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The Haswell Review - Intel Core i7-4770K Performance and Architecture

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Mobile SKUs, Ultrabook Updates, Battery Life Improvement

Though our review today is focused on the desktop component of Haswell and the Intel 4000-series of processors, we definitely need to at least discuss the push of the new architecture into the mobile categories.  And actually, Haswell is much more important to mobile and Ultrabooks than to desktops.

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Though we did see hybrids from Intel with the Ivy Bridge 3rd Generation processors, with Haswell and SKUs with much lower TDPs/SDPs I expect we'll find high performance processors in basically every form factor you can think of.  And hopefully some you can't.

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The Core i7/i5 lineup will have four different mobile derivatives seen above.  The H-line will be the highest performing processors with the most graphics horsepower and potentially embedded DRAM options.  The M-line will be the most common in your standard, budget laptops while the U-series will be the SoC package design that will offer a balance of power efficiency and performance in Ultrabooks.  The Y-series, not yet available but coming in 2013, will be the lowest wattage designs (think under 10 watts) and will find its way into detachable tablets and hybrids.

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With this release Intel is also offering a new version of its BGA design for Haswell that actually combines the processor and PCH (south bridge) on to the same package; not the same die.  On the left side you can see the longer piece of silicon that represents the Haswell CPU/GPU combination and the smaller die that is the PCH.  This new design allows for smaller board designs and smaller cooling configurations for lower TDPs.  The standard 2-chip solution will be available at a lower cost and will support higher performance options including GT3e graphics.

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Intel claims that the jump from Ivy Bridge to Haswell is the single largest increase in battery life Intel has ever seen in the mobile space.  That is quite a claim but the technology is impressive enough for us to believe it!  The ability to run in standby for 10-13 days thanks to support for the Microsoft Connected Standby technology is great but the ability to improve video playback time by 50% is astounding as well; while getting better performance at the same time.

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We are now beginning to see the effects of other components of these systems dragging down the ability for chip manufacturers to improve battery performance.  With the graph above we can see the power consumption drop from IVB to Haswell but the screen power remains the same.  With the move to a more SoC style design the platform power draw also decreases substantially.

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We've already discussed Iris and Iris Pro graphics on the previous page but for certain models, those with GT3e for instance, the new Haswell can perform as much as 2x better in Ultrabook and other notebook designs. 

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Running the Core i7-4558U Intel claims you'll be able to play even Bioshock Infinite at 1366x768 at nearly 30 FPS. 

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Along with the Haswell processor shift comes a completely new set of Ultrabook rules and regulations.  To meet minimum specifications OEMs will now have to including things like WiDi, a touch screen, wake times under 3 seconds and more than 9 hours of battery life at Windows 8 idle.  These are great!  What is not great in my view is requiring voice control support with expensive dual microphones and specific, Intel built identity protection hardware and software. 

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There are going to be three M-series parts available at launch starting with the big boy - the Core i7-4930MX that is a the full quad-core, HyperThreaded CPU running at up to 3.9 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 4600 integration.  As a 57 watt CPU though, you should only expect to find it in high-end gaming machines or workstation replacement notebooks that can eat the $1000+ pricing. 

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The H-series Haswell processors will include the i7-4950HQ and the i7-4850HQ, both of which are quad-core parts that include Iris Pro 5200 graphics with eDRAM.  Pricing is set at $657 and $468 respectively, so again, these CPUs will only be found in fairly expensive laptops.

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Finally, the U-series has two members out the gate, the Core i7-4650U and the Core i5-4350U, both dual core with HyperThreading and Intel HD Graphics 5000 support. 

More mobility 4th Generation processors from Intel will be available than this as we progress into the year with 19 total U-series options planned.

June 3, 2013 | 08:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Its been that way for a long time if you have a local MicroCenter to pick one up at, otherwise its still ~$320 at most etailers

June 5, 2013 | 01:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They are not making any money at that price. DUH

June 2, 2013 | 04:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

WOW !

June 2, 2013 | 04:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I`m going Haswell when Blue hits.
Also , I saw in other tech sites that the 4770 is not the top performing Haswell chip that will be released.
There will be others with more GPU horsepower ?

June 2, 2013 | 04:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I presently have a C2Q 9550 12 MB L2 cache...would I get much benefit ?

June 2, 2013 | 11:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Stepping up from a C2Q 9550 (same chip I have now) to just an i7 920 would be a huge leap, let alone SB being another sizable jump, with the 5% from both Haswell and IB I think it's safe to say you will see major performance boost even with a 1Ghz OC on that chip you have now.

I haven't went out to upgrade myself because I was a believer in the Haswell empty promises that wasted my time, but I work with machines that are SB i5's and they are smoking smooth, quiet, cool, and fast.

June 2, 2013 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've only heard of a lower TDP 65W model that has the eDRAM onboard (flagship iGPU) that is supposed to be comparable to the i7 4770K, but I really don't see how that is possible.

Anyways, I wouldn't call anything with more "GPU" power to be a top performer on the 4770K lineup because to be quite honest, nobody buying those chips is looking for the integrated GPU component. They'd probably sell better if they took that space and replaced it with 2 extra cores. People would have far less to bitch about and you'd see performance gains that would give Intel another 4 years of this 5% performance boost before people start bitching about monopoly.

June 2, 2013 | 05:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD could name their chip SuperDuperIntelKiller and it still wouldn`t be close.

June 2, 2013 | 11:33 PM - Posted by lol (not verified)

Cinebench 11.5 . multithread
SB->6.8
Ivy->7.01
Haswell -> 7.68

Here is my conclusion:
NOT WORTH IT.
Ivy should be 2x faster than SB.
Haswell should be 4x times faster than SB and 2x Ivy, not a 10% ><

Intel thinks we're all idiots or what?
It'a all AMD's fault which does not put enough pressure.
Period.

June 3, 2013 | 01:59 AM - Posted by rrr (not verified)

LMAO LMAO LMAO, somebody is seriously underestimating, how hard it is to double chip's performance every year without adding more execution units.

June 3, 2013 | 12:28 PM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

Looks like my 2600k will live in my system for another few years. "YAY! - MY WALLET

June 6, 2013 | 01:57 PM - Posted by PhoneyVirus

Not to sound like a dick, the first page was just a wast of time I'm not a design engineer now if I had access to the equipment I be more then gladly to study the Architecture.

I do know what your talking about though but for the newbie or first timer they wouldn't have a clue why because your throwing words with no meaning or diagrams to where it's coming in or going out and what it's connected to. Long story short I got bored very fast and just wanted to skip the first page all together but didn't.

In the future don't throw up shit like this unless you have some sort of diagram to follow, Tom's Hardware don't use this and either does HardOCP keep it simple but yet in lighting the read slowly not slide show screen shot's from IDF.

Second Page well let's just say I didn't pay for a $400 Graphics card to be reading about Intel's GT2 Architecture and Mobile Crap but then again some people are probable interested in this stuff but I doubt anyone that read this website is.

Thanks for the Overkill Review PCPer.

June 6, 2013 | 01:52 PM - Posted by PhoneyVirus

Also a follow up to the first page there is NO Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) in the Core i7 4770K Processor.

June 8, 2013 | 11:47 AM - Posted by kileysmith33

Evelyn. I agree that Raymond`s postlng is flabbergasting, yesterday I got a gorgeous Acura after I been earnin $7654 this-last/4 weeks and just over ten k last munth. without a doubt its my favourite-work Ive ever had. I started this six months/ago and practically straight away began to make over $82, per-hr. I use the details here, Bow6.com

June 9, 2013 | 11:07 PM - Posted by chefbenito (not verified)

Wow. Sort of cool but barely evolutionary and nothing crazy new. So glad I bought a beefy 2600k and a sick GB z68. I knew the rumors around haswell were too good to be true. The bottom line of this review should be- "If you are a PC gamer with a fast GPU and an i7. Ignore Haswell altogether." Honestly did we hit a wall? Is 5GHZ on 8 cores good enuf for anything? I will wait (probably for a long time) for the CPU that starts to crush my 2600k in gaming FPS. Glad to see my investment still giving me returns despite several new CPU releases.

Truth be told: Sandy Bridge was the big leap in gaming CPUs. Everything since then has been extremely underwhelming and incremental. Great review as always guys.

September 9, 2013 | 07:07 PM - Posted by trancefreak (not verified)

Yup totally agree with you. I have had my 2600k for almost 2 1/2 years and 3 years come march 2014.

It overclocks like a beast and although I moved away from p67 boards to a z77, It is still rocking without worrying.

Not to sound contradiction but I am going to give my 2600k to my son and keep it in the family. I ordered a 4770k and a z87 board and that will be it until there is a huge jump in microprocessors.

June 15, 2013 | 09:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Idle power consumption was higher than the 3770 most likely due to the FIVR.

June 18, 2013 | 01:53 PM - Posted by 3dfxrain (not verified)

The marketplace and people take care of themselves and others.

September 10, 2013 | 10:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a new rig. Asus maximus vi extreme board and ci7 4770k but it wouldnt give any display via hdmi to me. Please help !! The only way i am able to use my desktop new is that i have temporarily installed a hd7770 and using its hdmi output for display.

Thanks in advance. My retailer told me that since its k processor u need a graphics card for display!!?!

September 27, 2013 | 03:29 PM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

@ryan!could you adjust message signal interrupt value to one per core per device in the future(if you aren't already)specificly for CPU with GPU onboard.driver are limited to one interrupt per socket per device.(ya it is limited!but ms suggest one MSI per physical CPU.since now each core are CPU . I feel it isn't fair for cpu including GPU to ignore this!why I ignore normal GPU?diminishing return.I feel this have a more dramatic impact on Apr like has well or jaguar then on desktop with GPU like a 7970.Ty Ryan

PS:Drivers can register a single InterruptMessageService routine that handles all possible messages or individual InterruptService routines for each message

Ps2:http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff544246(v=vs.85).aspx

June 29, 2014 | 03:59 PM - Posted by Earan (not verified)

I7 920 fanatics: the 920 is a great cpu of you are gaming, doing Photoshop and other light stuff. If you are doing 3D, video editing and compositing and other heavy stuff, the 4770 will swipe the floor with your 920, in performance and power consumption.

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