Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge CPU

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CPU Energy Efficiency

The i7-3770K used slightly more power than the i7-2600K in a few benchmarks, but as it finished faster in all of the tests, the total power consumed while running our test suite was lower by an impressive 11%.

Looking at energy use only during testing isn't representative of common use scenario, so we also determined "average power consumption" by assuming the system is used half the time for light load activities (an average of idle and H.264 playback) and the remaining half for heavy load (an average of the power used running our benchmarks). In such balanced scenario, the i7-3770K uses just a scant more juice than its Sandy Bridge counterparts, and substantially less than AMD's current high-end offerings.

CPU Performance Analysis

To determine performance per watt, we divided the overall performance score by the average power consumption and re-weighted it so the top processor would score 100 points. The i7-3770K came up on top, beating out the i7-2600K by a resounding eight points.

Note: Motherboard pricing data was collected from Newegg's catalog with the following criteria: retail versions, Asus/Intel/Gigabyte/MSI branded, microATX/ATX form factor, SATA 6 Gbps and USB 3.0 controllers. A price limit of $250 was set on AM3+/LGA1155 boards, while no limit was applied to the LGA2011 models as they are typically premium products.

Another way to access value is to put it purely in monetary terms. As the i7-3770K runs on the same motherboards as Sandy Bridge and it is priced similarly to the i7-2600K/2700K, the cost difference is negligible.

Dividing the overall performance by the platform cost gives us the performance per dollar (again the results were re-weighted so the best value is awarded 100 points). The popular Core i5-2500K delivers the best bang for your buck of the bunch, while the Phenom II X4 975 offers fairly good value due to its low price. The i7-3770K is right up there, 4~5 points ahead of the i7-2600K. It should be noted that the i7-2700K is similarly priced, but even if its 3% increase in clock speed generated a linear performance improvement, it would only bump the score up by about two points. A minimal i7-3960X configuration will cost you over US$1,200, three times the cost of a i7-3770K setup, making it an obvious dud unless you've got money to burn.

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