Intel Core i7-4770K

07 Jun 2013, 04:12
Intel Core i7-4770K

Intel's lineup of 4th Generation Core processors, codenamed “Haswell,” provides solid improvements in graphics power and CPU efficiency across the entire lineup. Are these advancements worth the investment? Read on to find out. 

Intel’s HD Graphics is one of the big winners with Haswell. Most 4th Generation Intel Core i7 and Core i5 chips come with Intel HD Graphics 4600. The Core i7-4770K sent to us features a maximum HD Graphics frequency of 1,250MHz. By comparison, Intel’s Core i7-3770K offers a maximum frequency of 1,150MHz. With an Intel 8 Series chipset, you can take advantage of an unlocked graphics multiplier on Haswell processors with a “K” suffix. 

Motherboard manufacturers can opt to configure their boards’ video outputs (up to three) as DisplayPort, HDMI, or DVI. You’ll still be able to span the Intel HD Graphics across three monitors. Haswell processors also come with built-in Intel Wi-Di. 

Intel has also expanded the instruction set to help with gaming, multimedia encoding, and high-performance computing. AVX2 (Advanced Vector Extension 2) comes with 256-bit integer instructions, floating-point FMA (fused multiply-add) instructions, and gather operations. The new FMA tools help with things like face detection and digital imaging, while the gather operations improve bit manipulation in compression, encryption, and general-purpose software. Haswell also improves Intel Quick Sync Video, InTru 3D, and Clear Video HD Technology. 

The Intel Core i7-4770K is an unlocked processor with four cores, Hyper-Threading, and 8MB of Intel Smart Cache. The Core i7-4770K’s maximum TDP is 84W, seven watts higher than the Core i7-3770K. The  memory controller supports DDR3 speeds of 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz by default, while the processor’s PCI-E 3.0 controller provides 16 lanes for graphics.

Despite having similar basic specs as the Core i7-3770K, we saw increases across the board in our CPU-intensive benchmarks. Intel’s HD Graphics 4600 really shined, too. Overall numbers in 3DMark 11 jumped from E1588 to E2675, a 68% increase. We were able to produce playable frame rates in Metro 2033 and Aliens vs. Predator by lowering settings to Medium, turning off AF, and running games at 1,024 x 768— something we weren’t able to produce with Intel HD Graphics 4000.

The performance increases over Ivy Bridge, plus the changes to Intel’s HD Graphics, make the Core i7-4770K a smart pick for power users eyeing a new build in 2013. Haswell can hold its own.

Tags: Motherboard
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