Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Intel Haswell i7-4770K IPC and Overclocking Review

Intel's clock keeps ticking and today lands on a "tock" in the development cycle. The new desktop Haswell processor represents a new microarchitecture built on the tried and true 22nm process technology that we have come to know and love with Intel's current Ivy Bridge microarchitecture. But what does Haswell mean for the computer enthusiast?

Haswell 4th Generation Processors

Today Intel marches on to its 4th Generation Intel Core Processor architecture code-named "Haswell." From my point of view, this launch is much more about getting performance and battery life into mobile devices. Certainly some of that awesome power gating and C State goodness will find its way into a few of our desktops as well. From a mobile perspective, I will very much likely find a Haswell processor in my next notebook should I ever find need to upgrade my current 3 year old Core i7 notebook; it has been and still is a great product for sure.

Haswell represents a "tock" in Intel’s development model, meaning that it will keep the currently proven 22nm process while moving the processor to a new architecture.

All of that aside, what is Haswell going to do for your enthusiast desktop?

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Intel will offer two "K" series processors with the overclocking enthusiast in mind, much like we saw with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge architecture. Along with that comes the new Z87 chipset and these new CPUs will require a socket LGA 1150 motherboard. The socket is new, but the mounting for the cooling hardware remains the same.

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In case you have not heard, Intel is bringing back the CPU Strap feature. This once again allows us to scale the CPU’s BCLK (base clock) without impacting all the busses attached to the processor.

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We will leave the pages of technical discussion for sites better educated to cover that and focus on a performance and overclocking discussion. Quite frankly, most of this information has been public since September of last year.

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These slides show the entire Haswell product layout. The multiplier unlocked "K" series processors are the ones we are interested in.

The Core i7-4770K will take the place of the current i7-3770K currently selling for $311. The 4770K boasts a 84W TDP and has a specified Turbo Frequency of 3.9GHz.

The Core i5-4670K will take the place of the current i5-3570K currently selling for $224. The 4670K of course comes sans HyperThreading. So 4 cores capable of processor 4 threads, unlike the 8 threads of the 4770K. The TDP shows the same at 84W and the Turbo Frequency has been pulled back just a bit to 3.8GHz.

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The Advanced Vector Extension set has been improved since Sandy Bridge but extending the previous SSE registers from 128 bits to 256 bits. So basically what we will see is applications that currently benefit from SSE, further benefit from this as well.

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Intel Z87 Chipset

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We will be covering our first Z87 chipset motherboard review on Monday. From a hardware perspective we are gaining 4 on-chip SATA3 connectors compared to Z77and a slew of added USB. PCIe specs stay the "same." From a chipset perspective, it is hardly exciting.