Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5 GHz Ivy Bridge Review

Price Reference:

Intel Core i7-3770K can be bought for around US $313.

  • Around 10-15% performance improvement over Core i7-2600K
  • Better performance per watt
  • Lower power consumption
  • 1600 MHz DDR3 memory support
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Backward compatibility with Intel 6 series chipsets
  • PCI Express 3.0 support
  • Runs hotter as compared to Sandy Bridge
  • Performance gains aren’t significant to merit an upgrade over Sandy Bridge
  • Limited overclocking headroom as compared to Sandy Bridge (on air)

Intel Ivy Bridge is interesting to say the least, today we tested the Intel Core i7-3770K (ES) and as you can see from the benchmarks it is about 10% on average faster than Sandy Bridge (Intel Core i7-2600K) in CPU performance and in some cases the gains are nearly 20%. Ivy Bridge is bringing in a number of new features namely, integrated Direct X 11 support, PCI-Express 3.0 which nearly doubles the bandwidth over previous generation PCI Express 2.0 and Intel HD Graphics 4000 which promises significant improvement over the previous generation HD Graphics 3000 (we’ll cover this in detail in the next few days and pit it against the AMD APU’s as well).

The highlight of the Ivy Bridge processors is the use of Tri-Game 3D transistors with a new 22nm manufacturing node; this means more performance with less power consumption and Core i7-3770K is a good example of that as it consumed 15watts less as compared to its Sandy Bridge counterpart. 15watts might not be considerable for desktop users but this is indeed a big positive step for notebooks/ultrabooks. Overclocking is rather limited at the moment on air-cooling as compared to Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge runs hotter than the Sandy Bridge processors thus resulting in about 200-300 MHz less overclock; we hope Intel resolves this issue in a new stepping.

Another change over Sandy Bridge is that now the base clock multiplier goes up to 63 which was 59 in Sandy Bridge’s case, this will theoretically result in an overclock of 6.3GHz without touching the base clock (100 MHz). Ivy Bridge also offers a stronger IMC resulting in support for 1600 MHz DDR3 memory; this was limited to 1333 MHz in Sandy Bridge.

Ivy Bridge offers better performance at almost same price, the Core i7-3770K will retail for US $313 which is the same at which Core i7-2600K was launched at. Now the performance improvement isn’t significant over Sandy Bridge for current owners to start upgrading to Ivy Bridge but if you are on the old Lynnfield or the LGA 775 platform than Ivy Bridge is the upgrade for you. All in all apart from the little heating issues we see Ivy Bridge processors as a big step forward and as the 22nm fab process matures we hope to see more performance improvements.

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