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Intel Core i5-3470 Ivy Bridge Processor and HD 2500 Graphics Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

Performance

Realistically, the Intel Core i5-3470 performance is exactly where I expected it to be with regards to the standard suite of CPU benchmarks we use here at PC Perspective. Running at close to the same clock speeds of the first Ivy Bridge processor we tested – though without HyperThreading and without the full 8MB of L3 cache – the 3470 was found to be anywhere from dead even to as much as 40% slower than the 3770K depending on the application. Though I feel like a broken record, it all depends on how well the application in question implements multi-threading.

Even different settings of the same application can change your viewpoint: pass 1 of the very popular x264 benchmark shows nearly no performance advantage to the 3770K while pass 2 sees about 30%. The very popular HandBrake program didn't see much difference between the two processors either. Although it is a multi-threaded program; just not well beyond the four thread mark that the Core i5-3470 can take advantage of.

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The HD 2500 processor graphics is a bit of a letdown after working with the HD 4000 for so long. It isn't unexpected based on the model numbering and the specifications of the CPU, however. With only 6 EUs (compared to the 16 on the HD 4000) the gaming performance of the Core i5-3470 just leaves quite a bit to be desired, only able to perform about half the speed of the HD 4000. I know that Matt felt the same way when he tested the integrated graphics on the new Ivy Bridge Ultrabook platform.  

 

Pricing and Availability

With a current selling price of $204, the Core i5-3470 is quite a bit less cash than the $319 Core i7-3770K. 

Saving $115 on your processor will often mean you can upgrade your graphics card, get a slightly larger SSD or even get groceries for another week or two; who can decide?!?  Honestly though the Core i5-3470 makes a great processor for users that want to build a new PC with some cost reductions without losing a ton of performance.

Final Thoughts

The current processor lineup is kind of interesting with both Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge CPUs sitting comfortably with each other and no real signs that the 2nd generation of Core processors running out anytime soon. The only real drawback to the Core i5-3470 is that it isn't unlocked and users that were looking to do some overclocking will be limited by the (locked) multipliers rather than by the CPU itself.  For about the same amount of money you could get the Sandy Bridge based Core i5-2500K that is also a quad-core non-HyperThreaded part, but with unlocked multipliers; and you can still use the same array of Z77 motherboards. 

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If you are looking to use the integrated graphics for a mainstream gaming machine, I would still highly recommend you find the lowest cost part with the HD 4000 (Core i7-3770 today) rather than settle for the HD 2500.  

Still, the Core i5-3470 would make a solid low cost processor for users looking to build a reasonable cost machine for some mainstream gaming and general enthusiast computing.

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June 27, 2012 | 04:50 AM - Posted by HyperMinimalism

The most compelling use of the HD4000 graphics is in the mid to low end segment. OEM's may disagree but I think that Intel forgets that they can compete with AMD and Nvidia on the low end discreet GPU segment if they just put their best foot forward.

We are still waiting for their sub $200 chips. Now if they could just marry the great x86 performance with HD4000 (or better...).

June 27, 2012 | 10:19 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

If I had to guess, they won't pair their sub-$200 chips with the better HD400 graphics :(

June 29, 2012 | 09:34 PM - Posted by HyperMinimalism

That is a pretty good guess.

The decision to not do so makes me want to smash 300mm wafers over CEO's heads.

June 27, 2012 | 01:19 PM - Posted by Azuza001 (not verified)

I don't understand, is it just me or do most review sites always give awards now days. To me the simple fact that the 2600K is still avalible for about the same price would make this a no-award product.

Quote : "Still, the Core i5-3470 would make a solid low cost processor for users looking to build a reasonable cost machine for some mainstream gaming and general enthusiast computing."

If I'm buying a cpu for mainstream gaming and general enthusiast computing I'm not buying a processor with a locked multiplier.

Love the site, keep it up!

June 27, 2012 | 02:25 PM - Posted by jacob (not verified)

Comparison to Ivy i5 3570k in benchmarks, wrap-up?

July 3, 2012 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why does Intel still sell HD2500 in their chips? Tired of Intel hashing up older GPU architecture just to satisfy price points.

July 16, 2012 | 04:18 PM - Posted by Brandon (not verified)

Does this chip matter that much when the i5-3550 already exists? Very small differences between the two chips, and only a $5 difference on Newegg. (A promo right now actually makes the 3550 even cheaper).

I was excited when I first heard about this chip... but now I think it's just another unnecessary SKU.

December 16, 2012 | 06:06 AM - Posted by hassan (not verified)

Is the intel core i3 cpu& intel hd graphic suitable for cfd code in fortran?
what about fluent 6.3?

July 22, 2014 | 02:38 PM - Posted by BossTek (not verified)

Eh man yo check it yo! I got this Intel stuff from Intel since I am a partner yo! And I can sale it at half price. I got i7's for $500 and Intel i5's for $400 and i3's for $350 yo! That's cheaper than you ever get it at old egg yo!

September 1, 2014 | 08:48 PM - Posted by Blair (not verified)

If someone offered to trade me a i7 2600K for my i5 3470 I would say NO! I would rather have the new features such as PCIe 3.0 and ect. Yes the hyper threads may put the 2600K a little bit above my 3470, But those are just benchmark applications that have nothing to do with any real applications or with gaming. I was very happy to get this chip to replace my older but still lively i5 750, I only paid a total of $260 for the CPU and a Z77 motherboard, That is unbeatable price/performance. And I was surprised of how much cooler the i5 3470 runs compared to the i5 750 after hearing about Intel's mistake of using bad paste between the CPU and the thermal contact plate for the heatsink, But overclocked to 3.8ghz I get 28c-30c idle and 60c running the prime95 test, And this is just the stock cooler. However I have a thing I always do while installing a heatsink, When I place a pre-applied paste heatsink on a CPU I move it very very slightly left and right and up and down, (very slightly) When I do that it always seems to make a world of difference on the temps.

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