For our discrete GPU benchmarks, we have split them up into the different GPU configurations we have tested. We have access to both MSI GTX 770 Lightning GPUs and ASUS reference HD 7970s, for SLI and Crossfire respectively. These tests are all run at 1080p and maximum settings, reporting the average and minimum frame rates.

dGPU Benchmarks: 2x MSI GTX770 Lightning

F1 2013

F1 2013: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

F1 2013: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Despite the lack of scaling, moving to dual GPU puts a larger rift between the i3 and the other CPUs for average FPS in 2013.

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Bioshock Infinite: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Tomb Raider: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Sleeping Dogs: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

While average FPS takes a ~10% drop from i3 to i5, the same 10 FPS drop is seen in the minimum frame rates but this equates more to a ~20% decline.

Company of Heroes 2

Company Of Heroes 2: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Company Of Heroes 2: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

Battlefield 4: 1080p Max, 2x GTX 770

When you start adding the GPU horsepower, the i3 core count becomes a hindrance in minimum FPS values for BF4.

dGPU Benchmarks: 1x MSI GTX770 Lightning dGPU Benchmarks: 1x ASUS HD7970
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  • etamin - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    I feel that a whole lot of unnecessary effort was put into the benchmarks. But we appreciate the effort of course.

    I'm looking forward to SATA Express. Are there any compatible consumer level M.2 SSDs currently available?
    Reply
  • weilin - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Yup, look for the models below in M.2 interface

    Intel: 530
    Crucial: M500, M550
    Misc: MyDigitalSSD, Samsung (only second hand/OEM stuff, no retail presence)
    Reply
  • jjj - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    But there is competition, more than they ever had. You got tablets and phones killing PC sales and Intel is just sabotaging the only PC segment able to create any hype around PC. There is nobody else that really gives a damn about their products but hey they would rather have 60% margins instead of 58% even if they lose us too.
    Instead of giving us a 300$ 8 cores chip with no GPU, they are giving away free tablet Atom because that will help.....
    Reply
  • juhatus - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    I totally agree, Intel should really push PC again, not replace schim's with better ones. Reply
  • bji - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    Intel cannot generate sufficient returns on its R & D dollars anymore. Nobody in the consumer market cares that much about faster Intel chips except CPU enthusiasts, and it's not a market that can even come close to supplying enough money to fund the R & D necessary to significantly advance x86 performance.

    You can blame AMD for not supplying enough competition, but a bigger part of the equation is that faster Intel chips don't sell "enough more" than current generation ones to justify spending huge amounts of R & D money on them.

    You can look at this as a sad fact, but I actually like it. I can by a laptop now for cheap that is so overly spec'd for my needs that I essentially never need to upgrade, saving me money. Software companies cannot depend upon ever increasing chip speeds, they have to become better at producing efficient software in order to have the headroom for new features that used to be provided by ever increasing chip speed.

    Advances in mobile computing are where it's at, and everyone knows that already ...
    Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Buddy, you've never built a PC, and I'm assuming that you don't have a hardware-heavy job. Reply
  • bji - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Wrong on both counts. Reply
  • Shadowself - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    To some extent you're correct, but the reality is that the reasons are interdependent.

    Current performance increases from one generation to the next (Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge to Haswell and anticipated into Broadwell) are only 10% - 20% per generation. I, and many like me, buy at the top of the performance range and now use that machine for a few years so that we get a significant performance jump with each new machine purchased. Back 20+ years ago when each generation was 50% to 100% faster I upgraded each generation. It's just not worth it to do so anymore for just a 10% - 20% increase. The aggregate cost of purchasing machines every generation over a few years for such moderate increases in performance is too high.

    Likely Intel (and AMD) are into the range of diminishing returns on performance increases. Unless there are huge architecture changes in the upcoming Skylake series I expect the 10% - 20% increase per generation to continue for at least three more generations -- Haswell to Broadwell, Broadwell to Skylake, and Skylake to Cannonlake -- (and maybe go to 5% -10% performance increase in the Skylake to Cannonlake transition).

    Small increases in performance keep people from buying every generation. People not buying every generation limits profits and what can be put into IR&D. Limited IR&D produces small increases in performance. And the cycle repeats.
    Reply
  • alacard - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    The increases over the past few generations have been no where near 10-20 percent.

    Sandy to Ivy was ~5 with that increase coming solely from power management/boost tweak. Clock for clock the cores perform identical (to get this metric you simply disable all the power management/boost functions in the bios and benchmark from there) with Ivy offering a slight decrease in consumed wattage.

    The Ive to Haswell performance increase - with a few exceptions - is < 10% in almost all tests, with consumed wattage actually increasing from ivy.

    Unfortunately, the Intel performance curve over the past 4 years is actually far more compressed than you paint in your post. With the exception of a couple of new task specific instructions we've had essentially less than 10% performance gains during that time
    Reply
  • BadThad - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    I agree Shadowself! I'm actually still mainly on a Q6600 system as it meets all of my needs. At last I'm at the point where I'm going to Z97 as the performance benefits and feature sets are finally worth it for my needs. Reply

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