First Preview of Intel Haswell i7-4770K CPU
First CPUs based on Intel's new microarchitecture (Haswell) are expected to be released in June. We already knew some of its features: more power saving, more instructions and a more powerful iGPU. Now we have a performance preview of i7-4770K from Tom's Hardware, based on early CPU sample.
In most CPU usage tests 4770K offers ~10% improvement over 3770K at the same clocks, sometimes benefiting from better threading and turbo clocks. The difference is very similar to the difference between Ivy Bridge (3770K) and Sandy Bridge (2700K). The strange outlier is memory bandwidth, as it is considerably lower on 4770K sample than on previous CPUs, while using the same memory configuration. It is very likely that this will be fixed in the final product. The new AVX2 and FMA3 instructions offer the biggest performance gains – benchmarks using them show 2 times performance increase over 3770K, which is quite impressive.
On a graphics front, HD4600 inside 4770K is a decent, but not massive improvement. HD4600 has 20 execution units (HD4000 in 3770K has 16EUs) and 100MHz faster boost clock. Currently Intel says that GT3 iGPU (40EUs) will only appear in some mobile non-upgradable BGA Haswell CPUs. The performance gains in HD4600 from HD4000 are in 10-50% range and aren't enough to reach AMD Trinity iGPU performance. However, GT3 parts in mobile chips may become very competitive compared to AMD solutions. With this and AMD's new APUs announcements, things are getting much better for those who want a lightweight laptop capable of playing games.
With these early benchmarks, it looks like we are looking at mostly incremental upgrade from Intel when it comes to high performance desktop part for ordinary users. Most likely it won't be a noticeable upgrade from Sandy/Ivy for games on desktop either. What will be the most interesting – Haswell laptop parts power usage and the performance of GT3.