Core i5-3570K, -3550, -3550S, And -3570T: Ivy Bridge Efficiency

Lining Up The Contenders: Are There 95 W IVBs?

The first issue to address popped up while I was working on my launch piece last month. Before Ivy Bridge-based processors were even showing up on shelves, we were already getting reports that Intel’s retail boxes were printed with 95 W TDPs, and not the 77 W limits the company tried claiming.

Intel responded with the following:

“Third-generation Intel quad-core standard power processors have a TDP of 77 W. In some cases, you may continue to see references to a 95 W TDP. Intel has requested that original equipment manufacturers continue to design platforms based on Intel 7-series Express chipsets to a 95 W TDP target to ensure compatibility with second-generation Intel processors.”

So, platforms continue to be designed to support 95 W Sandy Bridge-based parts, but Ivy Bridge is 77 W, right?

Technically, yes. However, Intel did seem to goof up. It should have been using a 77 W spec on its boxed processors. We received the following shortly after publishing our Core i7-3770K story:

The company seemingly used 95 W to indicate platform support, when it should have been citing the specification for the Ivy Bridge-based parts themselves. So, expect to see those five models (the -3550K should probably be -3570K) listed as 77 W parts moving forward.

Core i5-3570T: 45 W

From the bottom, Core i5-3570T is our lone 45 W sample. Intel achieves its aggressively low thermal ceiling by dropping the chip’s base clock to 2.3 GHz and only allowing Turbo Boost to kick up to 3.3 GHz on a single core when headroom allows for it. With four cores active, the chip is limited to 2.9 GHz.

Core i5-3550S: 65 W

A 65 W TDP gives the Core i5-3550S the flexibility to run at a more aggressive 3 GHz base clock rate. Turbo Boost subsequently pushes the chip up to 3.7 GHz when a single thread is active. With four cores taxing the CPU, frequency is dialed in at 3.3 GHz.

Core i5-3550: 77 W

Stepping up to the highest 77 W thermal ceiling opens up enough flexibility to operate the Core i5-3550 at 3.3 GHz. Turbo Boost facilitates an aggressive 3.7 GHz ceiling, which reflects really well in single-threaded applications. When all four of the chip’s cores are active, the -3550 runs at up to 3.5 GHz.

Core i5-3570K: 77 W

Flagship of the third-gen Core i5 family, Intel’s -3570K features a base clock rate of 3.4 GHz and a maximum Turbo Boosted frequency of 3.8 GHz. It achieves 3.6 GHz with cores active (and the available thermal headroom to not violate its TDP, of course).

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    Top Comments
  • jimmysmitty
    Outlander_04The performance of a Llano chip is included in the article to compare its performance so it not just about intel cpu's . The intels were not as good in gaming in the integrated graphics so a graphics card was added so they'd look better there too . Its an unfair comparison and shows intel bias IMO


    Actually a lot of sites have shown just what Chris is talking about. Even a dual core Pentium with a HD6670 beats the top end Llano piece (a quad core) even with CFX of the IGP with a HD6570. Llano is great for some things but overall in DT its only a low end entry level product and is much weaker per core and per clock than Intels CPUs.

    What Chris did was pulled the same charts from his first IB review and added in the HD2500 (the new low end Intel IGP) for comparison.

    If someone cannot take this information and realize that its just for comparison and that its not to show anything better, then thats their problem. If this was a Llano article, or the Trinity article when it comes out, you better believe Chris will do everything to check ever performance aspect. But its not. Its an article to see if the T and S models are worth it.

    Overll, llano is overrate in my book. We have barley sold any at my work place. Just doesn't have the pulling power like a CPU and discrete GPU does.
    19
  • cangelini
    Outlander_04In the real world gaming section you got a great big graph for the 3770k by adding a discreet graphics card . Why didn't you try a Llano system with an identical graphics card? Afraid the second tier AMD product would kick sand in intels face?

    Because this is a story about the Intel chips. To the contrary, though, the AMD-based platform is more likely to bottleneck a discrete graphics card than the Intel one. AMD's strength is in the integrated graphics right now.
    18
  • zyzz
    Good article. I think I will get the 3570K over 2500K.
    17
  • Other Comments
  • zyzz
    Good article. I think I will get the 3570K over 2500K.
    17
  • erraticfocus
    nice work in sorting out the facts and reminding us about the history and change from the lower power offerings in the intel stable..
    6
  • amdfangirl
    Does Intel allow underclocking and undervolting on H-series boards? If so, S and T series are pretty redundant.
    7
  • Onikage
    2700K looks a clear Winner to me ! got one last week from Microcenter at an ironic but sensational price 270$ !!!! hey 3770K try and beat that !
    -11
  • Outlander_04
    In the real world gaming section you got a great big graph for the 3770k by adding a discreet graphics card . Why didn't you try a Llano system with an identical graphics card? Afraid the second tier AMD product would kick sand in intels face?
    -23
  • cangelini
    Outlander_04In the real world gaming section you got a great big graph for the 3770k by adding a discreet graphics card . Why didn't you try a Llano system with an identical graphics card? Afraid the second tier AMD product would kick sand in intels face?

    Because this is a story about the Intel chips. To the contrary, though, the AMD-based platform is more likely to bottleneck a discrete graphics card than the Intel one. AMD's strength is in the integrated graphics right now.
    18
  • Outlander_04
    The performance of a Llano chip is included in the article to compare its performance so it not just about intel cpu's . The intels were not as good in gaming in the integrated graphics so a graphics card was added so they'd look better there too . Its an unfair comparison and shows intel bias IMO
    -23
  • jimmysmitty
    Outlander_04The performance of a Llano chip is included in the article to compare its performance so it not just about intel cpu's . The intels were not as good in gaming in the integrated graphics so a graphics card was added so they'd look better there too . Its an unfair comparison and shows intel bias IMO


    Actually a lot of sites have shown just what Chris is talking about. Even a dual core Pentium with a HD6670 beats the top end Llano piece (a quad core) even with CFX of the IGP with a HD6570. Llano is great for some things but overall in DT its only a low end entry level product and is much weaker per core and per clock than Intels CPUs.

    What Chris did was pulled the same charts from his first IB review and added in the HD2500 (the new low end Intel IGP) for comparison.

    If someone cannot take this information and realize that its just for comparison and that its not to show anything better, then thats their problem. If this was a Llano article, or the Trinity article when it comes out, you better believe Chris will do everything to check ever performance aspect. But its not. Its an article to see if the T and S models are worth it.

    Overll, llano is overrate in my book. We have barley sold any at my work place. Just doesn't have the pulling power like a CPU and discrete GPU does.
    19
  • GhosT94
    should have compared the Core i5-3570K vs the Core i5-2500K
    12
  • Outlander_04
    If you are going to show the performance of an intel cpu with a graphics card then any reasonable comparison would also show the AMD cpu with the same graphics card .
    -19
  • ojas
    I was wondering, would you be able to test a Llano in a dual GPU config vs the -T model i5 with the same card, and with another efficient higher end card like 7870 or 670 (with the i5 as the CPU)?

    I'm thinking in terms of a HTPC/"Super-Console". Low power, high gaming+A/V performance, quiet, 'instant'-on.

    If you guys get the time to, of course. :)
    6
  • silverblue
    Outlander_04If you are going to show the performance of an intel cpu with a graphics card then any reasonable comparison would also show the AMD cpu with the same graphics card .

    I must admit, with a low to mid end card, Llano wouldn't really cause any bottlenecking issues, however it wouldn't be reasonable to expect Llano to perform the same or better than SB or IB i3s and i5s using the same card for most games. SB and IV are just faster even if Llano had a higher clock, period.
    4
  • Yargnit
    If the goal of the low power models is HTPC's and the like they should really have given them HD4000 instead of just HD2500 so they would be less likely to need a discrete GPU that negates the power saving benefits of a low power SKU.

    In instances where he HD4000 has enough GPU power, but the HD2500 does not, the 3570k will offer a lower total system power option than either of the t/s options once you factor in adding a GPU that meets your needs.

    If you jut bought a 3570k and undervoled it, which IB seems very good at, the results wouldn't even be close.
    5
  • xtreme5
    i5 3570k ulitmate gaming chip.
    -2
  • K-beam
    Those processors may be the only ones that you could get into your min-ITS board. For example, Foxconn H61S mini-ITX will only accept
    -1
  • K-beam
    Sorry, the post got cut.
    Those processors may be the only ones that you could get into your mini-ITX board. For example, Foxconn H61S mini-ITX will only accept less than 65W CPUs http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Foxconn/H61S.html
    However, seeing that the 77W CPUs top power draw is practically the same as 3550S, I wonder whether they will not fit in those mini-ITX boards.
    2
  • mavikt
    Chris AngeliniI also have data for the -2550K, but I’m working on a surprise with that information.


    That was a teaser from the original Intel Core i7-3770K Review: A Small Step Up For Ivy Bridge.
    What happened? Was this it?
    I'm still very curious!
    3
  • Sakkura
    Why does TH focus on the i7-3770k and the -S and -T i5's, rather than the i5-3570k, i5-3570, i5-3550 etc. that appeal more to gamers?
    2
  • Sonny73N
    If I build a new rig today, I'd still go with SB. Simply because Intel had replaced the fluxless solder with some kind of thermal paste inside these 3rd gen chips. No wonder IB has heat issue despite their lower TDP compared to SB.

    Thermal paste is only usefull when used to fill in air gaps between heat conductive materials so it can disipate more heat than air can. But replace metal with the paste? Look like someone tried to make more profit here by cutting down production cost. Next Bridge, please!
    2
  • suddenstop
    I think this article has some flaws, especially due to pcmark. It would have been better to add the same chips with a discrete graphics card to the test. Sandy and Ivy are a lot different on graphics, but not so much so otherwise. We already know hd graphics in the new chips is better.

    What I want to know, is take the i5 k series chips. Ivy starts out more efficient, but as you overclock them, due to voltage jumps on ivy - does sandy become more efficient at some point.
    0