The Haswell Review - Intel Core i7-4770K Performance and Architecture
Desktop SKUs, AIO Push, Missing GT3
On the desktop side, though DIY parts are definitely part of the story, Intel is more focused on the All-in-One (AIO) ecosystem than ever before. As the lone growth market for the desktop products, the changes here are going to be fast.
The enthusiast market, that we usually represent, is a pretty small segment of this graphic which tells you why many of our readers worry about the potential loss of replaceable parts from Intel down the road. We aren't worried about that for the immediate future but the compression of the left side of that data tells the story.
For Haswell, there will be three category of CPUs available. We have the Core i7-4770K, unlocked processor on the test bed today though we will also have mainstream dual-core offerings and even low power S- and T-series options to discuss.
Intel's marketing for Haswell will focus on the upgrade cycle of 5 years and what performance and feature benefits you get as a user or business moving from something like the Core 2 Duo E8400 to a mid-range Core i7-4570S based AIO. I think just about everyone can recognize the benefits of 21x better graphics performance (integrated to integrated) and 9.2x better video processing capability.
Oh, and don't worry, the NUC is coming along for this journey as well! Haswell will be making its way into a new pint-sized machine from Intel in the near future and I'm sure hoping we get a review unit to share with our readers.
There quite a few additional desktop parts being launched today than there were mobile parts, but we'll start with the higher-end offerings. The model numbers and configurations should look very familiar to you if you were an Ivy Bridge user as the highest-end part starts out as the Core i7-4770K with an 84 watt TDP (7 watts higher than Ivy Bridge), quad-core HyperThreaded configuration, top Turbo speed of 3.9 GHz and an 8MB L3 cache. Sounds pretty familiar right? The Core i7-3770K only differed really with the base clock frequency by 100 MHz. Cost will be $339 from Intel.
The rest of the parts in this table all run you $303 but trade off performance and power efficiency. For instance, you could get a 45 watt Core i7-4770T that runs from 2.5 GHz up to 3.7 GHz Turbo or settle for the locked version of the Core i7-4770 at 84 watts and a 3.4 GHz base clock rate.
The Core i5-4600 parts follow a similar pattern - only the unlocked Core i7-4670K costs more than the others with no other differences between it and the $29 less expensive Core i7-4670.
Out the gate, the cheapest Haswell will run you $192 and will come in the form of the Core i5-4570 set that disables HyperThreading on the quad-core variants and limits clock speeds from 3.2 GHz to 3.6 GHz.
You'll probably notice again that the only desktop part that offers support for the Iris 5200 graphics is the Core i7-4770R. That seems find until you realize that part is ONLY being offered as a BGA solution for thin mini-ITX all-in-one combinations. There are no currently planned desktop, LGA1150 GT3 or GT3e Haswell parts, and I think that is a big mistake. Intel is giving DIY enthusiasts and HTPC builders limited options even though there are some better solutions on the table.
Enough of the slides and tables though - let's get to the real hardware we have in our hands!