Core i7 3770K – And Other Ivy Bridge Specs
Along with the Core i7 3770K we’re reviewing today, Intel has lifted the wraps off four more standard-power desktop models, and a whole new chipset platform as well. Let’s take a quick look at Ivy Bridge vs Sandy Bridge in terms of the most important specifications:
|Model||Cores Threads||CPU Base||CPU Turbo||TDP||Graphics||L3 Cache||Price|
|Core i7 3960X||6/12||3.3 GHz||3.9 GHz||130W||15MB||$1039|
|Core i7 3930K||6/12||3.2 GHz||3.8 GHz||130W||12MB||$599|
|Core i7 3770K||4/8||3.5 GHz||3.9 GHz||77W||HD4000||8MB||$278*|
|Core i7 3770||4/8||3.4 GHz||3.9 GHz||77W||HD4000||8MB||$313*|
|Core i7 2700K||4/8||3.7 GHz||3.9 GHz||95W||HD3000||8MB||$339|
|Core i5 3570K||4/4||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||77W||HD4000||6MB||$212*|
|Core i5 3550||4/4||3.3 GHz||3.7 GHz||77W||HD2500||6MB||$194*|
|Core i5 2500K||4/4||3.3 GHz||3.7 GHz||95W||HD3000||6MB||$219|
For the sake of simplicity, I only included the ‘top end’ of products not from today’s launch. The two highest SB-E chips, the highest current Core i7 SB chip, and the highest current Core i5 SB chip.
As usual, there is quite a bit of product name manipulation to go through… Normally, the only difference CPU-wise between a K non-K chip is that the K signifies it as an unlocked CPU for overclocking. However starting with Ivy Bridge, the K also has a 100 MHz bump in the base clock speed over the non K. So the Core i7 3770K has a base speed of 3.5 GHz, but the regular Core i7 3770 has a base of 3.4 GHz.
The graphics capabilities have been tweaked a bit too. With Sandy Bridge, only the “K” series chips had the fastest graphics model, which at the time was HD3000. If you bought the non-K version of the same chip, you would have gotten an HD2000 GPU. This time, the non-K 3770 still has an HD4000. Also, there is a Core i5 with the HD4000, but the step below that has an HD2500, which will be significantly slower.
Other than that, quite a bit has remained the same. The Core i7 models are still the only ones with Hyperthreading, while the Core i5 models lack this feature. Also, the Core i7 makes use of the entire 8MB L3 cache on the die, while the i5 is limited to just 6MB of it. This sort of product segmentation is nothing new for Intel, and in addition to providing users with different price points to choose from, it also gives AMD an ever dangling piece of bait they never seem to be able to attain.
Core i7 3770K – A New Chipset – If You Want
For the first time in who-knows-how-long, Intel is releasing a CPU that does NOT require a brand new model motherboard to use. Ivy Bridge will work just fine on any Sandy Bridge LGA-1155 motherboard, provided the BIOS is up to date. Since there are no overt architecture upgrades that would require a chipset upgrade, your existing Z68 board will bring the full benefits of the Core i7 3770K and Ivy Bridge to you.
However, that didn’t stop Intel from releasing a new chipset a few weeks ago. The top end chipset is called Z77, and as you can probably guess, it’s not a huge change from Z68.
The major standout of course is that Intel finally provides us with integrated USB 3.0 – four ports to be exact. Also, to get full “official” PCI-E 3.0 connectivity that is built into the CPU, you will need to use a 70 series board. I put “official” in quotes because Sandy Bridge is actually technically capable of PCI-E 3.0 speeds, even if it isn’t certified.
Other than that, it’s business as usual for Z77. And yes, that means there are still only two ports supporting SATA 3.0.
Now that we’re familiar with Core i7 3770K and the Ivy Bridge architecture it is built on, let’s look at performance!