Intel i7 3770K – Ivy Bridge – CPU Review

Intel is back today with a new CPU manufacturing process at 22 nm using their new 3D Tri-Gate transistor design. It’s the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture with a new 22 nm twist. Will we see any performance increase or just the standard lower power and better temperatures? Sit back and relax while we cross the Ivy Bridge.

Ivy Bridge Time

Ivy Bridge Time

Bridge Over the River Ivy – Ivy Bridge Architecture

If you are erudite about Intel’s strategy, you know they have a tick-tock strategy that they somehow manage to keep to like, um, clockwork. Ivy Bridge is a tick in this cadence, which is a process shrink to an existing micro-architecture. They also upgraded their iGPU and the platform comes with a new 7-series chipset. Our audience doesn’t exactly use the iGPU for graphics, but the upgrade should come with a decent boost for software that can use it in conjunction with Lucid’s VIRTU software.

Ivy Bridge - TICK!

Ivy Bridge - TICK!

3rd Generation Core Platform

3rd Generation Core Platform

Speaking of the iGPU, they boosted its performance partially with shared cache between the CPU and iGPU. The Ivy Bridge CPU comes in a pretty small 160 mm² package with a hefty 1.4 billion transistors. By comparison, Sandy Bridge had a die size of 216 mm² and 995 million transistors.

22nm Process

22nm Process

Before moving on though, we have the requisite eye candy from some images courtesy Intel.

Ivy Bridge Wafer

Ivy Bridge Wafer

Ivy Bridge Core

Transparent IHS

IHS Off CPU

IHS Off CPU

Ivy Bridge Die - Center

Ivy Bridge Die - Center

Ivy Bridge Die - Right

Ivy Bridge Die - Right

As mentioned, this is Intel’s (and anyone else’s as far as I know) first use of a 3-D transistor. For more information on 3D Tri-Gate transistors, check out this page at Intel. The implications are interesting for overclockers in daily use, which we’ll be sure to check out in detail below. Let’s say the change to this transistor type flips the lid on the whole temperature-and-process-shrink paradigm.

On the right we have more details about the iGPU. We’ll probably explore the iGPU performance later, but this review is all about processing power.

New & Improved

New & Improved

3rd Gen Intel Graphics

3rd Gen Intel Graphics

The 7-series Panther Point chipset is Intel’s newest and it adds some things the 6-series lacked, while staying lackluster in others. The good part is that this is Intel’s first native USB 3.0 chipset. Even the X79 chipset lacked USB 3.0 for some reason or another, necessitating third-party controllers. There are only “up to four” USB 3.0 lanes available, but it’s there finally.

The 7-series chipsets retain Intel’s Smart Response Technology that debuted with the Z68 chipset, which is a boon to those who can’t afford a large SSD. It also gives new support for Intel’s Thunderbolt interface. Frankly, the chances of it usurping USB’s hold on the market is slim to zero, but hey; if anyone wants an alternative to the now-dated FireWire, here you go.

For everything but memory capability (and only at the very extreme end of that spectrum), the 6-series chipset is completely compatible with Ivy Bridge CPUs. You’ll lose some of the features (most importantly, PCIe 3.0 in some cases), but it will work without issue assuming your motherboard manufacturer releases a proper BIOS update. I can confirm that the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z is perfectly ready for Ivy Bridge.

Panther Point Chipset Overview

Panther Point Chipset Overview

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Cross-Platform Compatibility

6-Series & 7-Series Platform Comparison

6-Series & 7-Series Platform Comparison

Here we have the more detailed block diagrams describing how everything is doled out with the three new Platform Controller Hubs (PCH) and the 3rd generation Core CPUs. The PCH on the left (Z77) is where most overclockers will hang their hat, with some budget-minded, more frugal folks going the Z75 route. The latter loses Thunderbolt capability and removes Rapid Storage Technology (RST).

The graphics interface is now PCIe 3.0, with 16x lanes available total. This is more than capable for pretty much anybody that wants to run two GPUs – eight PCIe 3.0 lanes is equivalent to sixteen PCIe 2.0 lanes.

Still – still – Intel only has two SATA 6Gb/s ports available. AMD has had six SATA 6Gb/s ports for two chipset generations now. I can’t fathom why Intel continues to buck the trend and leave us with only two current-generation SATA ports. With full backwards-compatibility, I think it’s time to let SATA II go now, don’t you?

One very important thing to note is the memory speed capability – “Up to 1600 MHz”. Now, I’m not sure if that means DDR3-1600 or DDR3-3200, but what I can tell you is – yowza – do these things have insane memory controllers. I’m not just saying that either. We have a G.Skill DDR3-2666 kit in testing and, whew, are those things fast.

Z77 Chipset Block Diagram

Z77 Chipset Block Diagram

H77 & Z76 Chipset Block Diagrams

H77 & Z76 Chipset Block Diagrams

The first thing many people will do when they get their new Ivy Bridge CPU is (what else?) overclock it. They increased the multiplier lottery this time, with chips capable of up to 63x multipliers. With the new memory capability comes the potential (if partners include it in their BIOS) for more granularity in memory divider options, which is always good to push that last few MHz out of your memory.

Aside from that things haven’t changed much. Ivy Bridge is all multiplier like its predecessor, with rather limited BCLK headroom.

Overclocking Features Comparison

Overclocking Features Comparison

In addition to Smart Response Technology, Intel has added Rapid Start Technology. For those of you using any sort of SSD, this is a nice additional system-suspend mode to allow your PC to wake up faster.

Responsiveness Technologies

Responsiveness Technologies

Rapid Start Technology

Rapid Start Technology

Here’s some more info on the iGPU changes. The most obvious change is DirectX 11 capability – AMD had them on that point for quite a while. It’s nice to see Intel moving forward a bit, but while AMD isn’t exactly competing on the CPU side, Intel still has a lot of catching up to do on the iGPU side.

Graphics Feature Comparison

Graphics Feature Comparison

Architecture & 3D Comparison

Architecture & 3D Comparison

Ahh, here is the moment you’ve all been waiting for – Pricing! Remember. Intel quotes prices based on kilo-unit, so retail could be a little bit more than this.

SKU Comparison & Pricing

SKU Comparison & Pricing

Low Power SKU Comparison & Pricing

Low Power SKU Comparison & Pricing

$313 for an i7 3770K? Yes please. There was a lot of talk on the forums about the potential of a ~$360 price point. It’s nice to see this coming in below the rumors. One important thing to note – the Ivy Bridge processors will not be available immediately. They will go on sale Sunday, April 29th, so you’ve got another week to save.

Speaking of rumors, it has been floated around recently that Intel had raised TDP on these CPUs to 95W. Again, good news – it’s still at 77 W. Not that 95 W is a huge increase, but rest easy, the information reviewers were given most recently still retains the 77 W number.

As far as the retail boxes you can see photographed at the link above, Intel says that “3rd generation Intel quad core standard power processors have a TDP of 77 W. In some cases you may continue to see references to a 95 W TDP. Intel has requested that original equipment manufacturers continue to design platforms based on Intel 7 series express chipsets to a 95 W TDP target to ensure compatibility with 2nd generation Intel processors.”

Meet the Intel i7 3770K

The box is pretty much unchanged save for text editing. No, they didn’t send a retail chip but they do send boxes so we can show you what it will look like.

3rd Gen Core Box

3rd Gen Core Box

Here you have the CPU itself. Not too much to call home about as far as looks; it’s what inside the CPU that counts. Ivy Bridge is still an LGA 1155 package and much smaller than the SNB-E monster we saw in November.

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Intel i7 3770K

Of course, Intel was kind enough to send something with which to test their new generation CPU; the DZ77GA-70K.

Intel’s DZ77GA-70K Motherboard

Intel motherboards get the job done. They aren’t often going to compete with more expensive options from other partners, but they are rock solid stable and will run at stock and moderate overclocks quite well. Just don’t go freezing CPUs with one, you’ll fall asleep while it hard-reboots (for the millionth time) every time you make any changes.

On the plus side, it does have a UEFI now and you can actually successfully turn off C-states, so it’s a definite step in the right direction.

Packaging & First Look

Foregoing the windowed look of the DX79SI, Intel’s Z77 motherboard comes in your more standard still-skeleton-themed box.

Intel DZ77GA-70K Box

Intel DZ77GA-70K Box

Intel DZ77GA-70K Box Rear

Intel DZ77GA-70K Box Rear

Box Opened

Box Opened

Intel DZ77GA-70K

Intel DZ77GA-70K

You know me, always one to take lots of photos!

Intel DZ77GA-70K

Intel DZ77GA-70K

While I wish they’d ditch the skull (it’s about as appealing as some of the ridiculous bullet-themed boards MSI and Gigabyte are obsessed with), overall it’s a pretty good looking board.

Accessories

The accessory stack isn’t massive but has all the essentials. It comes with a mouse pad, backplate for the rear I/O and an SLI bracket. New additions are a 3.5″ USB 3.0 adapter and a Bluetooth -slash- WiFi adapter.

Accessories

Accessories

USB 3.0 Adapter

USB 3.0 Adapter

Board Close-Up

First up, you can see the new and the old intermingled. There are two PCIe 3.0 16x slots (which run at dual 8x with two GPUs installed), two PCIe 1.0 slots, one PCIe 4.0 slot and two legacy PCI slots. Those are quickly going the way of the dodo, but legacy connectivity usually never hurts and certainly doesn’t in this case.

Expansion Slots

Expansion Slots

In the upper right corner, Intel has conveniently included power and reset switches. The motherboard speaker is also up here as well as two fan headers. Out of the quad-channel X79 cloud, we’re firmly back on the ground with four memory slots for dual-channel operation. Of course, with the IMC capability of these CPUs, many will probably be asking ‘what quad-channel?’ before long.

Control Corner / DIMMs

Control Corner / DIMMs

In the bottom right, you can see the POST code indicator and some front panel connectivity. Just above the gray SATA ports is the Marvel 6Gb/s SATA controller to add two more SATA 6Gb/s ports to the board.

The bottom left houses the front panel audio connector, another fan header and the LED status indicators. These actually function quite well, akin to ASUS’ Q-LED feature. If you try to overclock something too far, this will tell you quickly where you went wrong.

Bottom Right Corner

Bottom Right Corner

Bottom Left Corner

Bottom Left Corner

Moving around the board, we have another Marvel SATA 6Gb/s controller for the eSATA port. Going clockwise, there is the Intel LAN PHY and second LAN controller as well as the Realtek audio codec.

Marvell Controller

Marvell Controller

Intel Controller

Intel Controller

Intel Controller

Intel Controller

Realtek Audio Codec

Realtek Audio Codec

As alluded to previously, there are eight SATA ports on this board. Two are native SATA 6Gb/s, two are Marvel-controlled SATA 6GB/s, along with four SATA II ports.

SATA Ports

SATA Ports

The rear I/O has plenty of connectivity. There is the welcome return of a PS/2 port (hey, we can’t let go of everything can we?…you can still ditch SATA II Intel). Additionally you have:

  • Four USB 3.0 ports
  • Two “Hi-Current” fast charging USB 2.0 ports
  • Two regular USB 2.0 ports
  • A FireWire port
  • An HDMI connector
  • Analog and digital audio connections
  • The last item down there is the ‘Back to BIOS’ switch in lieu of an actual clear CMOS switch.
Rear I/O

Rear I/O

Under the Hood

Removing the heatsinks, you can see there is good contact throughout. There are thermal pads on the MOSFET heatsinks, which is industry standard. I’m not sure what that gray TIM-like substance on the PCH heatsink is but it’s easier to get off than the ASUS pink goo, for what that’s worth.

Board Heatsinks

Board Heatsinks

Heatsink Contact

Heatsink Contact

There isn’t much you couldn’t see without the heatsinks removed on the bare board, save the power section and the PCH.

Board Rear

Board Rear

Heatsinks Removed

Heatsinks Removed

Speaking of the PCH, here is our new player in the chipset market – the Z77 ‘Panther Point’ Platform Controller Hub.

Z77 Platform Controller Hub

Z77 Platform Controller Hub

Intel has a decent power section. The components aren’t as upgraded and overkill as the upper-tier motherboards on the market, but it serves its purpose well for your average Joe. I wouldn’t freeze a CPU with it, but for 24/7 use it should be sufficient. The voltage controller on this board is brought to us by CHiL.

CPU Socket and Power Section

CPU Socket and Power Section

Power Section

Power Section

CHiL Power Controller

CHiL Power Controller

Overall, it’s not too bad. The UEFI is leaps and bounds better than anything they have had in the past. It’s intuitive and there is plenty of control for most people. The board is stubborn when you really try to push your CPU, so don’t expect to set any records on ambient, much less frozen. The software requires a restart to make changes. POST takes forever and a day. Aside from those issues, it’s an okay board.

Power Consumption

Stock power consumption is always good to check out for those concerned with sipping wattage. Here, the 3770K is far from a disappointment! It sips power in the smallest bit at an astounding 70 W idle. When put under load at stock, power consumption is an amazingly small 134 W – even if temperatures are in the low-to-mid 50 °C range.

Test Setup Idle (Watts) CPU Loaded (Watts)
i7 3770K 70 W 134W
i7 2600K 97 W 158 W
FX-8150 121 W 246 W
i7-3960X 104 W 244 W

As you can see, higher temperatures don’t mean this CPU is taking a lot of power to run. It’s the least of any CPU here. I don’t have numbers on the 2500K, but they are probably similar – and the 3770K trounces it in performance. It’s definitely a power consumption win for Intel.

Of course, when you overclock, all bets are off. Everyone knows wattage rises significantly when you raise voltage and frequency and Ivy Bridge is no different. Loaded consumption at 4.8 GHz is 271 W. Sadly for AMD, that kicks the snot out of anything the FX-8150 is capable of and with only a few watts more than its stock power draw.

To our brothers on the Folding Team, please accept my apologies. Time didn’t allow a Folding@Home run before the review. I’ll be sure to post one up in the comments as soon as I’m able to do so.

Overclocking for Stability

This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s also where a lot of people have been focusing recently after OBR came out with a chart showing how hot these CPUs get when you put a little voltage to them. I’m sorry to say, what you may have seen wasn’t without merit.

Like all our CPU reviews, this chip was tested with a dedicated triple-radiator water loop (Swiftech MCP35x pump, Swiftech MCR-320 radiator and EK Supreme HF Cu water block). It kept up with this CPU, but only just. This i7 3770K ended up dialing in at the same overclock achieved on the 2600K before it –  4.8 GHz. Rather than ~1.33 V though, this was LinX stable at a mere 1.23 V loaded.

4800 MHz Stable

4800 MHz Stable

What’s interesting is that the overclock needed a little boost in voltage to keep up with all of the benches. It’s the first CPU LinX has failed to torture past any reasonable semblance of stability. Actual stability was at ~1.26 V loaded. Temps were right where you see them, which isn’t cold by a long shot.

To put this in perspective, with this same water loop, the 2600K at 1.330 V maxed out at 56 °C. As you can see, with less voltage and the same overclock, the 3770K tops out at a staggering 82 °C! This is what I was implying earlier when talking about the new transistor type. A smaller process in this case does not equal lower temperatures. The hottest core measurements are 46% higher with Ivy Bridge.

Just to see if it could be done, I went for 4.9 GHz to see if the chip would do it (my 2600K couldn’t stabilize at reasonable voltages there). It did for sure, but temperatures were getting too high even on the water loop.

4900 MHz LinX Stable

4900 MHz LinX Stable

90 °C! It’s just insane how hot these things get, it really is. They take the abuse without complaint (long term of course has not been researched yet), but it’s a far cry from cool-running Sandy Bridge. Intel has verified there is a 105 °C Tjunction Max, so the temperatures reported by CoreTemp are, in fact, correct.

When approached about the temperature ‘issue’, they readily admit to hotter temperatures, but are quick to point out that there is more headroom to peak temperature. The reason for these hotter temperatures is that 22 nm has a higher thermal density than 32 nm, so it will -and is expected to- run hotter. As long as the chip stays below the Tjunction Max temperature, it should be just fine. So if it doesn’t matter that you run your CPU at 80 °C+, do you care? Should you?

Regardless, these put out plenty of heat and you’re going to have to dissipate it, so plan on a solid cooling solution if you want to go with Ivy Bridge. One boon to this process shrink is that Intel is now back in a big way with extreme overclockers. There is no cold bug.** Let that sink in for a moment. Intel. Has a chip. With no cold bug. There went AMD’s fun factor!

**There do exist samples that had cold ‘issues’. One report showed issues with high-divider use on the IMC at -120 °C. Another mentions a true cold bug at -170 °C. So there are chips with cold issues, but many of the pre-release showings display zero cold bug.

Test System, Opponents and Methodology

We have a plethora of processors pairing off for you today. So many in fact I had to add a third row to the charts!

CPU Intel i5 2500K Intel i7 2600K Phenom II x6 1100T
Stock / Turbo 3.3 / 3.7 3.4 / 3.8 3.3
Motherboard Gigabyte G1 Sniper2 ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution ASUS Crosshair V Formula
RAM DDR3-1600 9-11-9-24 G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-2133 9-11-9-24 G.Skill Flare DDR3-2000 7-9-7-24
GPU n/a AMD HD6970 AMD HD6970

 

CPU AMD FX-8150 Intel i7 980X Intel i7-3960X
Stock / Turbo 3.6 / 4.2 3.3 3.3 / 3.9
Motherboard ASUS Crosshair V Formula ASUS Rampage II Extreme Intel DX79SI
RAM G.Skill Flare DDR3-2000 7-9-7-24 Super Talent DDR3-1866 8-10-8-24 G.Skill RipjawsZ DDR3-1600 9-11-9-28
GPU AMD HD6970 n/a AMD HD6970

 

CPU Intel i7 3770K
Stock / Turbo 3.5 / 3.9
Motherboard Intel DZ77GA-70K
RAM G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-2133 9-11-9-28
GPU AMD HD6970

The BIOS was the latest available from Intel at the time benches were run. There is a newer version now but it has no performance changes, just tweaking to non-essential (for our purposes) items. Performance here is what you should expect in your own system.

All non-graphics benchmarks at stock are run three times with the results averaged. 3D benchmarks, game tests and overclocked benchmarks are run once. The operating system is fully updated Windows 7 x64 to give the most accurate representation of real-world performance.

The results you see below are graphed relative to the Intel i7 3770K’s stock performance. This means that results by the i7 3770K at stock all equal 100% and the other results are graphed as a percentage relative to the its performance. So, for instance, if the i7 3770K scored 200 points on a benchmark and the FX-8150 scored 160 points, on the graph the  i7 3770K would be 100% and the FX-8150 would be 80%, meaning in that benchmark, the FX-8150 is 80% as fast as the i7 3770K. For ease of reading, the stock i7 3770K results are all on the left (editor splat’s idea, and a good one I might add).

Not much more to say about that, other than enjoy the fireworks.

Benchmark Results

First up in our suite is the AIDA64 set of synthetic benchmarks. These are synthetic tests that are great at showing differences between processors. The differences are more pronounced than you may see in more ‘real-world’ benchmarks, but they show the processors’ strengths and weaknesses well. The most pronounced example was Bulldozer’s good integer performance and lackluster floating point performance.

AIDA64 Benchmarks

Starting off with integer calculation tests, we have the five AIDA64 CPU Tests. Remember, all of these graphs are hard to read in the review window; click them to see the non-blurry versions.

AIDA 64 CPU Benchmarks

AIDA 64 CPU Benchmarks

AIDA 64 CPU Benchmarks - 2

AIDA 64 CPU Benchmarks - 2

Right out of the gates, the 3770K does very well for itself, coming in about 8% higher than the 2600K for the most part. In three of the five tests, where the 2600K didn’t quite catch the older hex-core i7 980X, the 3770K comes out ahead. Now, floating point performance.

AIDA 64 FPU Benchmarks

AIDA 64 FPU Benchmarks

AIDA 64 FPU Benchmarks - 2

AIDA 64 FPU Benchmarks - 2

Again consistently higher than its older brother. This is in part due to the 100 MHz advantage the 3770K has over the 2600K, but not all of it because that’s a 2.9% clockspeed boost, where we’re seeing five, six and seven percent (plus) increases across the board.

The Intel board didn’t have any problem running DDR3-2133 this time around (the DP67BG would only run DDR3-1600). It didn’t run high speed memory above that point, but 2133 was okay. That accounts for much of the increase here. Note in the clock-for-clock comparisons below, the memory is run on a better motherboard at DDR3-2133.

AIDA 64 Memory Benchmarks

AIDA 64 Memory Benchmarks

AIDA 64 Memory Benchmarks - 2

AIDA 64 Memory Benchmarks - 2

Where we have expected bandwidth increases, there is a huge (18%) latency drop compared to the 2600K. It bodes well for this memory controller, which is stellar by any standard. We’ll get to that later though.

3D Benchmarking

For 3D benchmarks, we start with the most CPU-bound (3DMark 06) and move toward the more GPU-bound benches down the list. This is also where we start the clock-for-clock comparison between the 2600K and 3770K, both overclocked to 4.8 GHz.

3DMark06

3DMark06

3DMark06 is an obvious win for the 3770K, with graphics and overall scores coming in ahead of even the 3960X. Clock for clock we’re looking at roughly a 2% increase over the 2600K.

3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage

Vantage also shows the 3770K puling ahead, almost beating the 3960X when overclocked. It pulls away from the overclocked 2600K a bit here too.

3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Yet again in 3DMark 11 the 3770K continues to shine. Where the 2600K lags behind the stock 3960X overclocked, the 3770K at 4.8 GHz even outshines that one. Mark 3D testing a definite win for the 3770K

Gaming

Since CPU testing goes back a ways, I still use some older game benchmarks for testing. It’s a mixed bag, but overall I think it’s good. You get to see marked differences in CPUs you wouldn’t see with, say, Battlefield 3. We’re going to be updating our GPU test suite after Ivy’s launch but for CPUs I like this batch. Anyway, first up is Stalker: Call of Pripyat.

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Stalker: Call of Pripyat

Things are heated in battle here. The 2600K seems to come out slightly ahead when clocked the same. At stock, the “W” goes to the higher-clocked 3770K.

Aliens vs. Predator, HAWX2 & Dirt 2

Aliens vs. Predator, HAWX2 & Dirt 2

Regrettably, AvP wasn’t tested with the 2600K overclocked. At lower detail and stock it actually comes in ahead of the stock 3770K. Higher detail is reversed. HAWX 2 tips toward the 3770K and Dirt 2 seems to be inconclusive at best.

Rendering, Video & Compression

Now we get to some real-world comparisons. If you want to know how a CPU will actually perform, this is where you do it. Rendering, video conversion and compression tests are as close as we can get to actual, everyday use. Starting with the former, we have the pair of Cinebench tests.

Cinebench R10

Cinebench R10

3770K for sure here, almost beating the hex-core 3960X when overclocked.

Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench R11.5

The hex-core SNB-E walks away with R11.5, as does the overclocked 3770K from the 2600K

PoV Ray 3.7 RC3

PoV Ray 3.7 RC3

PoV ray also goes decisively to the 3770K, with a clock-for-clock win of over 6%.

x264 Benchmark

x264 Benchmark

x264 benchmark has two phases, the first is a ‘reading’ pass, where the file to be converted is read; then it actually does the video conversion. Why that is important is that when actually converting video, the 3770K separates itself even more from the 2600K than when just reading the file.

7zip

7zip

Compression is another solid win for the 3770K, stock and overclocked.

In the real world, it looks like the 3770K is doing quite well. In these five benchmarks you have an average increase clock-for-clock of 5.5%. If you take the curve-skewing Cinebench R10 out of the mix, that increase is 6.3%. Not too shabby for just a process shrink.

QuickSync Testing

The 2600K and 3770K both have the ability to use their iGPU for specific computing functions, mostly having to do with video manipulation. Using ArcSoft’s Media Converter 7, we’ll take a look at one of the potential gains you can get with the new 4000-series iGPU. To get these times, I used a 1.12 GB AVCHD, 1080p video file and converted it for use on a Motorola Droid, a phone I happen to have. Basically, converting a video from very large to very small.

It doesn’t take very long to perform this task with the CPUs (both clocked at 3.9 GHz), but when you get that iGPU involved, it really flies.

Media Converter 7

Media Converter 7

When using just the CPUs, you get an expected drop in time of about 7%. When you add the iGPUs into the mix is where Ivy Bridge really takes the 2600K and thrashes it around, with an astounding video conversion time decrease of 58%. If you do any video manipulation, this could be a huge boon for your productivity. There are quite a few applications that can take advantage of this technology, so look through the list and see if it’s something you would use.

QuickSync Applications

QuickSync Applications

2D Benchmarking

This area is what benchmarkers have been looking forward to. Getting right to it, we’ll look at single-core performance courtesy SuperPi 1M and 32M.

SuperPi 1M

SuperPi 1M

SuperPi 32M

SuperPi 32M

Ivy Bridge definitely shows greater efficiency, albeit not by leaps and bounds. There is some time knocked off in both of these, but not anything crazy. Now for full multi-threaded testing via WPrime 32M and 1024M.

WPrime 32M

WPrime 32M

WPrime 1024M

WPrime 1024M

Ivy steps away a bit more here, showing stronger improvements when all cores are engaged. It’s still not a huge amount, but it’s enough to make benchmarkers raise their eyebrows. When considering the benchmarking capabilities of these chips (when frozen), these start to look pretty good.

Clock-for-Clock Comparison

Now let’s check out the overall clock-for-clock picture. These graphs have the percentages reversed, with the 2600K always 100% and the 3770K showing how much better it is than the 2600K. Remember, we’re just looking at a process shrink and a different type of transistor. The micro-architecture is the same between the two chips. Slight increases are expected, but nothing grandiose. AIDA 64 isn’t included in this graph because it wasn’t run clock-for-clock.

Overall Clock-for-Clock Analysis: Scored Benchmarks

Overall Clock-for-Clock Analysis: Scored Benchmarks

The good thing is that Ivy Bridge comes out ahead in every benchmark, as well it should. When you average these increases, you come up with an overall 3.8% improvement over its predecessor, which isn’t bad at all really.

Clock-for-Clock Comparison - Timed Benchmarks

Overall Clock-for-Clock Analysis - Timed Benchmarks

Timed benchmarks have a narrower gap. Multi-threaded WPrime is right there where it should be, exactly in line with the 3.8% improvement seen in the scored benchmarks. Single-threaded clock-for-clock wanes a bit, with only about a 2% increase for both benchmarks. Combined, timed benchmarks gain an average of 2.8% over the 2600K.

Pushing the Envelope

Now we get to the fun part. Or, the supposed-to-be-fun part. You saw above that Ivy Bridge isn’t exactly a cool running architecture in its current state. Unfortunately, that limits ambient overclocking quite a bit. While the CPU very well may be capable of plenty higher overclocks, when using ambient cooling – even on water – it will hit a heat wall pretty quickly.

As mentioned before, the Intel motherboard isn’t going to set any records. It wouldn’t even boot into the OS at 5 GHz. As you’ll see the chip is plenty capable of that, but the board was not. To facilitate ‘pushing the envelope’, and since the Z77-based Maximus V Gene hadn’t arrived yet, I popped the 3770K into the Z68-based Maximus IV Extreme-Z to see what we could come up with.

The really fun part about Ivy Bridge is its memory capability. You see, G.Skill has provided us with a very stellar memory kit to review. Rated for DDR3-2666, they ran just fine at their rated speed and even above that. The Z68 board, however, isn’t cut out for this kind of memory frequency. While it will run after a tweak here and there…and if you hold your foot at the right angle while praying to the memory gods, you’ll need a proper Z77 board to really push this kind of memory (and this kind of IMC) to its limit.

Anyway, as you can gather, heat is a problem. The highest WPrime 32M and 1024M would run and not scare me off with temperatures was 5.0 GHz even. Even there – at rather reasonable voltages I might add – the temperature wall loomed ever present. AISuite’s sensor warnings went crazy with both of these, but it was worse with WPrime 1024, hitting a maximum of 94 °C. Times were great for just 5.0 GHz, but don’t plan on going much farther unless you can freeze your chip.

WPrime 32M @ 5000 MHz

WPrime 32M @ 5000 MHz / DDR3-2666

WPrime 1024M @ 5000 MHz

WPrime 1024M @ 5000 MHz / DDR3-2666

SuperPi went a bit farther. Here we can see just how stellar this memory is, running SuperPi 32M with room-temperature RAM at their crazy rated speed of DDR3-2666. Temperatures were also a problem here, even on a single-threaded benchmark, AISuite’s warnings going off showing temperatures of 82 °C. The time is great though and the IMC is even more so.

SuperPi 32M @ 5100 MHz and DDR3-2666

SuperPi 32M @ 5100 MHz / DDR3-2666

With the quick, painless SuperPi 1M bench we were able to go a little farther to show off both the CPU and the IMC. The CPU reached 5175 MHz and the memory reached DDR3-2760!

SuperPi 1M @ 5175 MHz and DDR3-2760

SuperPi 1M @ 5175 MHz / DDR3-2760

No doubt about it, benchmarkers need extreme cooling to bench these chips successfully. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it – if you plan on benchmarking with Ivy Bridge, you need to freeze these chips. Thankfully that can be done quite successfully. Unlike other Intel chips of late, these have no cold bug (**See caveat above in Overclocking for Stability). Leaks abounding across the internet show successful benchmarking anywhere from ~6.3 GHz for a mediocre chip to ~7 GHz for the best chips.

Ambient overclockers with 5.4 GHz plus Sandy Bridge CPUs may want to hold on to them. Ivy just won’t get there from here, at least in its current iteration. Go cold or go home and be happy with your current Sandy Bridge chip. If you plan on using extreme cooling though, these chips have got ‘it’ where Sandy Bridge never did, with what appears to be consistent 6 GHz + performance.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Ivy Bridge is a mixed bag for overclockers. It is a more efficient process than Sandy Bridge, gaining anywhere from two to seven percent across the benchmark tests. If you manipulate videos with programs that can use QuickSync there is no question, Ivy will save you time and, by extension if you do it for a living, money.

Ambient overclocking for 24/7 use is about the same as Sandy Bridge for all intents and purposes. Depending on what you do with your system, maybe 2-7% is good enough to entice you to upgrade. Maybe you want native USB 3.0 without extra controllers. Maybe you want and/or need PCIe 3.0 for some reason. All of these are not great, but decent reasons to upgrade from Sandy Bridge. That’s a decision only you can make.

If you are happy with your Sandy Bridge chip or are a benchmarker that doesn’t use extreme cooling methods, you probably want to stick with what you’ve got and see how things play out with further stepping revisions, if indeed anything can change.

If you happen to use Sandy Bridge to enhance your ego and absolutely must run 5 GHz for 24/7 operation, keep your chip – these won’t be running at that frequency for 24/7 use unless you use a phase change cooling solution. My Sandy Bridge chip never got there for 24/7 use, topping out at 4.8 GHz. That speed on Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge is plenty for me as it is for the vast majority of overclockers; most would even call that overkill.

If you are a ‘normal’ overclocker (i.e. don’t bench much like us crazy people on the benching team) and waited out Sandy Bridge to see what Ivy had to bring, it’s as good a time as any to upgrade. The extra features (PCIe 3.0, native USB 3.0, Quick Sync, SRT, solid efficiency, decent 24/7 overclocks) are certainly worth the reasonable ~$313 investment (plus motherboard). Haswell will be a long time coming, so it’s well worth it to upgrade from pretty much anything Westmere architecture and before.

Ivy Bridge is a tick. It gives us back extreme overclocking ability on Intel CPUs. It doesn’t shatter the 2nd Generation Core chip’s clock-for-clock performance, because it doesn’t change the microarchitecture. No one expected that and no one should be surprised. Temperatures were a bit of a shocker, but for 24/7 use, while a little warm, they shouldn’t hurt anything.

Ivy Bridge is Overclockers Approved because it does what we want it to do. You can overclock them to plenty high speeds for 24/7 use – pretty much right where you could overclock Sandy Bridge. You can overclock the begeezus out of them under extreme cooling, an added bonus Sandy Bridge never had. You can do it all with more efficiency than the previous generation. Lastly, you can do it with the added bonus of a ridiculously strong memory controller. It’s not perfect, but it ticks in the right direction.

Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

Tags: , , , , , ,

242 Comments:

hokiealumnus's Avatar
Now that you've read the review, we'd also like to show you just a fraction of the exciting coverage to come! Merely in my corner of the world we have a solid motherboard in for testing - the ASUS Maximus V Gene.


But wait, there's more! You already saw the insane speeds the IMC on these chips can produce. We'll also be taking a look at G.Skill's new TridentX DDR3-2666 memory kit, capable of blazing speeds.


You can watch developments on the kit in their preview thread.

There is plenty more to come too! We have reviewers with motherboards galore. We'll be freezing CPUs (this one included), doing so via Livestream as much as possible. Be sure to join us for the fun!
manu2b's Avatar
Thanks! Great review!

EDIT: Next rig will be SB (with lower pricing).
Bobnova's Avatar
Nice in depth review as always!

IB is looking pretty tasty, if only they'd sell me one!

When do we get to see the IB in a MVG?
EarthDog's Avatar
Excellent job in the review Hokie. Thorough and exactly what this community needs to know.

Seems like overall, for most users its MEH over a 2600k, but under extreme cold she really likes to hum!

Now... I have to admit Im incredibly sad about the paper launch. Thats very unlike Intel to do.
dejo's Avatar
seems strange that ivy loses some of its advantage as the clocks are raised. really has me scratching my head. I would love to see the chip brought cold and see if it helps at SB clocks for performance, or if it continues to get closer to what SB does at 5.5ghz or so.
very informative, and great info. Thanks for taking the time to give us insight as to what to expect from this new beast
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Well, it only has more of an advantage at stock because it is clocked 100MHz higher. The loss is by moving them to the same speed.
Brolloks's Avatar
Excellent review Hokie, the clock for clock comparison with 2600k is very telling and probably for 95% of the community somewhat of a dissapointment given the high temps, price etc. For the xtreme community this will bring another set of world breaking benchmarks, so I for one is very excited about this platform

Such a pity we cant buy these on launch day, must be the 1st time as far as I can remember that Intel has no goodies on the shelves at launch day
xander89's Avatar
big bunch of fail , for the regular person/ overclocker this chip has turned into a massive disappointment. I thought the early temp results were exaggerated but having seen this review it seems like intel have shot themselves in the foot

and great review
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Anyone got more links for reviews from other places?
dtrunk's Avatar
great review, more info in one place then I've seen all over the net. epic breakfast read. GJ Hokie.
IntelEnthusiast's Avatar
Thanks for the write up and review Hokieamnus.


Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
Janus67's Avatar
Looks like maybe I shouldn't have purchased 100 shares of Intel a few weeks ago


Here's for high-hopes for Haswell or chip revisions.


Oh, and as always. Awesome review, Hokie!

I think I see a typo:

May want to edit it to say PCI-E 4x instead of 4.0 (and 1x instead of 1.0) for clarification.
Reefa_Madness's Avatar
Nicely done and informative review.
GoD_tattoo's Avatar
Another great and trusted review. Thanks for all your hard work..
Brolloks's Avatar
Hope retail price comes in under 2600k otherwise it will not push current SB users to switch for only an additional 100Mhz and a few points of performance improvement...I'm talking about the regular guy on the street that runs at stock. If not I cant see how IB will be a market winner.
Fever's Avatar
Great review, thanks!

Looks like I'll be sticking with Sandy.
Frakk's Avatar
Good review thanks.

It seems if you already have a SB this is not realy a step up worth that extra money, but good news for those who like to freeze them.

Take nothing away from it it is a good chip and an improvement over SB.
LoneWolf121188's Avatar
The regular person is NOT an OCer. The stock temps are fantastic, as is the GPU performance. Not to mention the insane Quick Sync performance. When the mobile chips drop, the regular person is going to love their new laptops.

Don't forget we aren't even 1% of 1% of Intel's market. The fact that they ship unlocked chips at all is still surprising to me. Intel made some solid improvements that paved the way for Haswell, and those improvements came at a reduced tolerance to Vcore, something that's the least of their worries.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Yep, that's about my view as well. Good summation of my ~6,000 words.
Eldonko's Avatar
Great job man
elari20's Avatar
Great review and great charts
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Aww, I'm all out of "Thanks" for the day (limited number), but thanks guys.
LancerVI's Avatar
Thanks for the review. Great write up!! Sounds like a good proc but.....

....here I am with my i920 X58 setup and I've got the serious upgrade bug!!! But I just can't pull the trigger. If anything, I'd go X79, put a 'low-end' SB-E in there and hope the IB-E's, when they come out, are tip top and OC well. Let's face it....I come here because it's called OVERCLOCKERS.COM and IB just doesn't appear to fit the bill.

I've got my waterloop and rig spec'd out! Everything is tight; but I just can't see spending the money on this for SB or IB. If I do, it's clearly because I just have the bug for a new build!

Maybe it's time for new 120hz monitor or discrete raid controller.
Raymo1's Avatar
Nice review... I think it was a little confusing having the 3970 and 980x with all the comparisons when the true test was with the 26k stock and overclocked.. One HOT MF!!
Break out the cold...
xander89's Avatar
I think that is a massive understatement. The % of people buying a high end unlocked processors are people like us. What percentage of intel's processors sold do you think are high end processors like this? The people who fork out in the 300 mark are generally those who either have an insane amount of cash or are enthusiasts. I doubt well be seeing many dell desktops with this processor in it.

I am not bad mouthing the whole line but rather this specific processor. The majority of people forking out for processors like these are people like us. And of those people only a very small percentage are sub zero over lockers.

I do see where you are coming from. But I think you are also taking my gripe the wrong way. As an indervidual chip this will not sell. Unless they mark it at the same price as the 2700k. Laptops out of the picture here. Also I'd be interested to see temps compared to old i7 laptops considering they would literally burn a hold in your lap after 15 mins XD
'Cuda340's Avatar
Step out for a couple hours & look what i miss.......

Thanks for the write up
Owenator's Avatar
Nice write up Hokie!

I'm more than a little disappointed that it doesn't run cooler than my 2600K. I have a pretty stout system for, now so I'll keep saving for my next upgrade.

Great review and good info!
Jman13's Avatar
"The hottest core measurements are 46% higher with Ivy Bridge."

Arghh....No they are not. The Ivy Bridge core maxes out 7.8% higher in temperature than Sandy Bridge. You CAN NOT USE CELSIUS (or Fahrenheit) for percentage comparisons in temperature. You MUST use Kelvin. Anything else is flat out wrong. I am seeing it all over the place with these IVB reviews and forum posts.

Would you say when it's 1C and it rises to 2C that the temperature doubled? What about 33.8F to 35.6F...is that a 5.3% increase in temperature? Because, well...those are the exact same temperatures. (1C to 2C is 33.8 to 35.6 in F). Of course, the real answer is 1C to 2C is a 0.3% increase. (274.15K to 275.15K).

How about 0C to 4C? Wait, that's an INFINITE increase in temperature right? What about -3C to 6C?

I'd expect better from a technical article.
Owenator's Avatar
Interesting. I missed that part myself. I just read about how much hotter it got. Percentages are not something I tend to look at because they can be misleading.

You are right about the temps needing to be in K or R (Rankine) for a scientific comparison. Luckily this isn't the journal nature, but I'm sure Hokie appreciates the peer review.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
My statement is correct. So is yours. The hottest core measures 46% higher in degrees celsius than Sandy Bridge. That is a correct statement. You may be correct, on a Kelvin scale, the heat increase is only 7.8% in terms of kelvin, but if you're going to be technical, I will to.

I'm sorry to disappoint you.

...and yes, I guess 0C to 4C is an infinite increase in temperature.
LancerVI's Avatar
The differences they note here are close enough to make a difference. Those few C's or F's could mean the difference between a stable system and one that isn't. At least in my experience that's the case.

I disagree with you completely. We're not trying to land a lunar module or anything. Just get a stable OC. Maybe I'm a simpleton.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Good comment Jman13, I never stopped to think about it while reading. A simple oversight really, and probably something few people would think of. I would guess a percentage scale based in units people are used to working with makes the most sense at the end of the day. I don't know how much meaning people would derive from Kelvin units, when 99% of the audience isn't used to working in Kelvin.
Eldonko's Avatar
I think a percentage increase in C is the way to go. Maybe stating the difference in kelvin is (more) correct but it doesnt mean anything to anyone. You have to speak in terms your audience speaks.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
+1.

Jman13, your point is well taken but isn't applicable to our readers, who live in a world where no one measures processor temperatures in Kelvin. If I had broken out Kelvin in the review, there would have been twenty of your posts instead of just one from the other perspective.

Also, unrelated to temperatures, everyone should go check out Shamino's magic. Remember how I said the IMC on these things is insane. Look what happens when you pair it with equally insane memory on LN2.
MattNo5ss's Avatar
The issue is the fact temperature and heat are two completely different things.

Heat is energy. Temperature is just a number that relates to average molecular motion (or kinetic energy of molecules).

The only temperature scale that is directly proportional to the average molecular motion is Kelvin.

So, when comparing temps you can use whatever scale you want, but to compare heat you have to use Kelvin temp scale or Joules.

@ RAM speeds/timings in link!
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Superb link from eldonko @ XS (thanks man): http://youtu.be/bm6ScvNygUU . Very much well worth watching and applicable to the increased temperature issue.
rustyfender's Avatar
hmm this thows into question what to replace my dead 4 month old 2500K with. a 2600K or a 3770K. Its not so cut and dry anymore. since i leave it folding when im not gaming the increased temperature could be a problem. (i have a similar w/c setup to hookie in this article but with more rad)
Eldonko's Avatar
Yah interesting stuff. I wonder how hot next gen will be..
MattNo5ss's Avatar
If you can't RMA the 2500K, then I'd go 2600K for 24/7 folding.
Eldonko's Avatar
Unless you fold at stock then 3770k will run cool and save a ton of power.
rustyfender's Avatar
i was folding at 4.8 on the 2500K and it stuck around 52 deg. from what im seeing folding at 4.8 on a 3770K would put me in the high 80s. eeek. but eldonko has a point it will prolly save quite a bit of power.

hmmmmmmmm
Eldonko's Avatar
I think I would go with a 3770K for folding and a bit of a lower OC. Even at 4600Mhz it should produce what a 2600K does at 4800K (or close) and since you run 24/7 it will make a difference in power bill in the long run.

Good read here on what you can expect for power savings: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...review-22.html
rustyfender's Avatar
thanks for the aricle. good read!
diaz's Avatar
Anyone UVOC yet? whats the lowest voltage you can be stable for 4-4.2 ghz?
EarthDog's Avatar
LOL @ UVOC again... for those that may not know: Under Volt, Over Clock.
muddocktor's Avatar
Nice review hokie! I can't wait to get my retail 3770k when they go on sale to give it a whirl on water and various high end air coolers.
Jman13's Avatar
But it's not a correct statement. Sure, you can say the number in C is 46% higher...but that's a meaningless statement. Let's say you'd measured in F (a scale most of your readers are very familiar with). Your numbers would have been 180F for IB and 133F for SB. So that means the measurements are 35% higher. Which one is correct?

If you don't want to use Kelvin in your article because you think your readers would look at you with a blank stare, then don't use percentage increase on heat, just say that IB runs 26C hotter. It's not a difference in stating things, it's a flat-out inaccuracy. I mean, let's say we had processors that ran at 1C at load, and a new processor had the EXACT same heat increase as IB (7.8%). That would yield a Celsius temperature of 22.4C...an increase of 21C. Would you then write in your article that the new processor ran over 22 times hotter? That it measured 2,200% higher? How misleading would that be? Just because the wrong numbers are less sensational due to the slightly higher starting temperature doesn't mean that they're any less wrong in this case. In this example the actual increase in temperature is identical to the real IB vs SB numbers.

This is not a discussion of 'choice of units' it's a flat out incorrect (or, due to the way you worded it, a horribly misleading) statement.

Anyway, I'm sorry I'm being the adamant jerk here. The review was very well written overall, and I quite enjoyed the article. It's just the engineer in me that has to speak up when I see something like this.
robble's Avatar
Jman, I appreciate the lesson. It's something I never would have thought about. So the lesson here is to not think about percentages and just go with how many degrees higher.

However, I don't think anyone was trying to mislead us by stating percentages. It also works for us ignant laymen =) We don't need the precision an engineer does. From now on though I'll ignore remarks about percentages on temps and just go by the number of degrees higher.



Now back on topic. IB just isn't exciting me as much as I hoped it would. my i5 750 @ 4Ghz seems to be doing everything I do just fine. MAYBE it's bottle necking my 7970 in some games but everything already runs so smooth I'm not noticing it. I am the kind of person who caters to wants more often than needs though so if there had been a big jump I would have bit. I can see where benchmarkers might get excited but I doubt I'll ever go below ambient.

So now, how long until intel's next chip?
jd101's Avatar
so will a i7 3770k do 4.2 with a h80 with out cooking its self ?
Brolloks's Avatar
It should run fine, closer to 4.5 Ghz you might hit the high temps.

Being a 22 nm I suspect running temps above 65C is not good for longevity, maybe Hokie can guide as there?
Bobnova's Avatar
Hokie is absolutely correct to use C in my opinion, CPU temps are measured in C by everybody, including Intel and AMD the people that make the CPUs.

His usage of percentile is 100% accurate as well, it was already defined as being in C.

If you want to be pedantic about it, you've chosen the wrong thing to be pedantic about. Rather than the temp scale being used, go for the percentage itself. Regardless of the scale used you cannot accurately use any method to estimate your eventual temps without knowing the ambient.
If you know your ambient, hokies ambient, and your SB core temps you can estimate your eventual IB core temps using his percentile just fine. Alternatively you can simply look at the degrees over ambient (in C) and estimate that way. Both ways will work fine, neither will be exactly accurate unless you have the same cooler and fan of course.
Which will be closer? Probably *C over ambient.
Straight core temps are even worse than percentiles, degrees over ambient is the real measure of cooling.

Anyway, that's enough being pedantic for me.
The reality of the thing is that if people aren't looking at the hard data they probably don't know exactly what 46% higher means either, or don't care, so it is a moot point.
jd101's Avatar
thanx. i have all new stuff ready and have a gene v z77 .just ant 2 sure to go with a 2700k or 3770k .
EarthDog's Avatar
With a raised TJmax of 105C compared with 95C(?) for SB, I wouldnt think it would be that low...but have no clue personally.
Bobnova's Avatar
I don't think anybody knows yet.
That said, we all need to remember what TJMax really is: TJMax is the temp that Intel thinks the CPU can run at 24/7 for three years. If they didn't think the CPU could survive that they would have a lower TJMax, to prevent Grandpa's Dell's CPU from dying within the warranty period when he never cleans the heatsink.
That, of course, is at stock volts and clocks.
Overclocked nobody knows yet that I am aware of, the only way we find out is when (if) CPUs start dying.

That's the fun(?) of being an early adopter.
Brolloks's Avatar
I guess we will know as soon as we see the 1st one die off.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
Great review!!!! now I just need to find somewhere to purchase one... or two

As I read it, it sounded like the 3960X was run at stock for the benches correct?
EarthDog's Avatar
Anywhere on the 29th it seems.
Janus67's Avatar
So it looks like if you are going to be OCing one of these puppies it wouldn't hurt to spend the extra $25 on the super-warranty-thingy that Intel offers, especially for those of us going sub-ambient.


Here's hoping that Microcenter has a good deal on these chips like they have for the majority of SB's lifetime (granted the cost differential is pretty much covered in the taxes but at least it is instant gratification over waiting a few days for shipping)
Brolloks's Avatar
29th is a Sunday? 27th sounds more practical
Frakk's Avatar
I hate long winded goings on....
Bobnova's Avatar
Z77 NDA dropped on easter sunday, I wouldn't be at all surprised if IB went retail on sunday.
diaz's Avatar
4.5ghz @ 1.1v @ ~ 65c = fantastic..

Im good with that!
rogbur22's Avatar
Awesome article, I was at work all day thinking about the launch and reading all the benchmark goodies and such.

Im thinking I want a 3770 NOW !!!
xsuperbgx's Avatar
Good review Hokie! Very informative. Can't wait for cpu and LN2!
Creep-DK's Avatar
Very nice review Hokie
clash's Avatar
Guess i'll be the Debby Downer... Hard to believe this is what everyone has speculated and got so hyped over, I see no reason to upgrade.
azuza001's Avatar
Excellent review. Looks like I'm going to be sticking with my G850 until the SB 2500K's drop to "omg, that low?" prices or start to become scarce. Unless IB turns out to be cheaper in the end (I doubt it, when has the older stuff ever turned out to be more expensive than the newer stuff in the long run? What's that? Socket 939? I don't remember that )
Genchoppa's Avatar
So now i'm totally confused. I currently am running a I7 950 set up. I have been itching to to move to another platform to play with and enjoy some improvements. Now i just don't know if its worth moving forward...sigh
wingman99's Avatar
I agree with xander89 a little, I think the enthusiasts nowadays accounts for a big margin for the K model for intel. OEM's like dell are selling notebooks, there is not that much need for desktops anymore for most people.

The k model is intels flagship for desktops with enthusiasts around the world.

I feel the % of people buying the k models is much higher than 1% in the desktop world. Just a small sample newegg's top seller is SB k models.

The review here was great and i have read the other reviews on the net for IB and it looks like if you don't overclock allot keep it 4.3GHz to 4.5 GHz on air that will be safe for most people. The core voltage going up seems to be the factor on IB compared to SB.

Even though i don't like IB i think it is a fail for overcloking on air for me, i will get one for the fun of just getting something new.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Just to clarify, Intel very recently confirmed very specifically that the "on ad and sales embargo" is the 29th. Indeed a Sunday. There had been a lot of confusion about the dates for the media versus retail channels, and that is the reason they clarified this.

Fortunately, I'm driving from Cincinnati back home to NE Ohio that Sunday for work. They have a 1 processor limit in the stores, but I can just buy one from Microcenter Cinci and then another from Columbus on the way home.

With the travel ahead, I'm picking up 150L of LN2 tomorrow morning so it will be ready when I come home Sunday night with the goods.
Robert17's Avatar
Thanks for a very nice review. Glad the NDA folks got to go home early too.......
hokiealumnus's Avatar
First, thanks to everyone for the kind words. Sorry I've been busy for a couple hours. If I miss anything requiring a response, don't hesitate to point it out.

You're not being a jerk, and I do get it. I was thinking a mere increase in measured temperature, as a percentage. You're only partially correct though. Even your logic is flawed if you really want to take it a step farther. There is probably very little increased heat, if any, from SNB to IVB. The reason temperatures have increased is because of the new transistor design, compared with the fact that it's manufactured at 22nm. Size is a large part of the temperature problem, as Michio Kaku pointed out in the video posted earlier by ElDonko.

So, truthfully, there is (likely) an equal or lesser amount of actual heat produced; but because of the design and transistor size, temperatures are higher. Thus (in a roundabout way that I didn't get into because the layperson isn't necessarily concerned about these details - and I truthfully didn't even consider it at the time), I might have actually been correctly referencing only the change in temperature, because that's what changed - not the amount of heat produced.

So there.

Yes, that should be fine. The voltage increase for 4.2 is very minimal and most likely won't lead to the high temps you saw in this and other reviews. ~4.5 GHz is where you start to see the greater increases.
Yes, that's correct. I didn't see the point in running clock-for-clock vs. a hex-core CPU.
IMHO, it's a solid step up depending on what you do with the system. If all you do is game, you're good. If you do things that require more processing power, this would be a solid upgrade - complete with lower power consumption.
PolRoger's Avatar
Thanks for the review Hokie!...

With the IB temp wall constraining air/water clocks... I'm not feeling so much now that I need to head over to Micro Center on the ~29th. Still it is always fun to test out new tech.
wingman99's Avatar
hokiealumnus I was wondering when you overclocked IB did it use more power than the SB clock for clock? Did you measure the power with a Kill-A-Watt?

Just wondering if there is more current draw overclocking with the tri-gate transistors.
SupaMonkey's Avatar
Do we know how the non-hyperthreaded version, the 3570, will heat up with overclocking?
Audioaficionado's Avatar
I'm 3 gens behind. So IB would be a win-win for me.
xrror's Avatar
So when is someone gonna pop the IHS on one of these

EDIT: ouch, so I see it's been done - http://hwbot.org/forum/showpost.php?...&postcount=107

That's not a fun shape to try and cover with heatpipes...
manu2b's Avatar
^That's what I was about to ask!

EDIT: but with a living CPU
GeneO's Avatar
That's what the IHS is for
manu2b's Avatar
I might sound dumb, but none of my graphic cards have IHS: the HSF is in direct contact with the die.
SupaMonkey's Avatar
Does the IGP take load away from my GPU or is it redundant unless i am running a system with no GPU?
pwnmachine's Avatar
Excellent review, but I think it will be quite a while till SB needs a TRUE upgrade...
Frakk's Avatar
The IGP is not going to boost your stand alone GPU in anyway.

[Edit] actually there might be some third party software that will hock your IGP to your GPU, i just cant remember what it was.
Badbonji's Avatar
Whilst it doesn't seem to be much of a step up from SB, I will probably buy one in the summer. I could do with a lower amount of heat in my room! Plus with the high temperature when overclocking will mean my water cooling has work to do...
xander89's Avatar
Eh? how will this chip cool your room down XD. If anything your rads are going to giving off alot more heat!
xander89's Avatar
so would a SB :P
EarthDog's Avatar
200W is 200W. Doesnt matter if it comes from a heatsink or a radiator. (Or in this case 77W vs 95W)

Yes. Yes it will. Lucid Logix MVP.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
@ Hokie
Thanks for confirming 3960X speeds. I was just curious because I recently purchased an 3930K and am glad to see it (X79) doing well. Once overclocked it should maintain a healthy lead
hokiealumnus's Avatar
You can run programs that use QuickSync -mostly video editing/manipulating/converting- on the iGPU. Those programs can run their specific tasks MUCH faster using QuickSync. The problem is,
What he said:
(Thanks ED)
NP, you're fine with SNB-E; especially with multi-threaded tasks. Put it this way, if the choice were between keeping a 3930K I already had and replacing it with a 3770K, I'd keep the 3930K.
diaz's Avatar
incorrect.. It is only hotter at the core where the temps are taken. The heatsink only has to deal with 77watts vs the 95 of SB for example. The heatsink should still be quite cool to the touch on most occasions with IB.
dominick32's Avatar
Hokie, I just want to say this is one of the most well done reviews I have read in a LONG TIME! Excellent and excellent work brother. I am very proud of my OCF bretheren.
wingman99's Avatar
Thats incorrect IB at 4.8GHz oc is 277 watts load and stock it's 134W load. My SB at 4.8GHz is 233 watts.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Why thank you dominick, coming from you that means a ton!

(Not to take away from all the other wonderful people's kind words. Dom is just special. )
fall's Avatar
Great review!

I think i will stick with my 2600k for the mean time and just get a Z77 board
diaz's Avatar
Yeah.. all bets are off when you crank the voltage on IB though.. out of curiosity, whats the power consumption on a similar clocked SB?
EarthDog's Avatar
I have to ask, knowing what Z77 brings to the table, what would compel you to get rid of your current board?

Well, the problem is you are comparing two different systems... mobo's, ram, hdd, etc. So though it may not make up the difference, its tough to compare non like systems and come to a conclusion. That and, he mentioned stock you go to overclocked to prove your point... LOL!
Badbonji's Avatar
The IB CPU will use a lot less power than my Core i7 965 - the first gen was pretty power hungry, let alone when overclocked. Sure the temperature of the die will be hotter, that is just because it is higher density.
xander89's Avatar
so if Intel actually sorted out the heat transfer between the actual chip/ lid the heat issues wouldnt be anywhere near as bad? Or is it down to the cip being so much smaller?

sorry for the crude questions. Its just its weird to think that a processor roasting at 80+ c would give off less heat than the 50c processor. But as it was mentioned IB uses even more W's when OC'd. Slightly cofused :P

Ah ok bad bonj. Thought you were on the Sb for some reason :S
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
We don't know yet how they are adhering the heatspreader to the chip. They could be using the soldering method they've used on more recent chips, or they may have gone back to a more traditional TIM. The only picture I've seen of a delidded IB chip did not appear to be soldered on... If it isn't soldered, part of the temperature problem when overclocked is VERY LIKELY due to the interface between IHS and die.
xander89's Avatar
yer thats what i saw, the delidded processor looked totally freee of solder. Seems a bit illogical not to solder it :S reasons?
diaz's Avatar
A lower temp on SB only means a more efficient heat transfer to the cooling solution. IB is getting hotter simply because the heat transfer isnt as efficient. As mentionned, this could be because of a TIM on the ISH instead of solder, or because of the power is concentrated on an even smaller area - or a combination of both. In both situations, it is more difficult to rid the chip of heat since the heat is both very concentrated in a pin-sized area, and there is a TIM gap preventing efficient transfer.. in addition to the other TIM used by the cooler.
muddocktor's Avatar
Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly with I.M.O.G. about this. If they aren't doing the flusless bonding process between the IHS and processor die, then you will have severe problems getting the heat to transfer to the heatsink because the traditional (and old fashioned and cheap) TIM process is much less efficient. I have also seen that several reviews have given the processor die a size of 160 mm as compared to the SB having a die size of 216 mm. If Intel is still actually using the fluxless soldering bonding process, then we are seeing power density problems such as Intel started having back in the day of single core P4 days.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
I'm trying to get an answer from Intel about the thermal interface question. I'll share that info if I get it.
PanteraGSTK's Avatar
Fantastic review. Coming from the system in my sig IB is obviously a good upgrade. I plan to OC to ~4.5ghz depending on temp. The higher temps with IB have me wondering what cooler will be needed to keep things in check. Do I grab one of the new Corsair all-in-one water cooling units, or a gigantic air cooler. I'm used to the big air coolers, but I'd like my cpu to last a while.

Thoughts?
fall's Avatar
Boot loop issues (thought i fixed but didnt), Resets Cmos on reboot

but aside from actual issues I would like a smaller foot print now as I barely use the power I have.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
I'd say a Noctua NH-D14 would be great on these if you want a solid air cooler. If you want water, I'd get something with a dual radiator (H100), custom water loop or not waste your time with water. The single-rad coolers are, for the most part, no better than you can get with a top-end air cooler.
Owenator's Avatar
Power density is exactly what I was thinking! It's funny how technology repeats itself.

As far as TIM vs solder, I would think that solder - a metal - is better than a non-metal TIM. I wonder if they did this on all chips or maybe just the demo's. Are they really exactly the same as the production versions? Or are they one offs made up just for demo's. That may be why the one the guy opened up had a TIM and not solder. I think that is what IMOG is going to ask Intel to find out.
PanteraGSTK's Avatar
That was my thinking as well. Thanks. I'm going to end up waiting for a new revision. Not in too much of a hurry to upgrade at this point. I'm willing to bet we'll have another G0 like revision on our hands once they figure a few things out.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Got my answer back from Intel... It isn't solder or TIM!

It is, and I quote, "secret sauce".

I urge you to go out and hound anyone with a dead Ivy Bridge, get them to delid (if its already dead a hammer and a screwdriver works well), and please report back with the findings... I'll write you personalized and deeply heartfelt love letters if your findings also include pictures posted here.
diaz's Avatar
LOL !! Secret sauce = TIM as far as im concerned..
Janus67's Avatar
SIM
TILDER

What is it?!
MattNo5ss's Avatar
This really makes me want to delid one, I've always dreamed of heartfelt love letters from glorious leader...
hokiealumnus's Avatar
I'll torture our ES and delid it if you'll buy me a retail. It is for science after all!
Brolloks's Avatar
Ask Dolk, he will know
durrem's Avatar
Hmm, sounds like another Prescott. Harder to dissipate the heat, for not much gain.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Most likely a material like diamond dust or other non capacitive/inductive matrix.
As long as it equals or exceeds solder's thermal conductivity. There had to be a good technical reason for Intel to abandon soldered IHS, not just a few pennies per/cost savings. Maybe soldering the IB drastically reduces final yields due to the thermal stress of the soldering process on the tri-gate 22nm denser structure.
robble's Avatar
I wonder if the $25 intel insurance would cover the lid "popping off" by "itself"
bmwbaxter's Avatar
unlikely since that is physical damage
diaz's Avatar
Maybe if the IHS was disloged while applying the intel HSF while following Intel instructions?

Bobnova's Avatar
Sauce definitely implies a liquid of some sort, not many people will say sauce about solder :P

Given the slab of copper over the top I seriously doubt conductivity/inductivity/capacitivity matters much
diaz's Avatar
Its the only barrier left... delid to confirm what is causing/influencing the thermal buildup.. If it makes little difference, then it is because of the chip's density. But if it makes a very big difference, then Intel has some adjustments to make..
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
FWIW in the context it was given to me, the literal translation of "secret sauce" would be "we aren't going to tell you". It wasn't meant to actually imply anything about the nature of the interface material. I might have caused a little confusion with my humor in the previous post.

Personally, I have little grounds to believe anything, but I believe they haven't used solder on Ivy Bridge where we are seeing high temps... With a delid to eliminate the extra heat interface and the IHS barrier, and some modification to the socket area to allow good direct contact with the die, I think temps would be a lot better, like in the 15-20C better range.
diaz's Avatar
Has anyone checked the flatness of the IHS yet? People use to be obsessed with that.. havent seen a comment about it yet.. Its a pretty easy measurement..

Anybody want to lap one?
Bobnova's Avatar
Intel's new TIM:


EarthDog's Avatar
Or rest a known flat surface across it (razor blade). I think some waterblocks and regular heatsinks are already bowed slightly anyway? Not certain.

Still worth it to find out!
Robert17's Avatar
Silly me. I thought it was Aloe Vera and cold beer........always makes the heat go away at the beach.
wingman99's Avatar
I don't believe it's power density intel knows what the doing when it comes to die shrinks

QUOTE:You can also increase a chips dynamic power density by cramming more transistors into the same amount of surface area.
LINK: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/01/8716.ars

However there is 47.3% more surface area with 22nm compared to SB so there is no cramming involved.

Mater of fact intel had so much surface area they shrunk the die from 216 mm to 160 mm and they are able to keep the same density because there is 47.3% more surface are switching to 22nm

IB runs cooler also has lower power use at stock compared to SB

Comparing Prescott scaled only a measly 12% beyond Northwood, which was attributed to the very high power consumption and heat output of the processor. LINK:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4

So the die shrink was not the problem with prescott either.

So that leaves the new TRI gate transistor.
Here is intels PDF on tri gate it's what I feel gets it hot overclocking.
QUOTE:Inversion layer area increased for higher drive current LINK:http://download.intel.com/newsroom/k...esentation.pdf
Bobnova's Avatar

Smaller die = less surface area. The die size is a measure of surface area.
They aren't talking about the amount of space a transistor takes up, they're talking about how many transistors are in a given die size.
wingman99's Avatar
Yes i know it's not the same system to compare, I was just showing diaz load overclocking watts on IB and my SB also ldle watts on IB so he will know how hot it can get.

However since you brought up overclocking watts SB vs IB i wll be doing that when i purchase a IB.
wingman99's Avatar
Yes i agree and when you shrink to 22 nm you can fit more in the same space without cramming transistors, so the power density stays the same.

intel does not pack more transistors in the same space, there shrunk so you can fit more and they reduced the die size also some times because they have more surface area than needed, intel knows what there doing when it comes to transistor and tracers shrinking.
Bobnova's Avatar
No, the power density goes up. 95w in 200sq mm is a higher power density than 95w in 250sq mm, for example.
Same power, smaller space, more power density.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
TDP is 77W for IB bobnova. 95W is marked on the boxes so that board manufacturers design to the 95W spec for Z77, otherwise they could design for 77W TDP, and then you'd have Z77 boards that weren't fully compatible with Sandy Bridge.
Bobnova's Avatar
Did we get confirmation of that from Intel, or is that just based off one third party site?

Even with a 77W TDP you get the following:
SB has 0.43981 watts per square mm.
IB has 0.48125 watts per square mm.

So power density did go up, even with a 77w TDP.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
77W was confirmed directly from Intel.
Bobnova's Avatar
Good to know, thanks.
I was hoping it was.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
You are right about the power density, I did the math on it as well after posting that - because I assumed it was higher... But really it isn't higher by much. (not enough to explain the temp problems in my opinion, but lack of solder between the IHS would explain it well)
Bobnova's Avatar
The non-solder TIM is my bet as well. .43 to .48 is a jump, but it isn't that big.
It also seems like the 3d transistors may leak a lot at higher voltage levels. That was something I noticed with BD as well, at stock volts it ran pretty cool, raise the volts a bit and that changed rapidly. More rapidly than with previous chips I've worked with.

We may be entering an era of heat output not following voltage in the classic way.

If it wasn't a $300 puck I'd rip the IHS off mine when they get here, but as it is I can't really afford to throw $300 out the window. Clearly I can to an extent as I intend to bench the hell out of them, but high voltage and LN2 seems safer than a razor blade.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Well if you kill it fairly soon after you get it, you could just do an autopsy and send out the special sauce for analysis
Bobnova's Avatar
I'll drive up to medford and borrow yours
Need to go up there and hit the kart track again someday anyway
wingman99's Avatar
Did SB have solder between the IHS? I now see that there is higher power density by a little, however intel says IB runs cooler stock and we know at stock it uses less watts than SB.

Matt i hope intel will talk with you about the overcloking with excessive heat being generated needing excessive cooling.

EDIT my sandy bridge runs so cool and fast compared to 45nm core2 quad and IB seem like a big step backwards for air cooling.
muddocktor's Avatar
I can think of a couple of reasons why Intel might have gone back to the traditional TIM between the IHS and slug (if they did so).

1. No competition from AMD, meaning that they didn't need any higher ambient overclocking than they already have with SB for enthusiasts that don't go cold. Let's face it, nothing AMD is producing can hang with a 2600k, much less IB.

2. More profits. Smaller cores, more good dies per wafer and money savings by using a cheaper IHS>Core bonding process, offset just a little by slightly more expensive wafers=insane profits for Intel.
Bobnova's Avatar
TIM is far cheaper than the specialized solder they were using. Even high end TIM.
I bet it saves a decent amount per chip in time and heating too.

They split the 775 stuff, e7xxx and lower were TIM, e8xxx and higher were soldered.
P4s were all soldered, they were too hot not to be.
JigPu's Avatar
Great article The power figures are impressive, but I'm still happy with my Sandy Bridge system. Undervolting the chip, I can run 24/7 at full load with my fans inaudible and still have reasonable temperatures.

This.

If you want to indicate a the difference in terms of percent, do it on deltaT, not T itself. In addition to being a more meaningful statement, it has the nice property of being applicable to *any* unit: if your deltaT doubles in Celsius then it also doubles in Fahrenheit.

JigPu
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Secret Sauce Revealed: Looks like non-solder TIM to me (Thanks to pt1t):

109014

Now, let's refer back to the recent past (thanks to Muddocktor), the E6XXX series of Conroe chips were much easier to cool compared to the E4XXX series. The original Conroes used the bonded TIM, and the E4XXX series used the traditional TIM.
rge's Avatar
Well that settles that question, thanks for posting that.

Also the E7200 (which had paste) had higher core temps and also had more issues with higher temp differences between cores than soldered counter parts.

Makes direct die cooling attractive again, well except the issues with increased risk of mobo/cpu shorting from having to alter/remove cpu socket and suboptimal contact between cpu and mobo. Good for testing, more risky for 24/7 use.

I wonder if could get ahold of any solder attach or newer die attaches, some 2x higher thermal conductance than indium solder, indium graphene 160 w/mk vs solder 80 w/mk. But my guess is none would sell 1-2 units.

Either that or new direct die waterblock sold with new socket attach
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Thank you for that; and you're absolutely correct. Ambient was very close to the same between the two within two degrees Celsius. I'm kicking myself for not measuring when I took it, but that room stays very close to 23C, ticking a degree or two one way or the other (except in the middle of summer, when it can heat up more). Kicking myself for forgetting to actually measure the temperature. I guarantee ambient temps were within two degrees of each other though.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Looks like you would want to mount the board so this delidded processor lays flat and the heat sink will be sitting on top rather than hanging off of it.

Bobnova's Avatar
Pretty bad contact there too, looks like there was a gap all the way around that was filled with TIM.
Frakk's Avatar
Bobnova... yeah.

That TIM looks pretty think between the DIE cap and the Heat Spreaders contact plate.

Is there any sort of contact between the two or is it a gap filled with TIM?

I would not like to see anywhere near that much TIM between the Heat Spreader and the CPU cooler contact plate when i occasionally pull it off to reapply.

I would wonder WTF i was thinking the last time i applied.
Bobnova's Avatar
The reality of modern TIM is that you cannot put too much and have it cause temp issues. Modern TIM thins under heat and squishes out the side. You can put too much on and have an entertaining cleanup time. You can put too little on and have temp issues. Too much? No.
If there is a gap with TIM in it, it means that the two surfaces mechanically cannot come closer together, the TIM will not stop them from getting closer if other factors allow it.
Janus67's Avatar
So basically ideally we wouldn't see any TIM on the die/heatspreader area then if it was making perfect/near-perfect contact?
bmwbaxter's Avatar
I hope this is only going to be an issue with review samples and ES chips. Hopefully retail will fair much better.

The contact between core and IHS is horrible! No wonder temps are so bad.
Bobnova's Avatar
We'd see a very thin fairly translucent layer, rather than the thick opaque one shown.
Frakk's Avatar
Yes this is why i asked, i would bow to Bobnova's expertise.

My thinking was the TIM is purely a conduit to the heat spreader / cooler, i would have thought the more TIM there is between them the more it actually acts like a barrier.

I use AS5 and very thinly, just a very fine transparent layer and i get great temps like that on a really crappy cooler.

My thinking was if the HS was hard pressed against the DIE cap with only a fine layer of TIM in the way it would conduct heat more efficiently, thus temps might improve (if you can make it a tighter fit)
Owenator's Avatar
It looks like Intel is not doing the TIM thing quite right IMHO.

Optimally TIM is only supposed to fill in the microscopic surface imperfections that cause gaps between two surfaces making heat transfer possible in the gaps via the TIM but still letting the two surfaces touch where they can. Too much and you have the TIM acting as another barrier to heat transfer that would otherwise occur where the surfaces "line up" and touch.

<-- White here is TIM. And this application looks to thick.

From TIM article here: http://www.electronics-cooling.com/1...e-materials-2/

A technical paper on TIM testing: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0709/0709.1849.pdf
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Functionally, it doesn't matter if the TIM is ideal or not in application.

A solder joint instead of TIM is many times more effective at conducting heat.

By using TIM, they have effectively turned the "heatspreader" into a heat barrier. The conduction of heat would be far more effective if it was die->TIM->heatsink. Die->TIM->heatspreader->TIM->heatsink is bad for heat transfer... same as we found on older chips that used TIM rather than solder under the IHS.

If the paste is applied right or not is only a matter of varying degrees of bad. It cant be good even if applied well.

Article forthcoming summarizing the problem.
Owenator's Avatar
I agree. You said it better than me.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Unless the photographer cleaned up the processor first, it almost looks like a solidified mass that only adhered to the IHS as it was peeled off.
madhatter256's Avatar
Nice article. About the TIM between the heatspreader and core... I thought it was some sort of heat conducting epoxy?

Guess I'll hold on to my Nehalem i7 920 a bit longer until Intel releases a more OC friendly CPU.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Not epoxy, fluxless solder. Intel has patents filed describing it, I linked them somewhere, maybe earlier in this thread.
Bobnova's Avatar
Think Indigo Extreme, except much much stickier once melted.
mxer657's Avatar
still can't find a place to buy it lol
hokiealumnus's Avatar
They're not for sale until the 29th in the US.
Don Karnage's Avatar
Sunday the 29th is the official launch day
Ace.'s Avatar
I test my 3770K today a little bit

Janus67's Avatar
awesome temps for the 4.5ghz overclock. Also that is a crazy low voltage, very nice. What cooling are you using?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Knowing Ace, it's a very nice looking water loop.
Ace.'s Avatar
yea ia have Watercooling.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Here's the temperature issue explained more comprehensively:
Ivy Bridge Temperatures
Galgotha's Avatar
Ace's test comforts me. The released batch must be hit or miss on temp. Retail version hopefully will be check for quality control. They got to be with now including warranties for overclocking.
EarthDog's Avatar
He's on water and stock v/undervolted. His temps I do not believe to reflect more common water setups and especially air. Here is to hoping that is right though!
PanteraGSTK's Avatar
One would think Intel could fix the TIM issue very quickly if they see it as an issue. Once the initial batch is released they can change to their proprietary substance that they used in SB and we'd all be happy. Whether or not that will actually happen...
hokiealumnus's Avatar
It's not a matter of changing substances, but of changing types of interface. Solder is much better than TIM for conductivity and is more than a mere changing of substance as far as implementation.
EarthDog's Avatar
Ok, so who has the....intestinal fortitude.... to delid a working IB, and put the solder on the die and relid to really test this theory out?

I believe it to be true, it is logical, however Im curious to know exactly how much difference it makes.
Janus67's Avatar
I'm sure you could get one of those sponsored guys who gets a tray of CPUs to bin to do it
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Remember, this isn't ordinary solder - it's a special fluxless blend made by and for Intel. The temperature to melt is (most likely) far lower than your typical lead-based or RoHS solder. If any action is to be taken, it should probably be de-lidding to directly cool the die. Trying to solder the IHS back on is soldering-iron-assisted-CPU-suicide.
Frakk's Avatar
Just take the bloody lid off and file the height of it down so it fits tightly on the DIE cap...
Don Karnage's Avatar
Overall impressions with the Maximus V? Best Z77 board?
Eldonko's Avatar
Was curious after reading that Anand article about undervolting where they did 4.5 at 1.1v so tested for myself. More like 4.3 for me. Average temp after an hour of load = 46C.

Audioaficionado's Avatar
Kind of a left field question, but anyone hear whether the IB-E will be unlocked or not?
diaz's Avatar
Not bad... What motherboard? Chip is always a factor (VID etc..), but the voltage regulation also makes a difference.
Eldonko's Avatar
Board is Max V Gene. Using Ultra High LLC so voltage stays at exactly 1.1v under load.
h4rm0ny's Avatar
Although its rarely helpful just to post "^This", I'm really tempted right now. I'm glad there's someone else out there who understands what % of temperatures actually mean (or rather don't). It's like when someone calls Internet Explorer "The Internet" or calls the monitor "the computer" and the box thing under the table "the hard drive". It's obvious what they're trying to say but the wrong thinking behind it just makes the teeth grind of everyone else.

Other than that, really good article! Thanks.

EDIT: Whoops. I see I'm not in the majority on this. Well "bah!" I say! We shouldn't leave bad maths lying around where kids might read and accept it! Wont someone please think of the children!
bmwbaxter's Avatar
I am sure they will have some kind of unlocked chip. Whether that be a K or X version or both I don't know.
rge's Avatar
When discussing cpu cooling by air or water, it is delta T that is relevant. The starting point is defined as AMBIENT temps when discussing cpu cooling, not 0 kelvin, delta T is core temp - ambient. Without ambient, cpu temps are not defined. Not only do you need to be mathematically correct, you also need to be technically correct for the field being discussed. It is not technically acceptable to define a delta percentage based on 0 degrees kelvin when discussing delta core-ambient, unless 0 kelvin is your ambient, in which case you have larger concerns. I have less of an issue with Hokies terminology than yours.
Robert17's Avatar
Historically questioning: does Intel bond the CPU and IHS differently on overclockable vs. non-OC chips?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Just to reiterate - the chip is not producing 46% more heat, thus the Kelvin thing is not useful regardless. It is likely producing a very similar amount or even less heat actually. The issue is core temperatures, not heat. We also have a likely reason for the temperature issue.

The CPU itself should be running a bit cooler as far as actual heat production goes. It is going to run at a higher temperature though due to the new transistor design, the increased power density and the change from solder to TIM under the IHS. Temperature was my point, and remains my point.

If rge is correct and I should have used delta, things change dramatically for the worse. Unfortunately I did not measure the ambient temperature at the time, but in that room (except in the dog days of summer) it is within two degrees of 23C, most of the time right on it. So, we can extrapolate from there.

Delta from ambient to hottest core
2600K: 33C (56-23C)
3770K: 59C (82-23C)
All +/- 2C

Thus, the percentage increase of the delta is actually much worse than using zero as the starting point. Best case (Sandy's measurement being +2C and Ivy's being -2C), you're looking at 62.9%. Worst case in that deviation (Sandy being -2C and Ivy being +2C) would be 96.8%. Right in the middle is 78.9%, much worse than starting from zero.
Janus67's Avatar
I do not believe so, intel chips have been overclockable for quite some time, it wasn't until SB that they had the different 'unlocked' vs 'locked' chips and with the small variation in Bclk it made it so that there actually was a chip better for OCing [minus the extreme editions in years past]. There have been different models (I believe it was said that C2D e4*** chips used TIM while e8*** [and maybe 6***?] series used Solder.
Eldonko's Avatar
Yeah should be similar to SB-E Im thinking, K and X versions.
Bobnova's Avatar
Solder would be a Thermal Interface Material too though.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Yep. SB was solder and its thermal sheet has the same diagram.
Frakk's Avatar
Looking through the most obvious segments have not yet found any info on what the DIE to HIS materials are, no mention of solder or thermal compound, nothing at all.
Bobnova's Avatar
I doubt it's listed, that document is for motherboard and system manufacturers, what the TIM is made out of is not their problem.
Frakk's Avatar
I guess we will have to wait for someone with money to throw away to delid a retail Ivy and see if it pulls the DIE cap off with the HIS.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Where did you see that?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
He may have been referring to the VR-Zone piece based on our article, which is incorrect. The IHS is nickel-plated copper.
EarthDog's Avatar
That was posted at TPU by their newsie.
Frakk's Avatar

Your very slow.... i edited my post and removed that statement looooooooooooooooooong before you quoted that, like 25 minutes before.
Did you have the quote sitting there for that time before you posted it or what?

I read the actual materials in Intel's data sheet myself and corrected it.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
"Secret Sauce" is pretty self explanatory

Edit: this thread grew since I last refreshed the page
EarthDog's Avatar
The difference in looks between solder and TIM should be enough to discern. Also if you lap a CPU IHS, you will see there is copper underneath.
dtrunk's Avatar
i want to cry. so happy for IB then this crap. like WTF @ intel. mayb they did this to force tjmax when OC, instead of providing good dissipation for OCs that the IBcpu will most likely do. guess i might be waiting for the second revision of this?

Has that intel rep said anything more yet? what where they thinking at intel? GRRRR so mad.
Frakk's Avatar
It is just possible the retail versions are soldered, these ones are pre launch samples and are just sort of (glued together)

Or that might be wishful thinking, what you see is what it is.
Janus67's Avatar
Why would they send review samples that a lot of people would base a purchase on that performed anything but as good as possible?
EarthDog's Avatar
That and there is a link in this thread, I thought, that shows Shamino delidded his, which I think is retail(?), that shows TIM.

Doesnt make sense to me that it would be different. BUT, I have been known to be wrong before.

I mean, what does it take to believe its not solder? Chemical analysis?
manu2b's Avatar
Only when you don't have enough sleep
Frakk's Avatar
Your asking me? you should direct that question at Intel, i don't know...

I'm just looking at possible reasons why when sandy and just about every other CPU since way back when is soldered and Ivy is not.

Why would they do that? i'm asking you
Ace.'s Avatar
4Ghz runs good it's possible 4Ghz under 1V

109096

EDIT by IMOG: Uploaded the image to our site, the image was hosted externally before (abload.de), and the hosting site had malware advertisements.
PanteraGSTK's Avatar
Sooo...are people still lapping their IHS? I did that with my first core2 and it made a noticeably decent difference in temps.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
It fell out of fashion and was basically not as important as it once was. Maybe that will change with this generation. Time will tell.
diaz's Avatar
That's what I think... if you can minimize the effect of the TIM based ISH, the only real control is to improve the contact at the cooler mount.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Actually I have access to every edit you've done. Just wanted to know where you saw that incorrect info.
Frakk's Avatar
Concidering i removed it some 25 minutes before don't you think it would have been better to PM me instead of quoting what was no longer there?

I mean do you often go around replacing what respondents removed from there posts by way of your privileges later on in your own quotes?

Anyway, i think it came from TPU.

@ xander89.. lol that made me laugh
xander89's Avatar
oh trust me i got more where that came from :P
joshhua5's Avatar
Since you've delidded the 3770K, why don't you test the new temperatures?
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Picture caption references the source of the picture, which was pt1t, a member who originally shared a delidding pic on hwbot.org. I contacted him to get another picture showing the actual underside of the IHS - we have not delidded our sample, as we are depending on it for other reviews currently in our pipeline. (and we are being wusses about it)
joshhua5's Avatar
Was hoping to see the results, Just delidded my Athlon 630, four pins were broken before hand so it was just out of interest

Placing a heatsink in the oven at 225C then placing it on top of the CPU to melt the solder and get the ISH off, because you've creative.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Hey!

I represent that remark...

EDIT - Shamino says IHS-less helped OC on air, but didn't specify how much. It wasn't expected to, and indeed didn't, help with extreme overclocks. (Reference.)
Audioaficionado's Avatar
Nope I caught it live before your edit. I had several tabs open and didn't get around to posting until after the ninja edits
Robmoo's Avatar
Almost reeady to go on sale.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
The CPU die is only a single layer thick correct?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
I'm not sure what you mean. There aren't two dies stacked on top of one another, no.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
Sorry for my vagueness, I mean are the transistors only 1 layer thick accross the whole die? Or is there places where stuff(any component) is atop another one?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Not to my knowledge, but it's not something explicitly stated one way or the other.

From my own limited knowledge, it would seem very hard to stack transistors on top of one another, requiring additional silicon substrate on top of the first transistor, which would make cooling the first layer excessively difficult - the second layer would act as an insulator to the first. Yea, I'll go with 'most likely not' as an answer.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
Thanks, I only asked because I was having a discussion with a friend about it and didn't know but I stated the same hypothesis as you. I figured if anyone was privy to that info it would be you since you reviewed it.

Depending on how far down the rabbit hole I wannna go I might PM Dolk
tangletail's Avatar
I should be impressed, but I am hounestly not impressed. I do like the new tech they have... but it's still kinda... bad. It may be at the top, but the cheaper alternatives, or the out dated models aren't to far behind from the 3770k. So... I really don't believe an upgrade should be necessary to anyone.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
I think I'll just skip the IB desktop and wait for the 3rd gen mobile platforms. We'll see what IB-E looks like when it comes out.
bmwbaxter's Avatar
Bigger and meaner!!! Hopefully they will release and 8c/16t for desktop
Janus67's Avatar
Maybe they'll solder that IHS to the core.

muddocktor's Avatar
I surely hope so, since LGA2011 is supposed to be enthusiasts/workstation grade equipment and not consumer grade stuff. If they don't, there will be no compelling reason to go IB-E instead of SB-E for enthusiasts running ambient cooling.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
I'm also very limited in my knowledge of the actual engineering as well, so I don't know if the transistors themselves are packaged on one plane/layer. However I do know there are many layers (dozens, perhaps many more) within the chip that interconnects all the circuitry. There are interesting pictures and explanations if you google for things like electron microscope and CPUs.

This is one example I've seen linked around here before:
http://www.sciencystuff.com/
bmwbaxter's Avatar
Thanks.

My question was mainly about the transistors any components. Not the interconnect pathways. Those pictures makes me appreciate the people who deisgn and implement this stuff.
Audioaficionado's Avatar
I could see a couple of these on an EVGA SR-X workstation board running flat out on my desktop
Yeah they'd better
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