When a new processor from Intel comes out many people are expecting a huge improvement over the previous generation, but we lately we really have not seen that. If you look at the update cycle of 1 year that cannot be expected. Ivy Bridge only offering a small performance increase over Sandy Bridge and Haswell only offers a small performance increase over Ivy Bridge. So if you were looking for Haswell to blow the previous generation out of the water you are going to be very disappointed. You really are only going to see a 5-10% performance difference in benchmarks and nothing that noticeable in the real world.
It seems that desktop users and enthusiasts were sort of left by the wayside with Haswell. The major improvements really cater to the mobile crowd, but if you look at where computing is headed you really cannot blame Intel. People want longer battery life and more efficient mobile devices. The integrated GPU has been much improved, but it still does not compare to low-end graphics cards that are currently available. Also many desktop users will be using discrete graphics anyways.
If you are currently running an Ivy Bridge or even Sandy Bridge system there really is no reason to upgrade. Keep in mind too that you will not have to just buy a new processor, but motherboard as well. Now if you are building a new system then go with Haswell, it is the most powerful consumer quad-core processor available and the Z87 chipset does give you more USB 3.0/2.0 ports and SATA 6GB/s ports then the previous generation.
It is hard to really bash this processor, because on paper it is the best consumer-based quad-core available. Given the 1 year upgrade cycle Intel is sticking too you really cannot expect a massive raw performance upgrade. Intel gave this chip a slight performance increase without moving up the clock speed, improved the integrated GPU and worked on power issues. For just a year after Ivy Bridge was launched you cannot expect much more than that from Intel.
Right now the i7-4770K which we reviewed is selling for about $346 at my favorite online retailer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell Processor a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
- Great performance
- Integrated graphics have been much improved over Ivy Bridge
- CPU cooler mounting points have not changed with new socket
- Low power states
- Not a drastic improvement over Ivy Bridge
- Another new socket
- Weak overclocking
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