Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell Desktop Processor Review


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Intel Core i7-4770K Features

The following information is courtesy of Intel

  • 4 Cores, 8 Threads
  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
  • Supports LGA1150 socket Intel Z87
  • Up to 8 MB shared L3 Intel Smart Cache
  • 2 channels of DDR3 1333/1600 MHz
  • 16 PCI Express Gen 3 Lanes
  • Built-in Visuals
    • Intel HD Graphics-Enhanced 3-D performance for immersive mainstream and casual gaming. Can support up to three UltraHD (4k) displays and collage display.
    • Intel Wireless Display8-Wirelessly stream HD / 3-D video and games to your TV or projector for presentations and entertainment.
    • Intel Quick Sync Video-Delivers fast conversion of video for portable media players, online sharing, and video editing and authoring.
    • Intel Clear Video HD-Visual quality and color fidelity enhancements for HD playback and immersive Web browsing.
    • Intel InTruTM 3D1-Stereoscopic 3-D Blu-ray* playback in full 1080p resolution over HDmI* 1.4 and premium audio.
  • Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel® AVX)
  • Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI)
  • Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x)

Intel (SKU) Specifications

Intel’s initial Haswell CPU line comprises 7 mobile processors, 6 Core i7 desktop processors, and 7 Core i5 desktop processors, with Core i3 versions coming later. With the desktop CPUs at least, Intel’s numbering scheme is more consistent: all Core i7 CPU have model numbers of the form 47xx, while all Core i5 CPUs have model numbers of the form 45xx and 46xx. As before, “K” series CPUs have unlocked multipliers for overclocking, while “S” and “T” series CPUs emphasize low power usage.

Here are some representative models from the new (desktop) Core i5 and Core i7 lines:

Processor i7-4770K i7-4770 i7-4770S i5-4670K i5-4670 i5-4670S i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge)
CPU Base clock (GHz) 3.5 3.4 3.1 3.4 3.4 3.1 3.5
CPU Turbo clock (GHz) 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.9
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/4 4/4 4/8 4/8
Cache 8MB 8MB 8MB 6M 6M 6MB 8MB
Memory Support Dual-channel DDR3-1600 Dual-channel DDR3-1600 Dual-channel DDR3-1600 Dual-channel DDR3-1600 Dual-channel DDR3-1600 Dual-channel DDR3-1600 Dual-channel DDR3-1600
PCI-E lanes 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3 16 Gen 3
Graphics Intel Graphics HD4600 Intel Graphics HD4600 Intel Graphics HD4600 Intel Graphics HD4600 Intel Graphics HD4600 Intel Graphics HD4600 Intel Graphics HD4000
Graphics Execution Units 20 20 20 20 20 20 16
Graphics Core clock up to 1200MHz up to 1200MHz up to 1200MHz up to 1200MHz up to 1200MHz up to 1200MHz up to 1350MHz
DirectX Version 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.0
Intel VPro Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TDP 84 watts 84 watts 65 watts 84 watts 84 watts 65 watts 77 watts
Socket LGA1150 LGA1150 LGA1150 LGA1150 LGA1150 LGA1150 LGA1155
MSRP $339.00 $303.00 $303.00 $242.00 $213.00 $213.00 $313.00

Look at the specification of the new Core i7-4770K compared to last year’s Core i7-3770K (the last column in the chart). TDP is up from 77 watts to 84 watts, graphics maximum frequency is down from 1350MHz to 1200MHz, and the graphics core is the new HD4600 with 20 “execution units” as opposed to last year’s HD4000 with 16 “execution units”. But that’s about it for the differences. Cache, supported memory frequencies, base and boost clocks…they’re all the same. Now, this is not to say that there aren’t more differences:

  • Intel has beefed up their Advanced Vector Extensions, doubling per-core performance for both single and double precision arithmetic as compared to Sandy Bridge.
  • New power optimization features can control power use by the entire system, not just the CPU (of course this is most important for the mobile CPU line)
  • The officially supported display resolution for the iGPU of desktop processors has increased to 3200×2000 for DisplayPort devices and a full 4K (4096×2304) for HDMI devices, although the press deck lists the refresh rate for this mode at a mere 24Hz.
  • Some mobile CPUs have embedded DRAM (eDRAM) on-die to support “Iris Pro” graphics, which Intel claims will double graphics performance for mobile systems.
  • There are more differences if you compare the entire Core i5/i7 lineups. The top-end HD4600 graphics is spread across virtually all of the desktop processors (the Core i7-4700R gets “Intel Iris Graphics 5200”), and other features like virtualization and Gen 3 PCI-E lanes are common to all as well.

MSRPs– well, technically, they’re “tray” prices for 1,000 pieces– are up slightly: $26, or a bit less than ten percent, in the case of the 4770K vs. last year’s 3770K.

In the next section I’ll look at what’s new in the Haswell architecture, as well as taking a look at its supporting Z87 chipset.


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  1. Bruce Normann

    I’m more excited by the changes in the 8-series chip set, frankly. Finally, we have more than two SATA 6Gb/s ports coming directly out of the PCH. I assume the RAID-TRIM-SSD functionality that they introduced on the 7-series is still there…..

  2. David Ramsey

    Oh, yes, it’s still there. I would have preferred more PCI-E lanes, myself, but there you go…

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