's HD3000 to Ivy Bridge's HD4000. Now, the cynical might say that dramatic improvements like this are easy when starting from such a low baseline, but at the end of the day it's still quite an accomplishment. The Haswell HD4600 GPU makes playing games-- albeit at lower resolutions with things like anti-aliasing reduced or turned off-- much more feasible than it's been before.

So the desktop Haswell's performance improvements are minimal. I see two reasons for this: one, CPUs at this level are already much more than fast enough for the vast majority of consumer applications. For those few running heavily threaded professional apps, there's always Sandy Bridge Extreme LGA2011 systems. Two, there's no competition at this level: AMD's FX-series 8 core CPUs offer competitive performance in their price range, but get thoroughly stomped in single core performance by the even Sandy Bridge CPUs a level or two up. AMD has nothing that can come close to competing with upper-end Ivy Bridge or Haswell CPUs.

But remember that the desktop market isn't the focus for this new architecture: battery-powered and mobile devices are. Haswell's iGPU is much faster than the previous generation, which will enable tablets, ultrabooks, and notebooks to offer much better integrated video performance, especially with the higher-resolution screens that are becoming more common. Also, mobile versions of Haswell reportedly offer much lower power draw, especially in idle and sleep conditions, that should dramatically extend the life of a battery charge. There's no way for us to test and compare BGA-packaged mobile CPUs, even if Intel would sample them, so we'll just have to wait and see what kind of performance Haswell-based mobile devices deliver.

Neither of these improvements, though, make any real difference to the desktop market. Desktop users might use Lucid Virtu in conjunction with a discrete video card, but they're unlikely to notice any performance difference there (and few users buying a 4770K are going to build a system without a discrete video card). Likewise, Haswell's power savings are irrelevant on the desktop, where the electricity cost of running the CPU flat-out for 24 hours straight will be less than a quarter in most parts of the country.

It would have been nice to see a few more bones thrown to us desktop users. Haswell has a few new instruction tricks, but you'll need new software to exploit them to full effect. We get a few more SATA 6G and USB 3.0 ports, but Intel's determined not to give us the one improvement we'd really like: more PCI-E lanes, as Haswell is still limited to 16 from the CPU and 8 from the Z87 chipset. If a super-expensive LGA2011 system isn't in the cards, there's still AMD's 18-month-old 990FX system, which offers 40 PCI-E lanes, six SATA 6G ports (but still no native USB 3.0).



 

Comments 

 
# Laptops.alfie 2013-06-01 07:43
No wonder your OC crashed!

"even going to 4550GHz by tweaking the base clock resulted in crashes"

(4th para, pg 12)

Excellent write up David Ramsey. Thank you.

I wonder what TIM was used this time.

I feel this will be a very nice chip for the laptop crew as the GPU is a great step up.
I see nothing to make me shift from Sandy in my desktop, not even in the new chipsets.
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# RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorArgos 2013-06-01 08:01
I am a bit disappointed.
I will most likely get a new system this year an waited for Haswell (and the Nvidia 700 series), but it does not seem to be a very interesting new product for PC gamers like me.
Currently I have an i7920 with a GTX295.

Any recommendations, ideas, suggestions?
(My new GPU will most likely be the GTX780.)
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorArgos 2013-06-01 08:14
I'd like to ad that I also thought about buying a Intel Core I7 3820.
Would it be wise to switch to the new socket?
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-01 10:55
You will see a substantial performance improvement moving from a 920 to a Haswell CPU. As I mentioned in the review, if you've upgrading your platform, there's little reason to spend money on the end-of-life LGA1155 platform unless you can find motherboards and CPUs significantly cheaper than Haswell-based components.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorArgos 2013-06-01 11:13
A substantial improvement?
Ok, being a layman that was not quite clear to me.

Is the LGA2011 platform at the end-of-life too?
The i7 3820 is a hundred bucks cheaper than the i74770 and appears to be just as powerful.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-01 13:27
Well, I did provide a link to my original Sandy Bridge review, which compared the then-new Core i7-2600K to a Core 2 950. The 2600K stomped all over the 950, so it's a reasonable assumption that the two-generations-newer 4770K would be much faster than a 920.

Yes, a Core i7-3820 will be (for all intents and purposes) about the same performance as a 4770K, except in things that use the integrated GPU like Quick Sync. You would have to buy an expensive LGA2011 motherboard, though. And while the LGA 2011 isn't EOL, it's a more expensive platform overall, and it's not really worth the money unless (A) you really anticipate a need for a six-core CPU in the future, or (B) can really used all those PCI-E lanes. In the meantime you're giving up the advantages of the Haswell platform, like more SATA 6G ports, integrated USB 3.0, and all those fun Intel SSD caching things.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorArgos 2013-06-01 14:53
Mr. Ramsey,
Thank you so much for your time.
You've really helped me to decide.
One can read all the reviews one can digest, but for a layman it is very difficult to get a clear view of these complex technical matters.
I might wait a few more months (if I can muster the patience) and then I will opt for a Haswell based machine with a GTX780.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-01 13:29
Also, on Newegg right now a Core i7-3820 is $299.99, while the MSRP of a 4770K is $339.99. That's only $40 difference, and you'll probably spend that much more on an LGA2011 motherboard.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorRob 2013-06-01 10:24
It all depends on what you want to do with your machine and is your machine currently meeting your needs. I was considering going with the Haswell upgrade and the GTX 770 but then looked at my usage to see if my machine was being taxed or missing some feature. My answer was, no I am not missing anything. I have the same CPU as you but have a GPU GTX 570. I also had the GTX 295 and when I upgraded to the GTX 570 there was a huge improvement. I also put in an SSD which helped out a bit as well. You also have to remember most games a console ports as well.
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorArgos 2013-06-01 11:21
My system is foremost used as a gaming computer. I am a heavy gamer. I also work with large databases containing tens of thousands of records.

I noticed that my GTX295 has difficulty keeping up with the latest games. And I want my machine to be able to run games like Metro Last Light, and the upcoming Watchdogs, Batman Arkham Origins, and most of all GTA V etc without any problems.
I read somewhere that my current motherboard would limit the newer much faster videocards like the GTX780 in their data throughput. So I figured I needed a new system.
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# GPU.alfie 2013-06-01 11:32
I would upgrade your GPU first, then investigate what level of GPU will saturate PCI-e2 (a single 780 will not, a 690 might a bit), if you're still not happy with the performance you can upgrade the CPU/board and carry the GPU accross to a new board.

Unless you have cash to burn then just buy the best :D

Just my 2cents.
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# RE: GPU.Argos 2013-06-01 12:25
Thanks. Something to consider... but my current system is so stable and reliable I hate the thought of breaking it up. I don't want to jinks it :). I think I might keep it intact as a backup system.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-01 14:19
Theoretically, yes, the PCI-E 2.0 lanes on older motherboards only offer half the throughput of the PCI-E 3.0 lanes on a newer motherboard.

In terms of game playing, though, no current video card can even come close to saturating the bandwidth of 16 PCI-E 2.0 lanes. So a newer motherboard won't help there.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell Processorcube 2013-06-02 10:09
I have the i920. stock and all i did was add an SSD - and Nvidia 680 GTX - ALL my games run butter smooth still. - i have no problem in the cpu department. still considering the upgrade just cause.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorPico 2013-07-10 03:30
Keep that 920.

I have an i7-2600K that I can push to 4800Ghz.
Can only push the 4770K to 4400Ghz.

But even with both at 4400Ghz, the 2600K is far faster than the 4770K.

I do not play games. I am a developer and I usually compile 24 huge projects at the same time which pushes the CPU to the max.
After I do a 7Zip to all 24 EXEs at the same time again.

The 2600K finishes the same task way faster than the 4770K.

Don't know why but its the disappointed truth.

Have an i7-2600K + Asus P8P67 WS Revolution and now an i7-4770K + ASUS Z87 Deluxe.

Will have to sell this new babies and keep the 2600K.

Hope this helps some of you.

Pico
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# RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorChris 2013-06-01 11:59
To be honest, the CPU performance is where I expected. On average, we're looking at a minor performance gain of perhaps 5% on average. Also, the reason why power consumption went up is because they integrated the voltage regulators onto the chip itself, so power:performance is not going to go up.

What really bugs me about this is that well, Intel has taken VT-d out of the K series of parts. It's a matter of chasing short term profits for long term gains IMO. Actually, if they wanted enthusiasts to buy Xeons, they could try to sell a "K" series of Xeon cpu.

Then you realize that Intel is a monopoly and that well, they can pull this sort of segmentation off because well, there's nothing the competition can do.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell Processorcaring1 2013-06-01 14:34
Except bring out their own performance, unlocked Processor.
Something which AMD has in their plans for future release.
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-01 17:21
What do you mean? AMD's _current_ CPUs are unlocked.
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# LeeLee 2013-06-02 01:57
Would this be a big upgrade for me as I have a i5750 Lynnfield cpu.

I do a lot of desktop and programs work on three 1200 res monitors and sometimes the computer slows down . even when transferring files from one hard drive to another it can kill the system.

would I benefit upgrading my system would I see a big upgrade at the same clock speed.

thanks for any advice
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# RE: LeeDavid Ramsey 2013-06-02 08:38
My guess would be that the CPU is the least important part of your system as regards performance. After all, transferring files from one disk to another isn't a very CPU-intensive activity, so upgrading to a faster CPU probably wouldn't help.

Without knowing more it's hard to say what the problem is. If you're running an old XP box, it's probably full of crufty software junk. Limited RAM can affect performance as stuff must be continually swapped out to disk, and hard disks themselves could be slow.

For most people, upgrading from a hard disk to an SSD is the single biggest performance improvement they can make. You might want to try this and see if it helps. You can of course always use the SSD if you decide to subsequently upgrade the entire system.
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# RE: RE: LeeLee 2013-06-02 10:00
thanks

windows 7 and have two f3 samsungs and 4gig ram that uses 60%

still wanting to upgrade but wanted to know if it was worth it

thanks
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# RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorAki 2013-06-03 04:33
Srory (to set the scene) and then one question I'd like opinions on pls. I also run an i920 and it's currently clocked at 3.8 without breaking a sweat. The only reason I kept it down there is because I don't want my missus complaining about fan noise when she's working on her laptop (and I'm gaming next to her). I was thinking of upgrading my CPU (which would effectively constitute a rebuild with mobo and memory and cpu).

I've had no issues with gaming or working through windows, it was more of an 'upgrade itch'. So in the end I backpedalled out of the rebuild idea. I had been running on my XFX 5870 GPU for the last three and bit years, so opted to put the cash there instead and went for a Vapor-X 7970GhZ. Money well spend imho. I can probably squeeze some more out the i7920 (DO) if I need to, and wait till next year for Broadwell before I rebuild....or at least that's my thinking, and the question is, do people agree with the approach?
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-03 05:07
The performance of the Haswell at the same clock speed will be substantially better than that of the i920. That said, it's hard to predict how it would affect your frame rates in games. When I compared the 950 to the then-new Sandy Bridge 2600K, overall performance was 35% better on benchmarks, but I didn't do any "game frame rate with discrete video card" tests. The 920 was a great CPU and I think your strategy of going for a video card upgrade was the right one in this case.4jnft
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorRob 2013-06-03 07:58
I agree with your approach with just upgrading the video card and waiting for Broadwell I plan on doing the same.

I am almost in the same position as you(see my comment above).
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# RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell Processorsamiullah shah 2013-06-12 11:16
i want to know that is there any compatibility issue if use core i7 4770k with asus maximus vi extream ??
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# RE: RE: Intel Core-i7 4770K Haswell ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2013-06-12 16:41
I would imagine not. It would be quite embarrassing for ASUS if there was.
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# managerdarsikun 2014-01-29 22:14
would I benefit upgrading my system would I see a big upgrade at the same clock speed.

thanks for any advice
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# managerdarsikun 2014-01-29 22:15
I can probably squeeze some more out the i7920 (DO) if I need to, and wait till next year for Broadwell before I rebuild....or at least that's my thinking, and the question is, do people agree with the approach?
Paket Pulau Tidung
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