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Intel Core i7-3770K Review: A Small Step Up For Ivy Bridge

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge) 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i7-3930K (Sandy Bridge-E) 3.2 GHz (32 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 12 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) 3.6 GHz (18 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3+, 8 MB Shared L3, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T (Thuban) 3.3 GHz (16.5 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i7-2700K (Sandy Bridge) 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge) 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Thermal PasteZalman ZM-STG1
MotherboardIntel DX77GA-70K (LGA 1155) Intel Z77 Express Chipset, BIOS GA.3254
Gigabyte X79-UD5 (LGA 2011) Intel X79 Express Chipset, BIOS F10
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 (Socket AM3+) AMD 990FX/SB950 Chipset, BIOS F7
Gigabyte A75-UD4H (Socket FM1) AMD A75 Chipset, BIOS F7
Gigabyte X68X-UD7-B3 (LGA 1155) Intel Z68 Express Chipset, BIOS F10 (for compatibility testing)
Gigabyte G1. Sniper 2 (LGA 1155) Intel Z68 Express Chipset, BIOS F5 (for compatibility testing)
MemoryG.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600, F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL @ 9-9-9-24 and 1.5 V
Kingston 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-2133, KHX2133C9AD3T1K2/4GX @ up to DDR3-2133 1.65 V for memory overclocking
Hard DriveIntel SSD 510 250 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 680 2 GB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Release 301.10

We used Intel's new DZ77GA-70K for our LGA 1155 testing, but pulled out a number of boards from Gigabyte for testing compatibility of older Z68-based platforms.

Game Benchmarks And Settings
Batman: Arkham CityGame Settings: High Quality Settings, Anti-Aliasing: Disabled/8x MSAA, V-sync: Disabled, DirectX 11 Mode, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, Built-in Benchmark
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimGame Settings: High Quality (8x AA / 8x AF) / Ultra Quality (8x AA, 16x AF) Settings, FXAA disabled, V-sync: Disabled, 1680x1050 / 1920x1080 / 2560x1600, 25-second playback, Fraps
World of Warcraft: CataclysmGame Settings: Ultra Quality Settings, Anti-Aliasing: 1x AA and 8x AA, Anisotropic Filtering: 16x, Vertical Sync: Disabled, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 2560x1600, Demo: Crushblow to The Krazzworks, DirectX 11
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunesVersion: 10.4.10, 64-bit Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3 Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.5Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2.2Version: 2.2.0.5440 MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Application Benchmarks and Settings
WinRARVersion: 4.11 RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinZip 16Version: 16.0 Pro WinZip CLI, Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
7-ZipVersion 9.22 beta LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5Paladin Sequence to H.264 Blu-rayOutput 1920x1080, Maximum Quality, Mercury Playback Engine: Software Mode
Adobe After Effects CS 5.5Version: CS5.5Tom's Hardware Workload, SD project with three picture-in-picture frames, source video at 720p, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
BlenderVersion: 2.62 Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1, Cycles renderer and internal tile renderer (9x9)
Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 (64-Bit)Version: 11 Filtering a 16 MB TIF (15 000x7266), Filters:, Radial Blur (Amount: 10, Method: zoom, Quality: good) Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol) Median (Radius: 1px) Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
ABBYY FineReaderVersion: 10 Professional Build (10.0.102.82) Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
3ds Max 2012Version: 10 x64 Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9), Frame: 248, Resolution: 1440 x 1080
Adobe Acrobat X ProfessionalPDF Document Creation (Print) from Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
SolidWorks 2010PhotoView 360Render 01-Lighter Explode.SLDASM (SolidMuse.com)Image Output Resolution: 1920x1080, Render: Preview Quality “Good”, Final Render Quality “Best”
Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with devenv.com /build Release
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4
3DMark 11Version 1.0.3
SiSoftware Sandra 2012 SP3CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/Multimedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark, Cryptography, Cache Latency
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.