Core i7-4770K: Haswell's Performance, Previewed

Results: HD Graphics 4600 In Hitman And DiRT

When Intel introduced Ivy Bridge’s architecture back at IDF 2011, company engineers made it a point to discuss the graphics pipeline’s modularity, even hinting that future implementations of the HD Graphics engine would see the multiplication of certain on-die components.

Based on early platform documentation, Intel currently has two configurations of Haswell's GPU planned: GT2 and GT3. Conceivably, there's a GT1 as well, though we've seen no mention of it pertaining to any of Intel's LGA, rPGA, or BGA models. Core i7-4770K sports GT2, with 20 execution units (up from Core i7-3770K’s 16). That part is branded as HD Graphics 4600.

Although it represents a notable speed-up compared to HD Graphics 4000, this isn’t earth-shattering enough to make Hitman: Absolution playable. Intel was showing off a system with GT3 in its CES 2013 booth, and that implementation looks to be significantly faster. However, HD Graphics 4600 is going to be far more incremental. We can’t turn this game down any more than its Low preset, and even at 1366x768, it’s just not fluid.

AMD's Trinity-based A10-5800K achieves an average of 20.39 FPS at 1920x1080, besting the Core i7-4770K in its current state.

We’re afforded a little more flexibility in DiRT Showdown, where HD Graphics 4600 runs the game’s Medium-quality preset fairly well at 1366x768. Stepping up to 1920x1080 still isn’t playable.  

The Core i7-3770K’s HD Graphics 4000 engine might be expected to outpace its predecessor by a greater delta. However, we used Intel’s latest pre-production drivers on Haswell and Ivy Bridge, while HD Graphics 3000 was backed by the latest public release.

With an average frame rate of 35.8 at 1920x1080, the A10-5800K is again quicker than the Core i7-4770K with it beta drivers.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • twelve25
    Obviously with AMD striggling, Intel has no need to really stretch here. This is another simple incremental upgrade. Good jump from socket 1156, but I doubt many 1155 owners will feel the need to buy a new motherboard for this.
  • EzioAs
    Thanks for the preview!

    So all of these results are what most people expected already: minimal increase in CPU performance while the iGPU shows significant increase? I'm not surprised really (and I believe most people have speculated this), since Haswell mostly targets the mobile segment.


    In my opinion though, unless LGA1156 i5/i7 users really want to upgrade (native USB 3.0, more SATA 3, etc), they can still hold out with their current CPUs. Although upgrading to Haswell rather than IB does make much more sense if they really want to but there's also the reported USB 3.0 bug and we haven't seen the thermals and overclocking capability on this chip so it might actually be a turn off for some people. And yeah, I don't think many SB or IB users will upgrade to Haswell.
  • dagamer34
    @twelve25 But who does Intel really need to convince here? Trying to chase after people who upgrade every year is a fools errand because its such a small piece of the pie compared to the overall larger market. Besides, most of Intel's resources are clearly going towards making mobile chips better, where there energy really needs to be anyway.
  • dagamer34
    To add to EzioAs's point, I don't see most people on SB/IVB systems upgrading until Intel makes chips that have a good 10-15% better performance than 4.2-4.5Ghz SB/IVB systems or they decide to go down the APU route like AMD is (and also find/create workloads which an APU would beat those systems). In other words, not for another 2+ years.
  • killerchickens
    Does Haswell run hot as Ivy Bridge?
  • Adroid
    killerchickensDoes Haswell run hot as Ivy Bridge?That = the million dollar question. Did they do away with the bird poop and return to fluxless solder.

    Intel should stop throwing insults to the overclocking crowd. We will pay another 10$ for the fluxless solder.
  • mayankleoboy1
    @ Chris Angelini : Man, you are amazing for this preview! +1 to Toms.

    There is no surprise at Intel excluding TSX from the unlocked K parts. They removed teh VT-d in the Sb/IB too. Just so that people not use teh $300 chip in servers, but have to buy th e$2000 chip.
    Intel are fucked up

    i dont think Intel will be too happy with Toms for this preview....
  • universal remonster
    Excellent!! Thanks very much for the preview! Been waiting for this =)
  • sixdegree
    Good preview. I kinda hoped that Toms includes the power consumption figure for Haswell. It's the biggest selling point of Haswell, after all.
  • mayankleoboy1
    sixdegreeGood preview. I kinda hoped that Toms includes the power consumption figure for Haswell. It's the biggest selling point of Haswell, after all.
    Power consumptions is a lot dependent on the BIOS optimizations, which are far from final.