The Test

It turns out that our initial preview numbers were quite good. The shipping 3770K performs identically to what we tested last month. To keep the review length manageable we're presenting a subset of our results here. For all benchmark results and even more comparisons be sure to use our performance comparison tool: Bench.

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro (Intel Z68)
ASUS Crosshair V Formula (AMD 990FX)
Intel DX79SI (Intel X79)
Intel DZ77GA-70K (Intel Z77)
Hard Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB)
Crucial RealSSD C300
OCZ Agility 3 (240GB)
Memory: 4 x 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 9-9-9-20
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 (Windows 7)
AMD Processor Graphics
Intel Processor Graphics
Video Drivers: AMD Catalyst 12.3
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64

General Performance

SYSMark 2007 & 2012

Although not the best indication of overall system performance, the SYSMark suites do give us a good idea of lighter workloads than we're used to testing. SYSMark 2007 is a better indication of low thread count performance, although 2012 isn't tremendously better in that regard.

As the SYSMark suites aren't particularly thread heavy, there's little advantage to the 6-core Sandy Bridge E CPUs. The 3770K however manages to slot in above all of the other Sandy Bridge parts at between 5—20% faster than the 2600K. The biggest advantages show up in either the lightly threaded tests or in the FP heavy benchmarks. Given what we know about Ivy's enhancements, this is exactly what we'd expect.

SYSMark 2012—Overall

SYSMark 2012—Office Productivity

SYSMark 2012—Media Creation

SYSMark 2012—Web Development

SYSMark 2012—Data/Financial Analysis

SYSMark 2012—3D Modeling

SYSMark 2012—System Management

SYSMark 2007—Overall

SYSMark 2007—Productivity

SYSMark 2007—E-Learning

SYSMark 2007—Video Creation

SYSMark 2007—3D

Content Creation Performance

Adobe Photoshop CS4

To measure performance under Photoshop CS4 we turn to the Retouch Artists’ Speed Test. The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.

The whole process is timed and thanks to the use of Intel's X25-M SSD as our test bed hard drive, performance is far more predictable than back when we used to test on mechanical disks.

Time is reported in seconds and the lower numbers mean better performance. The test is multithreaded and can hit all four cores in a quad-core machine.

Adobe Photoshop CS4—Retouch Artists Speed Test

Our Photoshop test is well threaded but it doesn't peg all cores constantly. Instead you get burstier behavior. With the core count advantage out of the way, SNB-E steps aside and allows the 3770K to step up as the fastest CPU we've tested here. The performance advantage over the 2600K is around 9%.

3dsmax 9

Today's desktop processors are more than fast enough to do professional level 3D rendering at home. To look at performance under 3dsmax we ran the SPECapc 3dsmax 8 benchmark (only the CPU rendering tests) under 3dsmax 9 SP1. The results reported are the rendering composite scores.

3dsmax r9—SPECapc 3dsmax 8 CPU Test

In another FP heavy workload we see a pretty reasonable gain for Ivy Bridge: 8.5% over a 2600K. This isn't enough to make you want to abandon your Sandy Bridge, but it's a good step forward for a tick.

Cinebench 11.5

Created by the Cinema 4D folks we have Cinebench, a popular 3D rendering benchmark that gives us both single and multi-threaded 3D rendering results.

Cinebench 11.5—Single Threaded

The single threaded Cinebench test shows a 9% performance advantage for the 3770K over the 2600K. The gap increases slightly to 11% as we look at the multithreaded results:

Cinebench 11.5—Multi-Threaded

If you're running a workload that can really stress multiple cores, the 6-core Sandy Bridge E parts will remain unstoppable but in the quad-core world, Ivy Bridge leads the pack.

Video Transcoding Performance

x264 HD 3.03 Benchmark

Graysky's x264 HD test uses x264 to encode a 4Mbps 720p MPEG-2 source. The focus here is on quality rather than speed, thus the benchmark uses a 2-pass encode and reports the average frame rate in each pass.

x264 HD Benchmark—1st pass—v3.03

x264 HD Benchmark—2nd pass—v3.03

In the second pass of our x264 test we see a nearly 14% increase over the 2600K. Once again, there's no replacement for more cores in these types of workloads but delivering better performance in a lower TDP than last year's quad-core is great for more thermally conscious desktops.

Software Development Performance

Compile Chromium Test

You guys asked for it and finally I have something I feel is a good software build test. Using Visual Studio 2008 I'm compiling Chromium. It's a pretty huge project that takes over forty minutes to compile from the command line on a Core i3 2100. But the results are repeatable and the compile process will stress all 12 threads at 100% for almost the entire time on a 980X so it works for me.

Build Chromium Project—Visual Studio 2008

Ivy Bridge shows more traditional gains in our VS2008 benchmark—performance moves forward here by a few percent, but nothing significant. We are seeing a bit of a compressed dynamic range here for this particular compiler workload, it's quite possible that other bottlenecks are beginning to creep in as we get even faster microarchitectures.

Compression & Encryption Performance

7-Zip Benchmark

By working with a small dataset, the 7-zip benchmark gives us an indication of multithreaded integer performance without being IO limited:

7-zip Benchmark

Although real world compression/decompression tests can be heavily influenced by disk IO, the CPU does play a significant role. Here we're showing a 15% increase in performance over the 2600K. In the real world you'd see something much smaller as workloads aren't always so well threaded. The results here do have implications for other heavily compute bound integer workloads however.

TrueCrypt Benchmark

TrueCrypt is a very popular encryption package that offers full AES-NI support. The application also features a built-in encryption benchmark that we can use to measure CPU performance:

AES-128 Performance—TrueCrypt 7.1 Benchmark

Our TrueCrypt test scales fairly well with clock speed, I suspect what we're seeing here might be due in part to Ivy's ability to maintain higher multi-core turbo frequencies despite having similar max turbo frequencies to Sandy Bridge.

The 7 Series Chipset & USB 3.0 Discrete GPU Gaming Performance
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  • wingless - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I'll keep my 2600K

    .....just kidding
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I hope you give AMD even more praise when Trinity is released Anand. IMO you way overblew how great Intels igp stuff. Its their 4th gen that can't even beat AMDs first gen.

    Just my opinion :p
    Reply
  • Zstream - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I agree.. Reply
  • dananski - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    As much as I like the idea of decent Skyrim framerates on every laptop, and even though I find the HD4000 graphics an interesting read, I couldn't care less about it in my desktop. Gamers will not put up with integrated graphics - even this good - unless they're on a tight budget, in which case they'll just get Llano anyway, or wait for Trinity. As for IVB, why can't we have a Pentium III sized option without IGP, or get 6 cores and no IGP? Reply
  • Kjella - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Strategy, they're using their lead in CPUs to bundle it with a GPU whether you want it or not. When you take your gamer card out of your gamer machine it'll still have an Intel IGP for all your other uses (or for your family or the second-hand market or whatever), that's one sale they "stole" from AMD/nVidia's low end. Having a separate graphics card is becoming a niche market for gamers. That's better for Intel than lowering the expectation that a "premium" CPU costs $300, if you bring the price down it's always much harder to raise it again... Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    As amazing this CPU is, and how much I'd love it (considering I play BF3 and need a GTX560+ anyway) I have to agree the GPU improvement is pretty disappointing...

    After all that work, Intel still can't even come close to AMD's integrated graphics. It's 75% of AMD's performance at best.
    Reply
  • Cogman - Thursday, May 03, 2012 - link

    There is actually a good reason for both AMD and Intel to keep a GPU on their CPUs no matter what. That reason is OpenCV. This move makes the assumption that OpenCV or programming languages like it will eventually become mainstream. With a GPU coupled to every CPU, it saves developers from writing two sets of code to deal with different platforms. Reply
  • froggr - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    OpenCV is Open Computer Vision and runs either way. I think you're talking about OpenCL (Open Compute Language). and even that runs fine without a GPU. OpenCL can use all cores CPU + GPU and does not require separate code bases.

    OpenCL runs faster with a GPU because it's better parallellized.
    Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Maybe we could actually see some hard numbers before heaping so much praise on Trinity??

    I will be convinced about the claims of 50% IGP improvements when I see them, and also they need to make a lot of improvements to Bulldozer, especially in power consumption, before it is a competitive CPU. I hope it turns out to be all the AMD fans are claiming, but we will see.
    Reply
  • SpyCrab - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Sure, Llano gives good gaming performance. But it's pretty much at Athlon II X4 CPU performance. Reply

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