After recently comparing Intel's 8th generation core series to AMD's Ryzen processors, many of you asked us to include some older chips in the mix, with particular interest in how the Haswell processors Claim era against the latest offerings from Intel.
That sounded like a good idea to us and we were also excited to see how well the Core i7-4770K aged. We tested this CPU for the first time in June 2013. This article should also give 4790K owners a good idea of the benefits they can expect when upgrading to a new Core i7-8700K.
For quick refresh, both the 4770K and 4790K are based on Haswell architecture, with the former arriving in mid-2013 and the latter a year later with overclocked parts and a new line of chipsets. The 4790K is clocked at 500 MHz higher than the 4770K (4 GHz versus 3.5 GHz), and we can simulate this by overclocking the 4770K.
Today's benchmark results should also be useful for Core i5 Haswell owners who can't decide whether to buy a used Core i7 or just bite the ball and buy a new 8th generation processor, which also means that they upgrade their motherboard and memory.
Aside from the additional 50% core / thread count and low IPC growth Intel has achieved over the past four years, one of the 8700K's big advantages is its support for faster, faster clocked DDR4 memory.
Speaking of which, the 4770K is tested with DDR3-2400 memory and thus offers a memory bandwidth of around 29 GB / s. In the meantime, the 8700K is coupled to the DDR4-3200 memory, which enables a bandwidth of approx. 42 GB / s – about 45% more. We have a lot of benchmarks to see, so let's get started …
First, we have the CPU that requires Ashes of the Singularity, and for this test we used the DirectX 12 API with a GTX 1080 Ti. The resolution was set to 1080p, also for all benchmarks, although Ashes of the Singularity was tested with the default "high" quality.
Here we see that the 4770K can outperform the 7600K before overclocking, although it was 14% slower than the 7700K. Surprisingly, overclocking had little impact on performance, and even at 4.6 GHz, the 4770K was 25% slower than the 8700K.
Not surprisingly, a decent performance advantage is achieved in a game that can take advantage of the 8700K's additional cores. Ashes of the Singularity is one of the few titles currently using processors with more than eight threads. Therefore, I do not expect such scope in many, though in any of the other games I have tested.
We have the Battlefield 1 results and here we have another title that claims the CPU. As you can see, the 7600K is hit very hard here for the 1% low result, which drops to just 79 fps, and although this is still a high frame rate, the 4770K was at 96 at its standard operating frequency of 3.5 GHz fps much faster. After overclocking, the 4770K managed a minimum of 113 fps, which was on par with the 7700K.
However, the faster DDR4 memory allowed the 7700K to temporarily raise the 1080 Ti to higher frame rates and therefore achieved a higher average frame rate. However, the 8700K wasn't much faster. Compared to the overclocked 4770K, it was only 12% faster at the minimum frame rate, but an average of 18% faster. I should just note that the frame rate cap has been removed for this test, so we're at the limit of what the 1080 Ti can do here.