Haswell Debuts: Intel Core i7-4770K Review

In the past few months we have covered everything from model names to performance and battery life claims. A key focus has been Haswell's graphics, with rumors suggesting its performance is set to be 2 to 3 times that of current HD 4000 integrated graphics.

So what is Haswell exactly? It is Intel’s 4th generation Core architecture which will see a major refresh of the entire Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 product lineup in 2013. Whereas last year’s Ivy Bridge was a "tick" release, Haswell is a tock and traditionally that's meant a more significant advance forward.

Read: Intel Haswell Makes Its Debut: Core i7-4770K Review

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I'm glad this is kind of a lackluster upgrade (removes any temptation that might have existed for me). Looks like you get a ~30% performance boost (from a 3570K to a 4770K) but at the same time power consumption is 30% greater.

I just stepped up from a launch-day i5 750 to a 3570K a few weeks ago and I kind of regret doing so (even though I only spent $300 for mobo+cpu).. the increase/extra benefits weren't worth it in hindsight. Sure I have USB 3.0 now, and SATA 3, and intel quicksync.. but I didn't gain much in terms of processing power.

I must say, for a Tock I am distinctly underwhelmed by the performance gains made with this CPU. It is also disappointing to note that the overheating issues from Ivy Bridge whilst overclocking have not been fixed.

No compelling reason to upgrade a desktop system from Sandy or Ivy Bridge to Haswell. If you're looking to buy a pre-built desktop, we should be seeing some really good deals on Ivy Bridge systems very soon.

Now if you're in the market for a laptop, I would absolutely wait for a Haswell based system. HP has announced most of their consumer machines, but have said nothing about Pro-Books or Elite-Books yet.

I know people like to dig on HP, but if you buy a $600 laptop, what do you expect? Open your damn wallet and pay for the quality that's an EliteBook or EliteBook Workstation. You get what you pay for folks.

What a massive letdown.

AMD needs to come back or another company needs to step up. Intel is monopolizing the **** out the CPU market. This is ridiculous.

AMD is concentrating on mobile and game consoles. I was a big fan of AMD until the the last two years. Got a Core i5 to replace my AMD 5400BE which was about 5 years years. Love it so far.

Actually Haswell is largely Intel trying to catch up with AMD's APUs and ARM's low-power chips. The CPU performance improvements as such are almost insignificant.

This is why we need AMD to stay competetive, especially with Intel thinking of soldering on the cpu and mobo.
I think my next CPU will be AMD.

Perfect timing - my MSI P55-GD65 motherboard died, and although I didn't want to upgrade my Core i7 860 this early, I'll just do the upgrade to Haswell. Thinking of getting a new case, along with a bigger SSD (256 GB Samsung 840 Pro), Core i7 4770, and of course a Z78 motherboard.

ozzy76 said,
Think I should upgrade from my first gen i7 (920 to be exact) or wait for the next release?

I'm in same boat as u... Can't justify upgrade since upgrading to 16gb of Memory and dual booting W7 & W8....

ozzy76 said,
Think I should upgrade from my first gen i7 (920 to be exact) or wait for the next release?

Depends on what you use the computer for. If you're just gaming you probably won't see a very meaningful increase in performance. If you're doing very CPU-heavy tasks such as encoding then you can see up to a 40% increase in performance which is significant.

Going Nehalem at launch was definitely an investment, but I feel that it's paid off well and I'm only kinda-sorta planning on upgrading to Broadwell if it shows decent gains or if hUMA becomes a big deal. My work flow really only has one piece of software that can actually stress this thing and that software is flexible enough to trade CPU power for disk I/O when the need arises.

Right now, I'm more interested in a Silvermont tablet since it looks like Haswell is still going to be fan-cooled. I really don't need too much horsepower on a tablet, but silence is a must and x86 compatibility would be a nice change from the janky apps that run on ARM chips. A nice little 8" tablet with a Windows 8/OSx86 dual-boot and 10 hour battery would be so far up my alley you would need a GPS to find your way back.

And Intel needed to increase performance *why*? That is the real issue - Intel's only competition is itself (specifically, the LGA2100 and LGA1155 parts). And it depends on the game (as it always has) - some games are plain and simply optimized for discrete graphics.

If they never increased performance people would stop upgrading and they'd stop making money, plus who wants them to stagnate? I like moving forward myself, and faster processors are for more than just games (although who doesn't like games?).

From what I have read so far the main gain is in battery life on idle which is +30%. Other than that there seems to be little gain. I'll happily get my Surface pro now and upgrade on the next gen.

I'll wait a few months for i5 IB to drop in price before I upgrade my desktop from the trusty 6600 Core 2 Duo which is still getting along just dandy actually..

Edited by paulheu, Jun 1 2013, 10:45pm :

greenwizard88 said,
It looks like that 20% igp increase takes games from 16fps to 20fps. I.e. still no gaming on an ultrabook.

Where are you seeing 20% when the article says 200-300%.

greenwizard88 said,
It looks like that 20% igp increase takes games from 16fps to 20fps. I.e. still no gaming on an ultrabook.

Why would you expect to be able to game on an ultrabook? Their best desktop integrated gpu can only just get usable framerates, you will be waiting a few years to get that performance in an ultrabook from intel/amd or in an arm chip.

Depends on the game doesnt it? The zenbooks with Geforce 620M's are said to be able to play some games on medium quality. Indie games probably run really well. Heat is probably a big concern though. If the 4th gen intels are delivering what intel claims, things might look good! im personally holding out cause of hte battery life, but some extra gpu power cant hurt.

They tested on medium settings and they only tested the HD 4600 which has a 25% buff from the HD 4000. There is the Iris Pro 5200 which has a 100% buff, so Max Payne 3 on med settings should play at roughly 40fps at 1440x900. So on the 5200 most of the latest games should work on low/medium settings. 25fps is ok for gaming.

My 3770k system isn't even a year old...don't feel like I'd be missing much at all. I'm really interested to see how the new tablets perform...don't see how they'll ever get to the $200 range some predict.

The Intel CEO clarified he was talking about Android tablets when the "$200 tablets" remark was made.