The Core i5-3570K and 3770KFor the purely processor tests we used a Core i5-3570K and a Core i7-3770K.
An Ivy Bridge on the left and a Sandy Bridge on the right
These LGA 1155 processors look pretty similar to their Sandy Bridge equivalents apart from the resistors at the back of the packaging. In load our i5-3570K has a VID of 1.16V, against 1.19V for the i7-3770K. The real voltage reported on the CPU-Z screenshot is lower because of the standard Vdrop phenomenon.
[ Core i5-3570K ] [ Core i7-3770K ]
We used a Z77 Intel motherboard, the DZ77GA-70K. We generally use Intel motherboards as they often have a more mature bios on launch and are exempt from features designed to ‘cheat’ on performance benches, as is sometimes the case on third party boards.
We didn’t do all that well here in terms of the maturity of the bios as, although the new mouse-operated UEFI interface is nice to have, it’s still rather problematic for in-depth use. When it comes to the Turbo for example it doesn’t correctly recognise processors other than the 3570K or 3770K (the Turbo has to be set manually). Also high memory ratios such as DDR3-2133 don't work on Sandy Bridge and the Turbo’s thermal envelope can't be modified in the bios (you have to use the Intel XTU software).
Beyond these slight software inconveniencies which we hope will be rapidly resolved, the motherboard did pretty well, with the exception of its rather long boot time. This is a shame as from the hardware point of view the motherboard is very well equipped with:
- A Gigabit port (Z77 + PHY Intel WG82576V)
- A Gigabit port(Intel WG82574L)
- 8 USB 3 ports (4 internal and 4 at the back via Z77 + 2 hub Genesys Logic GL3520)
- 4 SATA 6G (Intel Z77 + Marvell 88SE9172)
- 1 eSATA 6G (Marvell 88SE9172)
- FireWire (TI TSB43AB22A)
- Codec HD Audio (Realtek ALC898)
- WiFi 802.11n module / Bluetooth 2.1 USB
- Buttons to switch it on / reboot
- An LED code display for the boot phase
Its power stage is made up of 8 phases for the CPU cores (VCC) and there are some LEDs on the PCB to display the number of active phases. In terms of extension slots there are of course four DDR3 DIMMs capable of holding up to 32 GB of DDR3, two PCI-Express x16 ports linked to the CPU (Gen2 on Sandy Bridge and Gen3 on Ivy Bridge) and running at x16/x0 or x8/x8, two PCI-E x1 Gen2 ports, two PCI ports and one PCI-E x4 Gen2 port. Intel has used a PLX PEX8606 switch to allow the use of all the Gen2 ports and additional chips with the eight Z77 Express lanes.
We used the test protocol elaborated for the AMD FX review. The changes are detailed on this page
. Unless otherwise stated, the tests were carried out on the following platforms.
- ASUSTeK P5QC (LGA775)
- Intel DP55KG (LGA1156)
- Intel DP67BG (LGA1155 Sandy Bridge)
- Intel DZ77GA-70K (LGA1155 Ivy Bridge)
- ASUS M5A99X EVO (AM3+)
- 2x4 GB DDR3-1066 7-7-7 (Q6600)
- 2x4 GB DDR3-1333 7-7-7 (Q9650)
- 2x4 GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9
- GeForce GTX 580 + GeForce 280.26
- SSD Intel X25-M 160 GB + SSD Intel 320 120 GB
- Corsair AX650 Gold power supply
We did of course check to see if performances on the DP67BG and DZ77GA-70K motherboards were the same with the same processsor and memory settings. They were.