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Intel Haswell i7-4770K & i5-4670K Review

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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System Benchmarks: Single Thread Performance

System Benchmarks: Single Thread Performance


Even though most modern applications have the capability to utilize more than one CPU thread, single threaded performance is still a cornerstone of modern CPU IPC improvements. In this section, we take a number of synthetic applications and run them in single thread mode.

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RESULTS: Considering substantial effort was put into improving Haswell's single thread performance, these results are simple vindication for Intel. Both processors stay well ahead of the competition and Intel's last generation CPUs.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Productivity Benchmarks: 7-Zip / MediaCoder

Productivity Benchmarks


In this section, we will avoid generalized synthetic benchmarks and instead concentrate upon CPU performance within real-world applications and standard usage patterns. Every one of the programs included here has functions that many professionals and everyday users utilize in their day to day computing lives.


7-Zip


At face value, 7-Zip is a simple compression/decompresion tool like popular applications like WinZip and WinRAR but it also has numerous additional functions that can allow encryption, decryption and other options. For this test, we are avoiding its built-in benchmark and once again only focus upon real world testing by compressing a 2.6GB folder of various files and adding an AES-256 encryption layer for good measure. The test is timed until it is complete.

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RESULTS: AES encryption / decryption is one of Haswell's strengths so its only natural that both processors remain well ahead of their immediate competition. However, this is one area where AMD's FX-series makes a comeback with some strong results as well.


MediaCoder x64


Due to the varying compatibility of certain mobile devices, video transcoding performance has become something of a big deal. Transcoding allows one type of video / audio file to be converted into a different format and it typically takes up a huge amount of system resources. The MediaCoder application brings multi format transcoding to an accessible level with numerous options and acceleration for Intel’s QuickSync and NVIDIA’s CUDA technologies. In addition, its CPU support allows for full multi core utilization. In this test, we use the MediaCoder i-devices edition to convert a 600MB AVCHD file to an iPhone 4S friendly MPEG-4 format.

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RESULTS: In what is becoming a reoccurring story, Haswell is a good 10-15% ahead of Ivy Bridge processors in this test.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
12,841
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Montreal
Productivity Benchmarks: Photoshop CS6 / POV Ray 3.7

Productivity Benchmarks (pg.2)



Adobe Photoshop CS6


For the image editing portion of this section, we use Photoshop CS6 in coordination with a custom benchmark script. This script automates the application of 20 different image manipulation functions to a 120MB PNG image, acting as an excellent test of CPU power and memory bandwidth. For this test, we have disabled GPU acceleration so it won’t play a factor in the areas where it would typically be used. We use Photoshop’s built-in timing feature to provide a result at each test stage.

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RESULTS: While Photoshop has never been truly multi thread optimized, the i7 4770K and i5 4670K hit the top of the charts with some of the best results we've seen to date.


POV Ray 3.7 RC6


POV Ray is a complex yet simple to use freeware ray tracing program which has the ability to efficiently use multiple CPU cores in order to speed up rendering output. For this test, we use its built-in benchmark feature which renders multiple passes of a high definition scene. In order to get the most accurate results, the second pass of the first test is logged, resulting in a benchmark score showing the average amount of pixels rendered per second.

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RESULTS: When it comes to rendering, once again Haswell is near the top, though AMD's eight core FX 8350 is able to hang tenaciously on as this test plays to its strengths.
 
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SKYMTL

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Productivity Benchmarks: TrueCrypt 7.1 / x264HD

Productivity Benchmarks (pg. 3)



TrueCrypt 7.1


Truecrypt is another freeware gem which allows for on-the-fly disk encryption. More importantly, it fully supports AES-256 encryption methods and multi core processors. For this test, we used the built-in benchmark tool are logged the data throughput for TrueCrypt’s AES-256 encryption method.

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RESULTS: Whenever we come across a program that uses the AES instruction set, Haswell is able to shine. TrueCrypt may present a challenge for most processors but with their optimized AES features, these two processors remain well ahead of their predecessors.



x264HD Benchmark


x264 is quickly becoming the new codec of choice for encoding a growing number of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC videos. Think of it as the new Divx of HD and you can understand why we felt it critical to include. Tech Arp's recent development of the x264 HD Benchmark takes a 30 second HD video clip and encodes it into the x264 codec with the intention of little to no quality loss. The test is measured using the average frames per second achieved during encoding, which scales with processor speed and efficiency. The benchmark also allows the use of multi-core processors so it gives a very accurate depiction of what to expect when using encoding application on a typical full length video. We use the second pass of the first test for this benchmark as it fully loads all multi core processors.

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RESULTS: As with all of the productivity tests, AMD's FX-series can provide some serious competition against Haswell from a price / performance standpoint. However, the i7 4770K and i5 4670K will always hold an large performance per watt advantage.
 
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SKYMTL

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Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark06 / 3DMark11

Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks



3DMark11


3DMark 11 is the latest in a long line of synthetic benchmarking programs from the Futuremark Corporation. This is their first foray into the DX11 rendering field and the result is a program that incorporates all of the latest techniques into a stunning display of imagery. Tessellation, depth of field, HDR, OpenCL physics and many others are on display here. While the GPU plays a primary role here, 3DMark 11 takes full advantage of multiple CPU threads so any bottlenecks caused by the CPU will also be evident. In the benchmarks below we have included the results (at default settings) for both the Entry and Performance presets.

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3DMark06


While its DX9 tests may not seem to be completely relevant in a DX11 era, 3DMark06 still provides an excellent measuring device for both multi core CPU and GPU performance. For this benchmark we are using the standard preset.

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RESULTS: Both version of 3DMark show extremely different results due to their use of CPU power and how it factors into the final benchmark score. In 3DMark 11, the GPU takes the driver's seat so the Haswell processors can't really stretch their legs. On the other hand, 3DMark 06 makes extensive use of the graphics processor, allowing the i7 4770K and i5 4670K to lead the pack.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Montreal
720P Gaming: Deus Ex: HR / Dirt 3 / Skyrim

720P Gaming Benchmarks


Processors play a huge roll in gameplay performance since they have to process copious amounts of information for the GPU. In the following tests, we use a simple 720P resolution and the lowest possible detail settings in an effort to remove the graphics processor from the equation and place additional pressure on the CPU. 720P was used since it is a resolution that is extensively used by gamers sporting lower end HDTVs and it doesn’t put as much stress upon the GPU as 1080P.

For every one of the following titles, a simple 1 minute gameplay walkthrough was used and the average frames per second was logged via FRAPS.


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RESULTS: Since low resolution gaming partially takes the GPU out of the equation, we can see how the Haswell architecture has been able to improve performance by a significant amount in some cases. However, this lead may not make its way over into the higher resolution testing since in those cases, the graphics subsystem will become a bottleneck.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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720P Gaming: Super Street Fighter IV / Torchlight

720P Gaming Benchmarks (pg.2)


Processors play a huge roll in gameplay performance since they have to process copious amounts of information for the GPU. In the following tests, we use a simple 720P resolution and the lowest possible detail settings in an effort to remove the graphics processor from the equation and place additional pressure on the CPU. 720P was used since it is a resolution that is extensively used by gamers sporting lower end HDTVs and it doesn’t put as much stress upon the GPU as 1080P.

For every one of the following titles, a simple 1 minute gameplay walkthrough was used and the average frames per second was logged via FRAPS.


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RESULTS: Since Torchlight is completely multi-core aware and the newest patches drastically improve CPU performance, it is a perfect companion for this review. It reveals Haswell's true potential.

The same can't be said of Street Fighter which seems to be capped in some way due to either a GPU bottleneck or simply poor coding.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
1080P Gaming: Deus Ex: HR / Dirt 3 / Skyrim

1080P Gaming Benchmarks


While lower resolution gaming highlights processor bottlenecks, most people use slightly higher resolution monitors and want to play with increased detail settings. In these situations, the CPU tends to take a back seat to the graphics processor but even at 1080P (ie: 1920x1080) a slower CPU can still have a drastic impact upon in-game performance. In order to illustrate this, we have carried over the games from our previous tests, pumped detail levels to their max and used the increasingly popular 1080P resolution standard.

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RESULTS: 1080P gaming really narrows the gap between the i7 4770K / i5 4670K and their immediate competition. Both processors still remain ahead but we can really see how gaming at higher resolutions and detail settings has the potential to make even lower-priced CPUs look great. AMD on the other hand really struggles in gaming benchmarks, even when the settings are turned up.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
1080P Gaming: Super Street Fighter IV / Torchlight

1080P Gaming Benchmarks (pg.2)


While lower resolution gaming highlights processor bottlenecks, most people use slightly higher resolution monitors and want to play with increased detail settings. In these situations, the CPU tends to take a back seat to the graphics processor but even at 1080P (ie: 1920x1080) a slower CPU can still have a drastic impact upon in-game performance. In order to illustrate this, we have carried over the games from our previous tests, pumped detail levels to their max and used the increasingly popular 1080P resolution standard.

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RESULTS: These tests don't really show us anything we haven't seen before. However, once again, Torchlight shows that its newest iteration has the capability to really stretch the legs of processors.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
GPGPU Performance (Civ V / MediaEspresso/ MuseMage)

GPGPU Performance (Civ V / MediaEspresso/ MuseMage)


With many CPUs using integrated graphics processors, parallel co-processing has become a hot topic of conversation. More and more applications now include support for OpenCL, DirectCompute and other features which help speed up performance in order to quickly finish certain tasks.

In this section, we will be benchmarking a number of applications which support (or claim to support) GPU compute in an effort to highlight the performance benefits which come with this technology. All of these tests are conducted on a system WITHOUT a discrete GPU installed.



Civilization V: Gods & Kings Leader Benchmark


Once again we are using Civ V in an odd way but its included Leader Benchmark includes a feature which uses the compute shader features on the GPU to rapidly compress large texture files. This puts a large amount of stress upon the graphics subsystem and should illustrate how well various manufacturers have implemented GPGPU features onto their cores.

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RESULTS: Like many game-focused GPU compute tasks, this benchmark makes use of both the CPU and GPU to balance performance. As such, AMD's much more capable integrated graphics processor is very much held back by their slow x86 throughput. This allows Haswell processors to surge towards the forefront.

The test also shows how well Intel has optimized their newest architecture for compute workloads. It seems to be head and shoulders above the previous generation.


MediaEspresso


Much like MediaCoder, MediaEspresso is a program used for video transcoding from one source to another. In this case, we take a high resolution 600MB 1080P video and convert it to a different MPEG-4 format suitable for mobile devices.

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RESULTS: Intel's win here is partially fueled by the fact that MediaEspresso uses the QuickSync video transcoder, proving that with the right application optimizations, even slower graphics processors can shine.
 
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