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Testbed Configuration and Testing Methodology

We’ve collected all four basic Haswell-based Core i5 models for this testing. We are going to compare them with the Ivy Bridge generation represented by the most popular and interesting models: Core i5-3570K and Core i5-3470. Moreover, we’ll throw in a Core i5-2550K from the Sandy Bridge generation in order to show you the progress Intel has made in the last years. In other words, you will be able to compare three generations of Intel CPUs in the diagrams below.

We also include a couple of higher-class CPUs: Core i7-3770K and Core i7-4770K. They’ll show you how much you can gain by choosing a more expensive product.

As for AMD, we can only take AMD’s FX-8350, the senior model for the Socket AM3+ platform, because the rest of AMD’s products are much cheaper than the Core i5 series after the recent price cut. AMD just has no illusions left about pitting its eight-core processor against Intel’s Core i7 or Core i5.

As a result, our testbeds were built with the following hardware and software components:

  • Processors:
    • AMD FX-8350 (Vishera, 8 cores, 4.0-4.2 GHz, 4 x 2 MB L2, 8 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i7-4770K (Haswell, 4 cores + HT, 3.5-3.9 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 8 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-4670K (Haswell, 4 cores, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-4670 (Haswell, 4 cores, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-4570 (Haswell, 4 cores, 3.2-3.6 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-4430 (Haswell, 4 cores, 3.0-3.2 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores + HT, 3.5-3.9 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 8 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-3470 (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.2-3.6 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2, 6 MB L3).
  • Processor cooler: NZXT Havik 140.
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS Crosshair V Formula (Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX + SB950);
    • ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe (LGA 1155, Intel Z77 Express);
    • Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H (LGA 1150, Intel Z87 Express).
  • Memory: 2 x 8 GB DDR3-2133 SDRAM, 9-11-11-31 (G.Skill  [TridentX] F3-2133C9D-16GTX).
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (2 GB/256-bit GDDR5, 1006/6008 MHz).
  • Storage sub-system: Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5).
  • Power supply unit: Corsair AX760i (80 Plus Platinum, 760 W).
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise x64;
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Driver 9.4.0.1017;
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 15.31.3.64.3071;
    • Intel Management Engine Driver 9.5.0.1345;
    • Intel Rapid Storage Technology 12.5.0.1066;
    • NVIDIA GeForce 320.49 Driver.

We will use a discrete graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 for our tests, so the performance of Intel’s new integrated graphics core is not covered in this review. You can refer to our special review about the Intel HD Graphics 4600 instead.

 
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