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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 microarchitecture

As a "tock" phase CPU, Haswell has a new microarchitecture. Much of the focus on this new architecture (arguably most of the focus) was on lowering space and power requirements, as Intel sees tablets, ultrabooks, and low-power all-in-one designs as being very important moving forward. That's not to say they're ignoring the desktop market, but reading the Intel press deck, one certainly gets the impression that it's not their main focus. For example, one of the options for the mobile device segment is a hybrid chip with both a Haswell core and the PCH (platform controller hub) mounted on a single ball-grid array package. Intel brags about "unprecedented" increases in battery life, "unprecedented graphics in an ultra-thin form factor", and the applicability of Haswell mobile CPUs in "thin and light" platforms.

There are a few bones thrown to desktop users. One desktop CPU feature enthusiasts will appreciate is the return of base clock tuning. Starting with Sandy Bridge, the classic overclocking technique of raising the system base clock become almost impossible, since the new design derived most other system clocks from the base clock. So by raising the base clock, you also raised the clocks used for other parts of the CPU as well as its communication with the rest of the system, and this meant that raising the base clock more the 3 or 4MHz would make your rig crash. Although Intel's description of this new "B-clock tuning" mechanism is void of any technical details, the claim is that you can "...achieve high core, graphics and memory frequencies by independently raising your clock speeds without impacting other system components". While not as versatile as multiplier overclocking, base clock overclocking should enable users of non-"K" series CPUs to finally get some extra performance.

intel_corei7_4770K_Haswell_Die_Funct.jpg

The Haswell die layout looks almost identical to the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge dies. The actual die size is up a little over the 3770K, at 177mm2 as opposed to 160mm2. Intel quotes the transistor count as 1.4 billion in either case, which seems odd given the increase in iGPU execution units. Although the die size is larger, the LGA1150 package desktop CPU is the exact same size as the LGA1155 desktop CPU. The only visible difference is a slight repositioning of the locator notch, so you hopefully won't be accidentally installing a CPU in the wrong socket.

intel_corei7_4770k_size_compare.jpg
Ivy Bridge LGA1155 CPU on the left, Haswell LGA1150 CPU on the right.

The Z87 Platform Controller Hub

The Z87 (Intel has dropped the "Express" designation) chipset, code-named Lynx Point, is the new Platform Controller Hub for the desktop Haswell CPUs. Speaking of "technical diagrams that look almost the same as the technical diagrams for the previous generation product", here's Intel's block diagram of a Haswell/Z87 system:

intel_corei7_4770k_haswell_diagram.jpg

This diagram looks very similar to the Ivy Bridge/Z77 diagram. The main differences are:

  • Support for PCI slots is gone, even as an option. It's PCI-E all the way. All you people still using your old Sound Blasters: it's time to move on.
  • We get two more USB 3.0 ports and two more USB 2.0 ports.
  • We get up to six SATA 6Gb/s ports, up from two on the Z77.

None of this is earth-shaking, but represents instead a continual refinement of the capabilities we originally saw in the Z68/Sandy Bridge platform.



 

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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