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Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell CPU benchmarked and priced

by Tarinder Sandhu on 19 March 2013, 09:30

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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It's no secret that Intel is launching its next-generation CPU architecture, codenamed Haswell, in May or June of this year. Haswell follows on from the third-generation Core Ivy Bridge chips that remain popular with enthusiasts and system builders alike.

It is also known that the Haswell architecture reduces power and increases performance, especially graphics, when compared to the Ivy Bridge parts shipping today.

A top-of-the-range Core i7-4770K Haswell chip has the same basic topology as the current Core i7-3770K, translating to four cores, hyper-threading and 8MB of last-level cache, but the use of different sockets - LGA 1150 vs. LGA 1155 - means that a new motherboard, an Intel 8-series, is also required for Haswell.

The run-up to any technology launch is rife with rumours and speculation, and Haswell is no different in this regard. The folks over at Tom's have managed to snag a pre-production Haswell chip and have run some numbers.

Summarising Tom's performance findings, the pre-production Core i7-4770K is generally between five and 10 per cent faster than a Core i7-3770K for CPU-intensive benchmarks, and understanding that both chips operate at the same speed, the gains are related to architecture improvements.

But the biggest generation-to-generation improvements are to be found in the performance of the chips' on-board 'GT2' graphics. The 4770K's HD Graphics 4600 IGP is between 10 and 50 per cent faster than the 3770K's HD 4000 Graphics, with the improvement very much dependent on title.

Tom's commits a minor faux pas by not including numbers for an AMD Trinity-based APU's graphics in the graphs, though does mention them in passing in the text. The A10-5800K's IGP is 10-25 per cent faster than the new-and-improved HD Graphics 4600, the author notes. However, we know that some mobile-orientated Haswell chips will feature beefed-up 'GT3' HD 5xxx graphics, though we're unlikely to see them present for desktop parts.

Unfortunately, there are no numbers for power consumption, which would be interesting to see, and we have to take the performance of any pre-production chip, using beta drivers, on a new motherboard, with a large pinch of salt.

Adding some more context, the eagle-eyed folks over at Hardware.info have screengrabbed leaked pricing for the Core i7-4770K. Up for an average of 340 euros ( £295) on two retailers, the purported cost is around £40 higher than what's charged for a presently available Core i7-3770K. AMD will clearly play on the fact that its soon-to-be-last-generation Trinity APU's graphics performance is better than Intel's next-generation chips' - a fact that's underscored by the AMD chip costing one-third of the price for Intel's range-topper.

We're keen to see how the shipping Haswell parts match up to the performance numbers posted by Tom's. It seems like Haswell will be, for the most part, an incremental performance upgrade from third-generation Ivy Bridge.

HEXUS Forums :: 40 Comments

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Not very exciting tbh, expected more rly…
CPU advancements aren't nearly as fast as GPUs, a lot of the performance increase has come from with the introduction of more cores. Definitely not worth upgrading to this from my i7 3770k, it will also need to be as good an overclocker otherwise the performance increases shown here could be minimised if it can't reach the same speed overall.
I'll wait and see what reviews say on release but I'm thinking I won't regret buying a couple of new machines with Ivybridge CPUs not long ago.
Tom's commits a faux pas by not including numbers for an AMD Trinity-based APU's graphics in the graphs

I think “faux pas” is a bit unfair - they specifically say they're not happy doing cross-company comparisons on engineering hardware with beta drivers (although it's arguable whether Intel's driver ever get better than beta quality… ;) ).

The whole thing is yet again evolutionary rather than revolutionary - a smidge more IPC, a dollop more graphics, nothing ground breaking, and nothing that really shakes up the current market: AMD will continue to have the best desktop IGPs, Intel will continue to have the best desktop CPUs, and which you buy will really depend on your budget and uses. It also gives AMD a chance to claw back some ground when Kaveri launches - the gains from Richland should be bigger than Ivy Bridge -> Haswell and close the ground even more.

The mobile space is where things could get interesting, depending on just how good GT3 really is. It's a shame we don't have any ULV Richland figures yet though: from the look of it the tweaks from Trinity will pay out most for graphics performance in the low power space, which means GT3 may have to be remarkable to make a significant impact (and being BGA/ULV only you'll pay through the nose for a laptop with GT3…)
I wonder if Haswell has soldered heatspreaders like SB and not paste like IB. If they are there could be some serious overclocking. It would need to be to prise anyone away from thier existing i5s and i7s, especially as it's yet another socket change from Intel, mobo manufacturers must love Intel.