The Core i7-4770K Review: Haswell Is Faster; Desktop Enthusiasts Yawn

Power Consumption

As an architecture, Haswell is being lauded for enabling the “biggest battery life increase in Intel’s history.” But of course, battery life isn’t a consideration on the desktop. Larger form factors that aren’t power-constrained give Intel more headroom to offer higher thermal ceilings (which is why we have Sandy Bridge-E-based chips rated for 130 W).

Core i7-4770K’s TDP is 84 W, 7 W higher than the 77 W Core i7-3770K. But it also employs on-package voltage regulation, moving components previously on the motherboard into the processor itself. How does this translate to efficiency?

First, let’s look at our complete benchmark run, graphed out over time.

We’re truncating the end of the chart for readability, but essentially, AMD’s A10-5800K trails off at the end, taking far longer to finish all of our workloads than any other processor. The big spikes are indicative of where 3DMark is running, so we can see Core i7-3930K got there first, followed by Core i7-4770K, with Core i7-3770K and -2700K not far behind.

Other landmarks are more difficult to identify, though we do see the FX-8350- and Core i7-3930K-powered systems averaging much higher draw from the wall than other platforms. The difference, of course, is that Sandy Bridge-E also finishes the suite notably faster than Piledriver.

The script we use for testing builds in short idle periods between benchmarks, which, more than anything, is necessary for slower systems so that they don’t fail taking too long to shut down or launch certain applications. Even still, if we averaged power consumption during the entirety of our run, you’d come away thinking that these platforms were hogs, since most of the time they’d be active. We add 1,800 seconds (30 minutes) of idle time to the back end before shutting each system off automatically.

With this idle time factored in, each GTX Titan-equipped platform draws what we’d consider to be a reasonable amount of power for high-end hardware performing a number of demanding tasks. The Core i7-3770 predictably achieves the lowest consumption result thanks to its 77 W TDP. Next is the 84 W Core i7-4770K, followed by Intel’s 95 W Core i7-2700K.

Because we also know that each sample represents two seconds, we also know exactly how long each system is powered on. So, we can take that figure, multiply it by the average power consumption, and get an idea of how much power was used during each run. Again, it appears that Intel’s Core i7-3770K leads the way, with -4770K behind.

Update (6/4): Special thanks to Tom's Hardware reader mikitd, who noticed the -4770K's Wh result seemed high. We revisited the logs, and found one test that was left enabled on the Haswell-based system, extending its run time while generating a result we weren't using. We've since re-run the test and now show Haswell and Ivy Bridge consuming roughly the same power. Although -4770K still averages higher consumption, its performance improvement helps compensate.

A look at the logs suggests that the Haswell-based chip isn’t idling as low as the -3770K, even though all power-savings features are enabled in both motherboard UEFIs.

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  • Novuake
    WELL FINALLY!! Now to read it!

    EDIT : LOL!!!!
  • thiemo56
    Dissapointing, not worth it to upgrade over sandy or ivy bridge.
  • thiemo56
    And they overclock so low.
  • Danny N
    Biggest question is if its worth upgrading my cpu i5 750 4.0ghz to Haswell or my gfx card ati 5870 to nvidia 7xx, my main pc use is for Maya, After FX and some fps gaming. Any input would be appriciated cause I'm leaning towards a cpu upgrade atm.
  • swampfire
    whats scoket is it like lg1155
  • refillable
    @Danny N
    You shouldn't ask here. Perhaps you should get an i7-4770k and a 7970(?) I heard that kepler cards does not perform that good in Maya and Aftereffects (In OpenCL).
  • refillable
    Well unless you can get a 780, that's a whole different story.
  • bergami
    I want to know more about Iris
  • envy14tpe
    Seriously. What did people expect? Of course it's better but nothing out of the ordinary for Intel.
  • enewmen
    For me it's not about the 10% gain over SB. It's more like a huge gain over a C2Q, floating point performance over SB (should matter later), and lower watts. I hope THG can expand the Power Consumption and Media Encoding later - check the Watts idle more and fast quick-sync media encoding quality loss. My 2 cents..

    other sites have reported much lower watts idle, so a lot doesn't make sense or the 4770k has a very slow throttle.
  • envy14tpe
    thiemo56Dissapointing, not worth it to upgrade over sandy or ivy bridge.

    Of course not. No one should upgrade from Sandy or Ivy to this, unless you are the 1%.
  • 016ive
    Intel made the Sandy bridge because of the phenom X6, without competition from AMD Intel will make small improvements every generation to make more money :(
  • sl6
    I was looking to make a new system based around this. Looks like Ivy-E will be more promising for the FPS.
  • tomfreak
    Still dont get it, can we still OC the lock CPU via BCLK?
  • anort3
    Well crap. And early overclocking looked so good.
  • mayankleoboy1
    1.4770K sucks harder than the preview showed it to be.

    2. Another thing i noticed, the FX8350 was a big total energy hog. That is one point AMD fanbois dont talk.

    3. Chris , no specialized AVX2 softwares ? No AVX enabled Handbrake in tests ?
    4. Would have liked to see some -/AVX2 compiled software in here. Maybe left for another "compiler tuning on Haswell piece" ?
  • DAsianFatass
    016iveIntel made the Sandy bridge because of the phenome X6, without competition from AMD Intel will make small improvements every generations to make more money

    Yeah, I agree with ya. Without competition there is no innovation. As for intel, "I am disappoint"
  • unknown9122
    I still don't get why intel went with a new socket if they consider the desktop to be "dying"... I think this is AMDs chance to shine
  • thasan1
    is it me or the most exiting news in this review powerPC thing and im not even from US.......
  • Icecweam7
    Is Intel changing its ways to now slownevate the industry? What is Intel's R&D doing? Are they too busy counting their bonuses, stocks, cigars, wine, tee time golf, and vacation trips? *Looks skyward with palm to the face and many yawns
  • ingtar33
    Wow... well no surprise those "leaked" overclock scores were all bogus. Those were reminding me of the reports prior to Bulldozer's arrival.

    But i never would have guessed Haswell would be no better then a 5% improvement over IB, and actually worse on power management and overclocking. Tom's said they had 12 chips and only got 1 to 4.7? almost all of them topped out at 4.3 and 4.4? the "lucky chips" hit 4.5... IB overclocks better then that! I wonder if this is another case of poor thermal grease.

    Disappointing Intel. that they locked BCLK out for non K is no surprise. Frankly, because of the chaos BCLK causes when used, i'm surprised they didn't lock it out completely. I wouldn't touch it even if i had a K series chip.

    Well, if we needed any confirmation that intel was sandbagging so AMD isn't slaughtered this is it. Not only do they provide almost zero improvement, they raised their prices of the cpu across the board too. This chip is about keeping AMD in the desktop game and dominating mobile.
  • ilysaml
    That was obvious, it's all about HD Graphics.
    If steamroller matches Ivy Bridge Performance, AMD will catch up with Intel pretty soon.
  • ingtar33
    ilysamlThat was obvious, it's all about HD Graphics. If steamroller matches Ivy Bridge Performance, AMD will catch up with Intel pretty soon.

    the need a 30%-40% boost over piledriver to match IB/HW. That's a huge jump, and i'm not sure we'll see it.
  • emad_ramlawi
    Its good if you wana build a fresh new computer and use those parts, but not upgrading to this.