Today, Intel is announcing their new Haswell processor lineup. Just like last generation's Ivy Bridge, the processors are built on a 22 nanometer production process that offers performance improvements, especially in the integrated graphics area and through new overclocking features. K-models, like the Core i7-4770K and Core-i5-4670K, are as before available for a price premium, offering unlocked multipliers to make overclocking much easier.
Just like on Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, Intel has integrated a quad-core CPU, graphics, cache, a memory controller and PCI-Express connectivity into a single silicon die.
The new processors see little architectural improvement. New AVX2 instructions have been added, but the main focus is on reducing power consumption. With Haswell, Intel is also introducing a new socket 1150, which means old motherboards won't work anymore. A new Intel Series 8 chipset is also available.
For the mobile segment, Intel has added a third tier of processor graphics based on a new GT3 graphics core called "Iris Pro" and "Iris", but these are only available on the BGA socket, so they can't be used with LGA1150 motherboards. I think the logic behind these is that traditional desktop users will use a real graphics card for serious gaming performance, but integrated GT2-based graphics—HD Graphics 4600, 4400, and 4200—should suffice for normal desktop work, videos, and light-gaming usage.
|Core i7-4770K||Core i7-4770||Core i5-4670K||Core i5-4670||Core i5-4570|
|Cores / Threads||4 / 8||4 / 8||4 / 4||4 / 4||4 / 4|
|CPU Base Freq||3.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.2 GHz|
|Max Turbo Freq||3.9 GHz||3.9 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|L3 Cache||8 MB||8 MB||6 MB||6 MB||6 MB|
|HD Graphics||HD 4600||HD 4600||HD 4600||HD 4600||HD 4600|
In this review, we will use a retail Intel Core i7-4770K processor to investigate what improvements Intel made with their latest graphics core and whether it will be enough for gaming in the low-end space. Unlike our regular VGA reviews, where highest details are used, we test all games at a lower "High" details setting.