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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 23 April 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge Processor
Features and Specifications
Ivy Bridge and the Z77 Express
Processor Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark 7 Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
HD4000: Quick Sync
HD4000: DX10 Performance
HD4000: DX11 Performance
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
Memory Bandwidth and Overclocking
Ivy Bridge Final Thoughts
Intel Core i7-3770K Conclusion

Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU Review

Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Product Name: Desktop Processor
Model Number: Core i7-3770K
Price: $313.00 MSRP

Full Disclosure: Intel provided the product sample used in this article.

Barely a year after the introduction of its immensely popular Sandy Bridge CPUs, Intel brings us Ivy Bridge. It's been a busy 15 months for Intel, with the introduction of no fewer than three chipset families (P67, Z68, and Z77, and many variants thereof) and three processor families (Sandy Bridge, Sandy Bridge Extreme, and Ivy Bridge).

As it has for the past several years, Intel's sticking to their "tick-tock" processor release cycle. At roughly yearly intervals, Intel will introduced either an entire new processor architecture ("tock") or a refinement thereof ("tick"). Sandy Bridge was the tock, and Ivy Bridge is the tick. The "tick" processors are usually minor upgrades in terms of capability. For Ivy Bridge, we have the power and heat advantages of Intel's new 22nm process (as compared to Sandy Bridge's 32nm), and the improved efficiency afforded by their low-leakage "3D" transistors.

Ivy-Bridge_Processor-Front.jpg

Of course, what we all want to know is how the performance and features of this new CPU compare with the Sandy Bridge line. To determine this I'll be testing the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K CPU against a Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K.



 

Comments 

 
# okrealneil 2012-04-23 10:27
Seems to be OK, but there is not enough of a performance increase to warrant changing from my 2600K. The faster on-board graphics may be enough of a plus for some users, but I'm already on discrete graphics these days.
Ivy Bridge does enable the mainboard's PCI-E 3.0 features, but I don't think that your card is 3.0 compliant. If there is a huge advantage to PCI-E 3.0 as opposed to 2.0 operation, that would make me want to change over.
Thanks for the review. It was a good read.
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# RE: okRick C 2012-11-16 12:47
I agree. As a gamer I don't see a real advantage to upgrading from my i7 2600k either. I don't usually overclock, but I'll certainly consider it now after reading this article. That should give me another 18 months+ use out of the SB, as a retiree that makes me happy. So, in the meantime, for the price of a new IB CPU upgrade I can put the $$ to better use upgrading my PCI-E 2.0 GPU a few notches and increasing the memory from a 1 GB to a 2 GB.
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# RE: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2012-04-23 10:31
The Radeon 5770 is certainly not PCI-E 3.0 compliant; only the new "Southern Islands" AMD graphics cards and the NVIDIA GTX680 are.

In any case right now PCI-E 3.0 bandwidth improvements have no discernible effect on graphics performance since no card is anywhere close to saturating the bandwidth of 16x or even 8x PCI-E 2.0.
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# RE: RE: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge Processorrealneil 2012-04-23 11:11
As I thought,...no shattering graphics kick with PCI-E 3.0 implementation either. So I'll probably sit this one out unless something I have here breaks.
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge Processoreric 2012-04-25 09:22
I think its more about being future-ready than having it for something that needs it now
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# HD4000 Video PerformanceHank Tolman 2012-04-23 11:25
Looks like the HD4000 will come a little closer to the HD6550D on the A8 APUs. I can't wait to get my hands on one and see first-hand. Sounds like the 6550D is still going to be a better video solution, minus QuickSync of course. And you can pair a discrete card to it.

Speaks volumes for the entry-level market, though, not much for the market the 3770K is in.

-Hank
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# HD4000 Video Performancerealneil 2012-04-23 11:49
"Looks like the HD4000 will come a little closer to the HD6550D on the A8 APUs."

I have an A8 APU and when paired with the 1GB XFX HD6670 Radeon card I have, it performs pretty good. It's a good overclocker and most of the available socket FM-1 mainboards have a ~lot~ of useable features on them. It represents excellent value for the low cost of ownership.

But, as you say, it is Apples and Oranges in the marketplace.
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# RE: HD4000 Video PerformanceDavid Ramsey 2012-04-23 13:44
Hank, do you have any Z68 motherboards? I'd be happy to ship you the CPU so you could compare it to a Fusion...
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# The real win for ivy bridge is powerEndocine 2012-04-23 13:26
since this is just a die shrink, and not an architecture change, we don't see, nor should we expect to see, much in the way of performance over the previous generation. The real win here are the power and thermals. The few new features are a nice bonus.
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# Plus ++$$Bruce 2012-04-23 13:46
Plus more profit for Intel.
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# Plus....Bruce 2012-04-23 13:41
Plus more profit for Intel.
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# MehMergatroid 2012-04-23 16:17
And here I thought IB was going to be a big deal. Congrats to Intel for the new manufacturing process, but I don't see me swapping out my SB system any time soon.

If you look at some of the other articles going around the net on this topic, you'd think IB is the second coming.
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# RE: MehDavid Ramsey 2012-04-23 16:32
IB will be much more significant for portable devices. However, all we have now is desktop CPUs...
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# RE: Mehkiv 2012-04-23 20:08
:) It'll be nice for people who don't already have SB though. I'm looking to replace my aging Phenom II 955, and this is just what the doctor ordered. And I'll be damn pleased with overclocking to "only" 4.7 GHz, lol. I've got a water rig, so I figure I should be able to maintain a clock like that, or maybe push it even higher.
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# i7-3770K OC Resultskzinti1 2012-04-23 18:38
I don't get it.
Hilbert Hagedoorn (Mr. GURU 3D, himself) says that the i7-3770K is an excellent overclocker, (guru3d.com/reviews) while you say otherwise.
Is there such a large difference between Engineering Samples, or is this the same-o, same-o from Intel, where there's a large gap in performance from one (supposedly) identical cpu to another?
It's fairly common knowledge that retail bought cpu's OC better than the engineering samples given out to review sites. Is this the case concerning the cpu that you tested, and that a retail version may actually OC much, much better than the one you have?
If so, then the reviewing of any free sample should never be done. Ever.
If any reviewer can't afford, or is too cheap, to buy a random retail component for reviewing, then the review is completely suspect, since it does NOT apply to what real people buy themselves off-the-shelf.
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# RE: i7-3770K OC ResultsDavid Ramsey 2012-04-23 18:53
So? Tom's Hardware says "Can Core i7-3770K catch a break with power users eager to overclock? Unless you?re using an extreme form of cooling, I?m afraid not." HardOCP says 4.8GHz would crash in their stress tests while 4.7GHz was stable...exactly the results I obtained. Anandtech says "While I had no issues getting my 3770K up to 4.6GHz on the stock cooler, Sandy Bridge will likely be the better overclocker for most."

So yes, in answer to your question, there is a difference between engineering samples; in fact there's a difference between retail samples, as any overclocker knows. And as for "large difference", the 4.9GHz Hilbert reached was a mere 4.2% better than the 4.7GHz I reached, so your definition of "large" seems a little off to me.

No review sites normally buy retail samples of the products they review. Even if we did, waiting for a retail Ivy Bridge CPU would mean you'd read all these reviews weeks later than you would otherwise. And I'm not sure I could wait that long for your appreciation.
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# RE: i7-3770K OC ResultsOlin Coles 2012-04-23 18:53
I almost don't care what kind of results that desperate little thief got, especially after how he treated us in this event:
benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11003

I'm not going to bother visiting his site to find out, but I presume he might have cooled it differently or simply received a better sample.
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# WowMergatroid 2012-04-26 19:26
Get over it man. Looks like they admitted their mistake and took the article down.

Going to hate forever?
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# Ivy Bridge, Heat, and LaptopsFarnsworth Worthington 2012-04-23 19:05
After reading this review and others, I'm curious about what the Ivy Bridge mobile parts will bring to the table. Heat dissipation seems to be a problem for the chip compared to Sandy Bridge, and laptops (particularly ultrabook/thin types) have a harder time cooling themselves than desktops.

It looks possible that even if it brings better power usage, throttling might bring overall performance down if a manufacturer isn't attentive to their cooling system design.
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# Compared to my 2500kJohn Gurgle 2012-04-25 23:23
No reason to even consider an ungrade based on this. My 2500k on gen3 z68 with H100 liquid is happy and stable at 4.8. While the old 5770 showed the shortcomings of Intel's on board graphics, I was hoping that the bandwidth might provide some performance improvement for 256 bit cards like my 6870 or two of them crossfired.
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# RE: Compared to my 2500kDavid Ramsey 2012-04-26 08:39
I didn't test whether the extra bandwidth improves graphics performance, but I doubt it will. Tom's Hardware did a fascinating comparison some months back on the performance differences the number of PCI-E lanes makes-- they took a graphics card from x16 to x8 to x4 by taping over some of the card's connectors, forcing it to run in "lower" modes. Going to x8 made no real difference and the card worked pretty well even at x4.

So doubling the potential throughput from x16 2.0 to x16 3.0 won't make any difference because no current software is trying to pump that much information across PCI-E.

The real win for PCI-E 3.0 would be with non-video card devices, like PCI-E SSDs. Of course the trouble is that with current Ivy Bridge systems only the CPU has PCI-E 3.0 lines (the X77 Express chipset is still limited to PCI-E 2.0...and two SATA6 ports...and four USB 3.0 ports...because Intel is lazy), so the only slots with this connectivity are the one or two X16 slots a board will have, and these aren't the slots you'd put a non-graphics card in. Sigh.
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# Power ComparisonEndocine 2012-04-26 09:04
Did you all do any comparative power analysis between the new ivy and older sandy and other CPUs from AMD? It would be interesting to see some power usage and performance per watt statistics, other than just simply how well the cpu performs at a certain overclock since this is just a die shrink of the sandy bridge generation.
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# RE: Power ComparisonDavid Ramsey 2012-04-26 09:17
Well, Intel says the TDP of the 3770K is 77 watts, whereas the TDP of the 2600K is 95 watts. In the article I calculate that if you ran both processors at full load (stock clocks) 24/7 for a year, you'd save a little over $20 in electricity costs with Ivy Bridge. An 18 watt advantage under load is nice, but irrelevant for a desktop system, as is performance per watt.

Where this will make a real difference, as I notice in the review, is with laptop/ultrabook/portable devices. The lower power draw should make a real difference in battery life, allowing either smaller batteries (and smaller devices), longer life with the same size batteries, or any combination. This would be hard to test since you'd need two mobile devices with the only difference being the processor...and I only had a desktop CPU anyway.
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# A lot of spamMergatroid 2012-06-20 15:21
I'm getting a lot of spam from Benchmark Reviews, likely from scammers who have managed to get around your short letter/number test.

Just today I have gotten three spams claiming they were new posts in Benchmark Reviews articles (including this one).

I enjoy reading the reviews here but if you guys can't do anything about the spam, I'll have to unsubscribe.
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# RE: A lot of spamOlin Coles 2012-06-20 16:02
If a spammer replies to a post you've subscribed to, you get the alert. Obviosly the spam is deleted from the site, but the notifications get sent regardless.

We immediately remove comments and block IPs, but unless you want to enter a long complex code then one spam message per week isn't the end of the world.
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# 3 a day isn't 1 a weekMergatroid 2012-06-20 16:34
The spam has been occurring more frequently. It used to be one a week, and I lived with it.
Last week I started getting a few more and today there were three when I got home for work. There's no way to block the sneaky buggers without blocking Benchmark Reviews.

If it goes back to one a week that would make me happy. If it increases again then I don't think I would stick around. We'll see how it goes. Maybe you guys can change the character test to four or five alphanumeric characters instead of three, or two short words. If it's spam bots that might help, if someone posts the spam manually then it wouldn't.

Good luck with it anyway.
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# RE: 3 a day isn't 1 a weekOlin Coles 2012-06-20 16:53
It appears to be manually input spam, as they seem to be hopping from IP to IP. If I make the security code longer, it might help or they might just continue.
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# RE: RE: 3 a day isn't 1 a weekkiv 2012-06-20 19:45
I honestly don't even know why they bother with the spam. Who the hell is actually visiting those sites, much less giving them business? I visited one spammer's site once just to see what the hell was going on, and it was some terribad chinese merchandise site selling the crappiest looking items I'd seen anywhere, ever.
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# Why no OCed SB 2600K results?Roy 2012-07-13 21:52
Why isn't an OCed SB 2600K compared? That would make more sense when comparing an OCed IB 3770K...get the result of the most stable OC for the SB and do the same for the IB 3770k at that frequency.
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# RE: Why no OCed SB 2600K results?David Ramsey 2012-07-13 22:18
Several reasons: one, many (most?) SB chips will over clock better than IB, so it generally will not be possible to over clock an IB to the same degree as an SB. Also, since we know the IB has better instructions-per-clock, it will always win, however slightly, when the two CPUs are compared at the same clock speed.
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# Have you guys seen this for the new version?feralshad0w 2013-05-31 12:37
I have the little i5 brother of this and its great, have you guys seen this for the new version though? It's a promotional give away from intel for the i7-4770k. I wonder if the next gen will be able to overclock better.

#linustechtips.com/main/topic/20886-intel-free-lan-event-in-dupont-wa-plus-a-chance-to-win-an-unlocked-4th-generation-core-i7/
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