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


View All Comments

  • rajod1 - Friday, May 30, 2014 - link

    Well said, yes I agree many gamers or OCing people have sort of a sickness. They are addicted to hardware. They can't help it, like a moth to a flame. They will deny it but its true. Reply
  • klmccaughey - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    Ian, I am still confused by your description of SATA express/M.2/PCIe based SATA. Any chance of an article or comment on this? I am lost as to what to buy as I don't know now what fits what. I thought SATA express was PCIe SATA? I don't want to buy the wrong board or SSD. Reply
  • Galatian - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    M.2 is simply just a different connector type of SATA Express designed for Notebooks and SFF builts. Intel only states M.2 support on the 97 chipset, but it looks like most motherboard manufactures are releasing boards with SATA Express connectors as well.
    When you shop for a new SSD (and there is really isn't anything on the consumer market right now) you need to look at what your motherboard has: does it have an M.2 connector, SATA Express or both? Then buy accordingly, while minding that M.2 SSDs come in different physical sizes and you need to check if the fit into the slot. Drives using the "normal" SATA Express connector will probably come in the standard 2,5" format.

    Also note that - as Ian stated - the current M.2 and SATA Express implementation is already pretty much outdated since all (except ASRock on the Extreme 6 series) motherboards only expose 2 PCIe 2.0 lanes, which limits the bandwidth to 10 Gbit/s. The Samsung XD941 M.2 for example is already bandwidth constrained on that setup.

    On that note you might also want to check how the SSD is talked to. For example the Samsung XD941 still uses the AHCI protocol. SATA Express is capable of NVMe and there is no consumer SSD out yet with support for that.
  • Laststop311 - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    It's going to be awhile before we reach the limit. The fastest sata express implementation is pcie 3.0 x4 giving almost 32gbit/sec bandwidth + NVMe needs implemented. Then it will be maxed until pci-e 4.0 is out and it's updated for that. And the cycle continues infinitely.... Reply
  • klmccaughey - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Fuck it - that's far too complicated. I am just going to wait until broadwell when they can agree on a standard. This is like betamax all over again. Reply
  • kwrzesien - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    +1, I think you've nailed it on the head. I don't every see myself buying or recommending a SATA Express drive - the connector is dog. M.2 has potential but can't they even come up with a size standard? I mean hello, something like t-shirts? S, M, L? The things could be any length an who knows what each board will support. Reply
  • kwrzesien - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Further research down the rabbit hole:

    After learning all about M.2 and seeing what is listed on NewEgg for the drives and motherboards I think we are in for a rough ride, nobody is listing all the the features that you need to decide whether two parts are compatible:

    1) There are different keys in the connectors in both the cards and slot (B, M primarily but A through M are options). Both B and M support SATA, while B is also used for PCIe x2 and M is used for PCIe x4.

    2. The cards are different lengths but these are standardized into 16, 26, 30, 38, 42, 60, 80 and 110 mm possibilities, with current Z97 desktop motherboards commonly supporting 42, 60 and 80. 80 seems to be the best option for fast and large SSDs, 42 will be mostly for tablets and ultrabooks.

    3. There are different width standards 12, 16, 22 and 30 mm but so far everything seems to be 22 mm.

    You would then call a 22x80 card a 2280.

    4. There are different thickness standards, either single-sided or double-sided of 1.20, 1.35 or 1.50 mm. The connector on the board must support the proper thickness and SS or DS. Codes are S1-3 and D1-5 for single and double-sided at different thicknesses.

    A 22x80 double-sided 1.35 thick card with an M key would be called 2280-D2-M.

    5. SSD cards can use the SATA interface or SATA Express/NVMe (direct PCIe connection, less overhead). Currently all cards (Intel 530, Micron 550) seem to be SATA. Performance should be similar to SATA 6Gbps 2.5" drives so this form factor is really about convenience at this point not performance.

    6. On the specs page at Newegg for the ASUS Maximus VII Gene Z97 ( board you get this for M.2: 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key. Looking at the physical board layout it supports 2260 and 2280 size cards and includes one fastening screw that can be moved to either position. I don't know how the "Socket 3" translates into single-side and double-side thickness codes.

    7. On the specs page for the Micron M550 512GB M.2 SSD ( you get Form Factor: M.2 Type 2280 and Interface: SATA 6Gb/s.

    Now it is possible that the motherboard only supports SATA Express/NVMe devices on the M.2 slot while the Micron and other available SSD's are only SATA and may not work. Since the English version of the motherboard manual is not available yet it is hard to say.
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    Are you sure the Core i5-4460S doesn't have Turbo? Because all others and the predecessor do. Unfortunately Intel ARK doesn't list that one yet. Reply
  • bharatwd - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    Guys, when do you think the 4690K will release...Im planning to upgrade but i can wait a quarter as compared to the purchase of the 4690 Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, May 11, 2014 - link

    The most popular date in the internet rumor mill is Jun 2.... Reply

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