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As a host processor, Core i7-3770K is only marginally faster than the former flagship of Intel’s Sandy Bridge family, Core i7-2700K.
Sure, there are gaming numbers from HD Graphics 4000 and improved Quick Sync results we could talk about here, but this $317 chip’s job is as a CPU, first and foremost.
If a less expensive Core i5-2550K was good enough for you in a world where Core i7-2700K represented the fastest LGA 1155 processor you could buy, than it should be good enough for you in a world suddenly populated by Ivy Bridge-based chips, too.
Clearly there are workloads where buying an i7 warrants spending $100 more, though. Premiere Pro render jobs and Visual Studio projects are some of the most taxing in our suite—both get big boosts from the additional L3 cache and Hyper-Threading support offered by the highest-end mainstream CPUs.