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Intel Core i7-3770K Review: A Small Step Up From Sandy Bridge

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April 23, 2012 4:00:03 PM

One of Intel's worst-kept secrets ever, Ivy Bridge is an evolutionary die shrink of Sandy Bridge with improved integrated graphics. The flagship Core i7-3770K is great if you're replacing an old PC. But it's a tough sell if you already own a Core i7 CPU.

Intel Core i7-3770K Review: A Small Step Up From Sandy Bridge : Read more
a b å Intel
April 23, 2012 4:07:51 PM

Nice Review Chris...

Looking forward to the further information coming out this week on Ivy Bridge, as I was initially planning on buying Ivy Bridge, but now I might turn to Sandy Bridge-E
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April 23, 2012 4:08:11 PM

Great review as always Chris! looks like I'm staying with my 2500k for a while!
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a b å Intel
April 23, 2012 4:11:29 PM

Great and long waited review - Thanks Chris!

Temps as expected are high on the IB, but better than early ES which is very good.

Those with their SB or SB-E (K/X) should be feeling good about now ;) 
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April 23, 2012 4:11:35 PM

saw this just pop up on google, posted 1 min ago, anyway im probably going to update i have a core i3 2100 so this is pretty good.
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April 23, 2012 4:15:05 PM

it's heeearrree!!!!! lol i though intel wan't launching it, been scouring the web for an hour for some mention.

Now, time to read the review. :D 
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April 23, 2012 4:18:30 PM

It gets higher temps at lower frequencies? What the hell did Intel break?

I really wish they would introduce a gaming platform between their stupidly overpriced x79esque server platform and the integrated graphics chips they are pushing mainstream. 50% more transistors should be 30% or so more performance or a much smaller chip, but gamers get nothing out of Ivy Bridge.
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April 23, 2012 4:23:07 PM

It makes sense Intel is making this its quickest ramp ever, as they see ARM on the horizon in today's changing market.
They're using their process to get to places they'll need to get to in the future
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April 23, 2012 4:37:02 PM

OK after reading most of the review and definitely studying the charts;
I have a few things on my mind.

1.) AMD - C'mon and get it together, you need to do better...
2.) imagine if Intel made an i7-2660K or something like the i5-2550K they have now.
3.) SB-E is not for gaming (too highly priced...) compared to i7 or i5 Sandy Bridge
4.) Ivy Bridge runs hot.......
5.) IB average 3.7% faster than i7 SB and only 16% over i5 SB = not worth it
6.) AMD - C'mon and get it together, you need to do better...

(moderator edit..)
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April 23, 2012 4:45:18 PM

Good review.

To me it shows 2 main things. 1) that Ivy didn't improve on Sandy Bridge as much as Intel was hoping it would, and 2) just how far behind AMD actually is...
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April 23, 2012 4:45:22 PM

It's a shame that this chip is marginally faster than 2700k. I guess it's all AMD fault. there is simply no pressure on Intel. Otherwise they would already moved to 8, 6, and 4 cores processors. Especially now when they have 4 cores under 77W.

Yea yea I know most apps won't use 8 cores, but that's only because there was no 8 cores processors in past, not the other way around
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April 23, 2012 4:45:40 PM

I don't know what to say... I'm not feeling jittery about upgrading and blowing $ on a new system... That is good I guess.
I would have liked to see a bigger jump in performance. I'm still very satisfied with the i5 2500K system I built last year... This may actually be bad for Intel as they simply didn't innovate as much as I thought they would...
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April 23, 2012 4:47:44 PM

Now I'm happy for buying 2500K instead of waiting for IB. :) 
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April 23, 2012 4:55:58 PM

It has been rumored that Ivy Bridge will be more expensive than comparable Sandy Bridge because of limited launch supply for a while. Is that right that Intel really will set Ivy's price low?
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April 23, 2012 4:58:47 PM

I was more interested in the peak power consumption difference between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge while running the processors at full load. That's where the real savings in power will be attained.

It's clear that while idling, there won't be much of a difference.

Too bad Tomshardware dropped the ball on that one.
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April 23, 2012 5:01:58 PM

MKBL said:
It has been rumored that Ivy Bridge will be more expensive than comparable Sandy Bridge because of limited launch supply for a while. Is that right that Intel really will set Ivy's price low?

Ivy bridge's prices are expected to be lower than the current SB prices, yes.

They have an expected pricing guide in the anandtech review.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5771/the-intel-ivy-bridge...
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April 23, 2012 5:07:23 PM

sublime2kNow I'm happy for buying 2500K instead of waiting for IB.

I went with the 2500K too...but I kinda wish I'd gone with a 2700K...even if it is just for gaming. IB is beyond what I need right now...this month at least.
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April 23, 2012 5:10:23 PM

I think, I'll upgrade my 775 to Sandy Bridge.
I was waiting reviews just to be sure.
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April 23, 2012 5:15:23 PM

it's not an 'upgrade',it's just an 'update'.
don't regret yourself if you have a SB cpu!
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April 23, 2012 5:17:22 PM

I still have a Q6600, should I upgrade to ivy bridge or sandy bridge? I kinda do want pcie 3.0...
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April 23, 2012 5:20:38 PM

when will IB actually be in stores? (newegg/tigerdirect)
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April 23, 2012 5:23:38 PM

I don't personally think anyone was recommending waiting for Ivy Bridge because they expected a huge performance gain. I think the idea was that for the same price as Sandy Bridge's equivalent, you could get a little more performance, a little less power use and some preferable features.
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Anonymous
April 23, 2012 5:23:39 PM

How does the i7-2700K finish the Complete Tom's Hardware Benchmark Suite faster than the i7-3770K, but the i7-3770K is on average 3.7% faster?
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April 23, 2012 5:24:23 PM

Great review Chris!
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April 23, 2012 5:25:36 PM

sublime2kNow I'm happy for buying 2500K instead of waiting for IB.

Yep as am I man!!!!
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April 23, 2012 5:26:42 PM

d4rkr4in said:
I still have a Q6600, should I upgrade to ivy bridge or sandy bridge? I kinda do want pcie 3.0...

if you can then why not?you will notice a good boost.
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April 23, 2012 5:30:04 PM

the grass is greener on the tock side of the clock, imo
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April 23, 2012 5:32:06 PM

Good, in depth review!

Was wondering, do you think you could compare the PCIe 3.0 video memory bandwidth (Using sandra, for example) b/w SB-E and IB?

I'd also like to see what effect memory bandwidth has on the HD 4000 IGP.

oxiideI don't personally think anyone was recommending waiting for Ivy Bridge because they expected a huge performance gain. I think the idea was that for the same price as Sandy Bridge's equivalent, you could get a little more performance, a little less power use and some preferable features.

+1
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April 23, 2012 5:33:34 PM

You should have tried the A8 with the discrete 6570, that would show whether the CPU was the bottleneck on the HD4000 vs integrated 6550 comparison on quite a few of the benches.
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April 23, 2012 5:35:29 PM

Time to upgrade my 955BE :) 
You have served me well since 2009, but it's time for you to rest.
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April 23, 2012 5:35:37 PM

Good review.

Looks like the 2500k is still the gamer's best bang for the buck.

Crazy how much the AMD CPUs bottleneck a GTX 680.
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April 23, 2012 5:37:19 PM

im really not impressed with the decision to keep HD2500 graphicson the core i5s. nor am I impressed with the HD4000 performance. as a laptop user, I try to look for the best laptop with the best gaming vs baterry vs price performance. looks like ivy bridge wont be a viable option for when I decide to upgrade my amd a6 laptop since the skyrim performance from the HD4000 is very similar to it and the HD2500 performance is worse.

CPU-wise, Im not impressed either. sure theres a slight performance boost from similar sandy bridge cpus, but it isnt really worth upgrading and spending lots of money on. ivy bridge IMO was a bit overhyped because of the "groundbreaking" transisters. but wasnt really a failure either.

this might be a slow CPU advancement year if AMD doesnt improve significantly on their CPUs soon. i feel like intel is going to take a nice long break like they did right before athlon 64 slapped them in the face.
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April 23, 2012 5:52:57 PM

oxiideI don't personally think anyone was recommending waiting for Ivy Bridge because they expected a huge performance gain. I think the idea was that for the same price as Sandy Bridge's equivalent, you could get a little more performance, a little less power use and some preferable features.


That's all well and good and makes perfect logical sense. But here's the thing: If you wait six months to buy any tech hardware, you will almost always get better performance, smaller size, lower price, or a combination of those things (barring a tsunami of coarse!)

I don't understand why people wait for stuff like this. Doesn't it make more sense to make static price/performance requirement for your future purchases? i.e. "I will buy a new CPU when a four core 3+ ghz version costs less than $200" It's logic like that which causes me to buy almost exclusively on the "tock" phase. Also why I have owned the 8800GT, and now have the 460GTX. If you set a moving target, you'll never upgrade.
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April 23, 2012 5:55:49 PM

halcyon said:
I went with the 2500K too...but I kinda wish I'd gone with a 2700K...even if it is just for gaming. IB is beyond what I need right now...this month at least.

i7-2600K or i7-2700K for gaming is overkill..
i5-25xx all day.
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April 23, 2012 6:01:22 PM

gonchukiYou should have tried the A8 with the discrete 6570, that would show whether the CPU was the bottleneck on the HD4000 vs integrated 6550 comparison on quite a few of the benches.

Also could add the crossfire mode for the 3850+6570. Could be very interesting.
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April 23, 2012 6:01:41 PM

If it wasn't for the CPU cooler, my AMD 965 would be running away from home :p  3770k seem worthy!

I planned on a 2600 with Z68, but might as well get newer. Im wondering on the stock clock temperatures for the 3770K. Hope to see temps with different CPU coolers.
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April 23, 2012 6:02:27 PM

Great balanced review Mr. Chis!

I would have loved a few more games thrown in the mix, but great job non the less.

I'm really waiting for the "fine tune" review of the IB OC. I'm really expecting that it will be around 4.5Ghz, making it just a tad better than the current SB's.

cheers!
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April 23, 2012 6:20:25 PM

I waited for nothing.....my bad
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April 23, 2012 6:26:38 PM

The "sweet spot" for Ivy Bridge was always laptops ... especially ultrabooks. Real curious what we see there with the reduced power/thermal requirements ... plus semi-decent built-in graphics.

CHRIS: Nobody has mentioned it yet, but was I the only one who caught this comment of yours when talking about Power Consumption and Efficiency: "I also have data for the -2550K, but I’m working on a surprise with that information." I was surprised we didn't see less power consumption on the desktop comparisons.
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April 23, 2012 6:32:51 PM

Well, my Athlon 64 FX-60 is standing until now, so I think I can wait for the next tock, Haswell.
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April 23, 2012 6:36:16 PM


d4rkr4inI still have a Q6600, should I upgrade to ivy bridge or sandy bridge? I kinda do want pcie 3.0...


I upgraded from a Q6600 to the i5-750 and it was very much a "Tock" in the upgrade schedule. If hyperthreading is not that important to you, and your comfortable with overclocking, I would look at the i5-2500K when the prices drop after the release of the new Ivy Bridges. My i5 does everything I need it to do, it overclocks like my Q6600 never could, and I'm just going to sit tight until Intel's next architecture comes along. My recommendation is based on trying to save some money, but I'd also take a look at the i5-3570K when it comes out and see how it compares to the 2500K.
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April 23, 2012 6:55:39 PM

Hupiscratch said:
Well, my Athlon 64 FX-60 is standing until now, so I think I can wait for the next tock, Haswell.

socket 939..? :sleep: 
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April 23, 2012 7:13:44 PM

Awesome article. I was considering switching from my Phenom to this, but I will wait a while longer. I expected the power saving to be much better, but since the focus was on the gpu, I'll wait a bit longer. Thanx.

I know you are doing us a courtesy by giving a way a system, but could you please use a Captcha(?) that is easier to use. I don't think I'm the only one who has to reset a dozen+ times to find one that is somewhat readable, only to be told "incorrect." After four failed attempts and dozens of resets I gave up. I'm not whining just constructive criticism.
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April 23, 2012 7:17:41 PM

halcyon said:
I went with the 2500K too...but I kinda wish I'd gone with a 2700K...even if it is just for gaming. IB is beyond what I need right now...this month at least.

No need for i7 until games start using hyperthreading. :) 
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April 23, 2012 7:18:00 PM

What cooler was used for overclocking tests? I could not see it on the system description.
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April 23, 2012 7:21:44 PM

Awesome job! Looking forward to more!

My AMD Altlon 64 5000+ told me its scared.
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April 23, 2012 7:22:02 PM

Well, well In desktop we get better GPU... Hmm... I really wan to see how this manages in laptop usage. Low electric usage would be the main reason to use Ivy. How does it work in laptops? Do you get better battery time? Do you get better temperatures? The first should be ok, but how much. The later is big questionmark so far are the temps actually worse? or is the problem only when you overclock IVY...
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April 23, 2012 7:23:15 PM

Thanks for checking out the stories guys. Taking all of the feedback into consideration, as always!

@Uni-duni-te: Used a Thermalright MUX-120 running 100% duty cycle for overclocking.
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