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Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge LGA1155 Processor Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Intel HD Graphics 4000

Intel has been adamant that the graphics architecture in the Ivy Bridge CPU is much more than just a process node transition, calling it a "tick plus" on multiple occasions.  Not only are there simply more EUs (execution units, SIMD processing blocks) but each of them has been improved as well.

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Right away, we should note that the graphics portion on Ivy Bridge running at 22nm makes it a step ahead of the 28nm parts just being released by both AMD and NVIDIA on the discrete side, though process alone means pretty much nothing.  The HD 3000 graphics on Sandy Bridge including up to 12 EUs and on Ivy Bridge we see that increased to 16 EUs with the HD 4000 processor graphics.  Intel has added support for DX11 as well, though they'll have to prove that to us with continually updated graphics drivers for it to really mean anything.

Also included is an increase in the performance of the Quick Sync video transcoding technology.

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The base architecture from Intel has changed in a way to allow for scaling into the future with higher performing integrated graphics on later chips; think Haswell and beyond.  The GPU is divided into five different domains: setup, rasterize, shaders, media and display. 

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Pretty much all of the above domains have been improved on in some way including the addition of tessellation units, vastly improved anisotropic quality and a higher possible thread count for complex shaders. 

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The media engine is improved and in our testing the Quick Sync technology is indeed about twice as fast as Sandy Bridge! 

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An updated FDI (flexible display input) allows for three concurrent outputs for some impressive integrated graphics multi-monitor solutions.  While we wouldn't expect to see any kind of surround gaming with the technology soon, the ability to run three monitors using only the processor graphics on Ivy Bridge should allow non-gamers to get just about all they need from the processor alone.  

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This table gives us a quick top-down view of the changes moving from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge for the integrated GPU.  Clock speeds still remain the same with an "up to" level of 1350 MHz depending on the Turbo Boost and shared TDP limits at each instant.  Newer version of OpenGL and DirectX are supported so the HD 4000 graphics should at the very least be more compatible with games and applications on the market.

We will dive more into both the gaming and Quick Sync performance later in our review. 

April 26, 2012 | 11:29 PM - Posted by Jewie27 (not verified)

lol my Sandy Bridge system sits next to a Pentium 4 system. I actually own two Pentium 4 systems, freshly installed copies of Windows XP and all hardware upgraded.

April 29, 2012 | 01:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Now that HD4000 has arrived, can OpenCL be used to enhance the performance of the Ivy Bridge processor while simultaneously using a discrete graphics processor? If OpenCL can utilize GPU cycles for general purpose compute tasks then It should be able to utilize the Intel integrated GPU for more general purpose processing power in addition to the Ivy bridge's other CPU cores, while the discrete GPU uses its resources for the graphics. OpenCL should see all the hardware on the computer as an available resource and It should be able to do this? If not then what is described as Heterogeneous computing has not completely arrived yet! Or is it just a matter of waiting for the software to catch up?

May 18, 2012 | 05:50 PM - Posted by Ben (not verified)

OpenCL does not apply to "general purpose" compute tasks. OpenCL applications are extremely parallel algorithms for specialized data sets, there's nothing general purpose about it.

The "general purpose" in GPGPU simply means "not limited to graphics rendering".

May 18, 2012 | 05:50 PM - Posted by Ben (not verified)

OpenCL does not apply to "general purpose" compute tasks. OpenCL applications are extremely parallel algorithms for specialized data sets, there's nothing general purpose about it.

The "general purpose" in GPGPU simply means "not limited to graphics rendering".

May 18, 2012 | 05:51 PM - Posted by Ben (not verified)

OpenCL does not apply to "general purpose" compute tasks. OpenCL applications are extremely parallel algorithms for specialized data sets, there's nothing general purpose about it.

The "general purpose" in GPGPU simply means "not limited to graphics rendering". It's not even close to the same type of "general purpose processing power" as what a CPU provides.

April 29, 2012 | 07:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is a true technical review of Ivy Bridge graphics! with some jucy details about Haswell!

http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT042212225031

May 7, 2012 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Anno2012 (not verified)

"And if you happen to be one of those poor fools still using a Pentium 4 processor - will you please save us all the early death of global warming and upgrade?"

Well, i still have one. I'm a PIV (with HT) big fan (smile*).

July 25, 2012 | 01:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I recently got a i7 2600k PC with a GTX 680 graphics card. My motherboard is a Z77. Should I upgrade to the i7 3770k ? is the 10-15% worth the money ?

April 5, 2014 | 07:09 AM - Posted by Chrysanthi Lykousi (not verified)

I got a 3770 and I love it!

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