Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2013

Intel Haswell CPU

Intel Haswell processor


The latest Intel Haswell CPU architecture from Intel has now been released. We take a look at Core i5-4670K and the Core i7-4770K to see if it’s worth upgrading from Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge.

Intel introduces its Haswell CPUs and their new CPU socket – LGA1150. Fortunately, the cooler mounting holes for the new socket are spaced the same way as those on the LGA1155 socket, so LGA1155 coolers should be compatible with LGA1150.

For enthusiasts the CPU isn’t much in the way of exciting new technology. The Ivy Bridge had 3D transistors and Sandy Bridge could be overclocked to 5GHz using air cooling, nevertheless, Haswell’s pre-launch hype and marketing focused more on power efficiency and on-board graphics, and Intel stated that there have been no changes to key pipelines.

To sum up, Intel Haswell processor isn’t far removed from Sandy Bridge in terms of the fundamental architecture, although there are still changes.

WHAT’S NEW?

Let’s look at the specifications of the CPUs Core i5-4670K and Core i7-4770K which are practically identical to their Ivy Bridge counterparts, the Core i5-3570K and Core i7-3770K.

The Core i5 still has 6MB of Level 3 cache, while the Core i7 has 8MB. The Core i7-4770K features Hyper- Threading, enabling you to split your CPU cores’ resources and gain a further four virtual cores.

Haswell may see more of a performance boost when using faster DIMMs than with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge thanks to an updated memory controller. The on-board graphics system has seen a boost, with both CPUs now equipped with Intel HD 4600 graphics.

The Core i5-4670K’s GPU is clocked at 1,200MHz, and the Core i7-4770K gets a further 50MHz boost on top of this frequency.

Both CPUs also have a TDP of 84W – slightly higher than their Ivy Bridge equivalents – an increase that’s due in part to some of the voltage regulation circuitry being moved on-chip.

Nominal and Turbo Boosted frequencies are the same, with the Core i7-4770K Turbo Boosting to 3.9GHz, while the Core i5-4670K tops out at 3.8GHz.

The transistor count remains relatively static at 1.4 billion too.

inside a new quad core intel haswell

Intel is focusing on power efficiency with the Haswell CPU, by introducing a new C6 and C7 sleep states, which allow the CPU to draw far less power than even the Ivy Bridge CPUs, a fraction of the amount in some cases, thanks to a part of the voltage regulation circuitry moving to the CPU, providing a more granular supply.

Notably the new sleep states have also introduced an issue with some PSUs, which are now unable to wake from sleep due to such low power consumption. Most new PSUs should be okay and PSU manufacturers have released lists of the PSUs that have been checked.

Performance and other features have also been boosted. Virtual and physical address mapping sees a boost thanks to a larger translation lookaside buffer (TLB).

The branch prediction technology has also been enhanced to cope with the extra grunt on tap, and the Level 1 and Level 2 cache bandwidths have been doubled compared to those in previous-generation CPUs too.

Intel has also introduced a new chipset named Z87. It doesn’t introduce any remarkable new features, though there are more USB 3 ports up to ten in total and six SATA 6Gbps ports controlled by the chipset, up from two with the Z77 chipset.

CONCLUSION
Intel Haswell processor is a faster processor than previous CPUs. It’s easy to overclock and reasonably priced but it doesn’t overclock as high as Ivy Bridge and not worth upgrading from LGA1155 CPUs.

If upgrading to Haswell from an equivalent Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPU at most, you’re looking at a 15 per cent performance boost from an older Sandy Bridge model.

Haswell is a decent CPU architecture, but not a desire must-have.

INTEL HASWELL CPU IN DETAIL
Frequency
i5-4670K: 3.4GHz;
i7-4770K: 3.5GHz
Core Haswell
Manufacturing process 22nm
Number of cores
i5-4670K; 4,
i7-4770K: 4 x physical, 4 x logical
Cache L1: 4 x 32KB, L2: 4 x 256KB;

L3: i5-4670K: 6MB (shared);  i7-4770K: 8MB (shared)
Memory controller Dualchannel DDR3, up To 1,600MHz
Packaging LGA1150
Features SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, SSE4.2, EM64T, F16C, Turbo Boost 2, Quick Sync Video

COST as of July 2013:

INTEL CORE i5-4670K
Product code
BX80646I54670K
Price £191 inc VAT
Supplier www.scan.co.uk
Manufacturer
www.intel.co.uk

INTEL CORE i7-4770K
Product code
BXF80646I74770KS
Price £268 inc VAT
Supplier www.scan.co.uk
Manufacturer
www.intel.co.uk

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