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

Core i7-4770K Gets Previewed

Editor's Note: The Core i7-4770K is now available! Get my impressions of the final silicon in The Core i7-4770K Review: Haswell Is Faster; Desktop Enthusiasts Yawn. It shouldn't surprise you to learn that the numbers and conclusions in this preview were pretty much spot-on!

We recently got our hands on a Core i7-4770K, based on Intel's Haswell micro-architecture. It’s not final silicon, but compared to earlier steppings (and earlier drivers), we’re comfortable enough about the way this chip performs to preview it against the Ivy and Sandy Bridge designs.

Presentations at last year's Developer Forum in San Francisco taught us as much as there is to know about the Haswell architecture itself. But as we get closer to the official launch, more details become known about how Haswell will materialize into actual products. Fortunately for us, some of the first CPUs based on Intel's newest design will be aimed at enthusiasts.

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Fourth-Generation Intel Core Desktop Line-Up
Row 0 - Cell 0 Cores / ThreadsTDP (W)Clock Rate1 Core2 Cores3 Cores4 CoresL3GPUMax. GPU ClockTSX
i7-4770K4 / 8843.5 GHz3.9 GHz3.9 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz8 MBGT21.25 GHzNo
i7-47704 / 8843.4 GHz3.9 GHz3.9 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz8 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i5-4670K4 / 4843.4 GHz3.8 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz3.6 GHz6 MBGT21.2 GHzNo
i5-46704 /4843.4 GHz3.8 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz3.6 GHz6 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i5-45704 / 4843.2 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.5 GHz3.4 GHz6 MBGT21.15GHzYes
i5-44304 / 4843 GHz3.2 GHz3.2 GHz3.1 GHz3 GHz6 MBGT21.1 GHzNo
i7-4770S4 / 4653.1 GHz3.9 GHz3.8 GHz3.6 GHz3.5 GHz8 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i5-4570S4 / 4652.9 GHz3.6 GHz3.5 GHz3.3 GHz3.2 GHz6 MBGT21.15GHzYes
i5-4670S4 / 4653.1 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz3.5 GHz3.4 GHz6 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i5-4430S4 / 4652.7 GHz3.2 GHz3.1 GHz2.9 GHz2.8 GHz6 MBGT21.1 GHzNo
i7-4770T4 / 4452.5 GHz3.7 GHz3.6 GHz3.4 GHz3.1 GHz8 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i5-4670T4 / 4452.3 GHz3.3 GHz3.2 GHz3 GHz2.9 GHz6 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i7-4765T4 / 4352 GHz3 GHz2.9 GHz2.7 GHz2.6 GHz8 MBGT21.2 GHzYes
i5-4570T2 / 4352.9 GHz3.6 GHz3.3 GHz--4 MBGT21.15 GHzYes

According to Intel’s current plans, you’ll find dual- and quad-core LGA 1150 models with the GT2 graphics configuration sporting 20 execution units. There will also be dual- and quad-core socketed rPGA-based models for the mobile space, featuring the same graphics setup. Everything in the table above is LGA 1150, though. All of those models share support for two channels of DDR3-1600 at 1.5 V and 800 MHz minimum core frequencies. They also share a 16-lane PCI Express 3.0 controller, AVX2 support, and AES-NI support. Interestingly, four of the listed models do not support Intel's new Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX). We're not sure why Intel would want to differentiate its products with a feature intended to handle locking more efficiently, but that appears to be what it's doing.

The much-anticipated GT3 graphics engine, with 40 EUs, is limited to BGA-based applications, meaning it won’t be upgradeable. Intel will have quad-core with GT3, quad-core with GT2, and dual-core with GT2 versions in ball grid array packaging. GT3 will also make an appearance in a BGA-based multi-chip package that includes a Lynx Point chipset. That’ll be a dual-core part, though.

In addition to the processors Intel plans to launch here in a few months, we’ll also be introduced to the 8-series Platform Controller Hubs, currently code-named Lynx Point. The most feature-complete version of Lynx Point will incorporate six SATA 6Gb/s ports, 14 total USB ports (six of which are USB 3.0), eight lanes of second-gen PCIe, and VGA output.

Eight-series chipsets are going to be physically smaller than their predecessors (23x22 millimeters on the desktop, rather than 27x27) with lower pin-counts. This is largely attributable to more capabilities integrated on the CPU itself. Previously, eight Flexible Display Interface lanes connected the processor and PCH. Although the processor die hosted an embedded DisplayPort controller, the VGA, LVDS, digital display interfaces, and audio were all down on the chipset. Now, the three digital ports are up in the processor, along with the audio and embedded DisplayPort. LVDS is gone altogether, as are six of the FDI lanes.

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.