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

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅01-06-13
Test Setup & Overclocking

Intel Core i5 2500K (3.3GHz) Sandy Bridge
Intel Core i5 3570K (3.40GHz) Ivy Bridge
Intel Core i7 3770K (3.50GHz) Ivy Bridge
Intel Core i5 4670K (3.40GHz) Haswell
Intel Core i7 4770K (3.50GHz) Haswell
Cooling Noctua NH-U14S / Corsair H100i
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z87X-OC
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400MHz CL10
Graphics XFX R7970 Black Edition
Storage Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
PSU Corsair HX1050 (GOLD)

Since the CPUs being compared use different sockets it isn’t possible for us to use the same motherboard unfortunately. For Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge testing the MSI Z77A-GD65 is used, but with the hardware listed above – keeping variables the same aside from the motherboard.


Unlike overclocking with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, Haswell allows for the BCLK override and is more in tune with modifications found using Sandy Bridge-E. This gives the end-user the ability to tweak more variables, thus giving more freedom in the overclocking arena. This will be music to many ears since previous generations lacked this control.

For this section of the review the maximum overclock was achieved by using both Noctua NH-U14S and Corsair H100i. We used both in order to identify if air cooling was us holding back.

The first objective for the overclocking phase of this review was to adjust the multiplier (ratio) in order to increase the frequency of the chip. For the 4770K we also experimented with BCLK modification to see if we were able to establish better results when compared to leaving BCLK at auto (100MHz).

LinX is used to establish stability. Only once this has completed a 5 times run do we proceed benchmarking. By using LinX, the absolute maximum stress and temperatures are forced upon the chip – pushing the temperatures between 85-90C. Under normal usage such as gaming and other benchmarks the temperatures range between 65-70C.

Intel Core i5-4670K

The 4670K managed to overclock up to 45 – 4.5GHz from 3.40GHz, a 32% overclock. This is a significant increase but it did require a fair amount of vcore - 1.45v to be exact. After several hours of trial and error no amount of voltage increase within the barrier of safe temperatures (not exceeding 95C) would allow the core frequency to move beyond 4.6GHz and remain stable.

Intel Core i7-4770K

Our 4770K on the other hand, required much less voltage to achieve its milestone. The 4770K managed to overclock to 47 – 4.7GHz from 3.50GHz, a 34% overclock. Again this is an encouraging result. Furthermore we only needed 1.33v for this achievement. As with the 4670K, we tried to get closer to the 5GHz mark but again no amount of voltage increase within safe temperatures would allow more than 4.7GHz.

As an additional venture we moved away from the traditions we have become accustomed to with the 2nd and 3rd generations of processors by simply altering only the ratio for overclocking. As mentioned earlier, with the 4th generation (Haswell) we are able to adjust the base clock now and so we also ran a series of tests to establish how effective this works compared to only ratio adjustment.

The best result we could ascertain by modifying the BCLK was 122 and ratio of 38 giving a frequency of 4.65GHz. This required 1.33v and gave the same temperatures as our previous overclock. So this demonstrates that with this particular chip the maximum we can overclock to is the 4.7GHz mark.

Note: Some of the overclock results seen around the web with 5GHz results are using ES chips which are well-known for overclocking better in some cases compared to retail. Our overlcock results are using retail chips.

On the following pages we will be benchmarking our two Haswell CPUs at both stock and overclocked settings – 4.5GHz and 4.7GHz. The stock settings are obviously at default - with turbo boost enabled. Our overclocked settings are fixed at the overclock frequency with turbo boost disabled.

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