Intel Core i7-3770K ‘Ivy Bridge’ Overclocked Benchmark & Temperature PerformanceThu, May 17, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The Intel ‘Ivy Bridge’ system is clearly a strong platform. When we looked at the performance with our initial article it was clearly faster than the previous generation was. At the same time, there are clearly some… not sure if I would say flaws, but definitely some concerns for enthusiasts. It seems that the days of hitting 5.0GHz on air cooling are gone, at least for this generation of Intel LGA1155 processors. What isn’t clear at this point, is if we are strictly being limited by temperature, or if the new 22nm die just isn’t as overclocking friendly as it’s predecessor.
Today we weren’t able to bring our Intel Core i7 3770K ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor beyond 4.7GHz with complete stability. This is a little disappointing, but not the end of the world and we are still getting a massive overclock for ‘free’ so to speak. We also have to keep in mind that processor frequency isn’t quite as important as it once was. A short time ago we took a look at performance scaling across several of the Intel ‘Sandy Bridge’ Processors and our AMD Radeon HD 7950. There truly wasn’t as much of a difference as we had expected to see. That isn’t saying that there is no difference, but if you’re PC’s primary concern is gaming, 100-300MHz isn’t going to make or break the experience. Especially if you consider that when it comes to clock to clock performance, the Intel Core i7 3770K ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor is faster than the Intel Core i7 ‘Sandy Bridge’ platform. We saw this in our launch article at default speeds with the Intel Core i7 2700K and again today with our Intel Core i7 2600K clocked at 4.7GHz!
Where the problem seems to reside, is in the temperatures. When our Intel Core i7 3770K was clocked at 4.7GHz, we were pushing the core temperature in to the mid 90’s. While the maximum temperature has been increased to 105 degrees Celsius, it is still to hot for my taste.
Looking at the Core Temp 1.0 RC3 screen shot during our temperature testing, we can see that we may have a reason to be worried. Our average temperature when running the AIDA64 System Stability test was 92.5 degrees Celsius, but our hottest core was at 96 degrees Celsius. That’s only nine degrees away from the Tj. Max! The real kicker to this is comparing our Intel Core i7 2600K ‘Sandy Bridge’ Temperatures. Under the same load with the AIDA64 System Stability test we topped out with an average temperature of only 70.75 degrees Celsius and the hottest core was only 75 degrees Celsius! That’s more than 20 degrees difference and the 2600K ‘Sandy Bridge’ Processor is capable of going further yet.
Despite the temperature concerns, there is a bit of shining light for overclockers! Earlier this year Intel introduced their Performance Tuning Protection Plan. If you aren’t familiar with the PTPP program from Intel, it’s something worth looking into if you run certain ‘K’, ‘X’, or any LGA2011-socketed boxed processors. The PTPP plan gives you full warranty protection on your processor no matter how you kill it. If you choose to run an insane amount of vCore while running a stock CPU cooler, Intel will cover it. If you go with a slightly more extreme cooling solution like Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) and destroy your chip, Intel will cover it! It’s a great option for those of us that like to push the limits of our hardware! Of course, this isn’t free from Intel, but it’s a small investment compared to the cost of having to replace a chip. Heck, it’s a free replacement plan, so if a new stepping comes out you might be able to switch out your processor with no questions asked.
- Intel Core i5-2500K
- Intel Core i5-2550K
- Intel Core i7-2600K
- Intel Core i7-2700K
- Intel Core i5-3570K
- Intel Core i7-3770K
- Intel Core i7-3820
- Intel Core i7-3930K
- Intel Core i7-3960X
The latest platform from Intel isn’t without its issues. Temperatures are by far the primary concern that we have seen on this platform though. Pushing into the mid-90’s is a little to hot for my comfort level, especially when the second generation ‘Sandy Bridge’ was so strong with respects to overclocking and temperatures. Clock for clock the third generation Intel ‘Ivy Bridge’ is faster but it does run significantly hotter. If you aren’t looking for the highest possible CPU frequency I would easily recommend an Intel ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor. The ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor brings more to the table than just a boost in CPU performance. Depending on your system configuration and what you will be using it for you can see a performance difference with the Intel HD 4000 graphics as well as PCIe x16 Gen 3 expansion slots.
Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core i7 3770K ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor may require a bit more cooling than we previously needed on the Intel ‘Sandy Bridge’ product stack. Though the 3770K is still a great processor that easily pushes past 4.5Ghz and with a little tweaking 4.7GHz-4.8GHz is quite achievable!