Intel Core i7-4770K Review
We know you're all gagging to know how well the Core i7-4770K overclocks, so we'll be brief with our initial thoughts about the processor itself.
Our benchmark results can be split into two distinct parts.
On the one hand we have strictly computational, clock speed relative results such as wPrime which give the i7-4770K a slender lead over its i7-3770K forebear. But you're not really here for minor improvements in unlikely scenarios.
The part that really stands out as the biggest leap forward with Haswell isn't any massive performance increase, its efficiency. Sure clock for clock the 4770K is quicker than a 3770K the remarkable thing however is the how low the power usage is. To put things into context at idle its using 50% less power than our Sandy Bridge i3 home server set up! Yes that's a low power i3 yet the 4 core 8 thread i7 uses LESS power. It only uses a little more power at maximum CPU load than the i3 does at stock! Now you would assume this low power use would mean crazy low temperatures. Sadly its quite the opposite and the old Ivy bridge thermal limit issues seem to have been made significantly worse.Anyways lets look into some of the performance results.
The i7-4770K is a stunning piece of kit. Look at the Sandra MultiMedia test, or the 3D Mark results or, and by far the most impressive, the PC Mark results. These are stunning and really demonstrate the amazing level of 'under the hood' improvements that Intel have given. The "Intel Quick Sync" technology is part of the reason that the PC Mark results are so good. After all, media encoding is a large part of the PC Mark suite and thanks to the prevalence of smart-phones and Hero 3 cameras in our lives, we're all encoding media at an alarming rate.
Most impressively for the gaming types was the improvement that we saw in 3D Mark. Yes we know 3D Mark isn't representative of gaming performance, but can be used as a general rule of thumb, and it certainly is a vast improvement upon the scores that we saw with the i7-3770K even though they're both at stock and running the same drivers.
Couple that to the additional USB and SATA ports available on the Z87 chipset, and the whole package is exactly what we've come to expect from Intel. All the ease of use and general ideology that we're comfortable with, but faster, neater, tighter and better. To borrow the title of a 4 Non Blondes album, it's Bigger, Better, Faster, More. Which is perfect for us. Any prospective Haswell owners are going to have to make wise choices with cooling time around but we hope with time these temps will be tamed and the performance figures coupled with the low power use are worth our gold award alone, we will just have to see how the heat sink manufacturers react to the heat these chips are capable of creating.