Since the start of this year Intel's new generation processors have been the topic of discussion for many hardware enthusiasts. The new Ivy Bridge processors, or the third generation Core processors as Intel prefers to call them, are finally officially launched today. Hardware.Info extensively tested three of the new desktop processors: the Core i7 3770K, the Core i5 3570K and the Core i5 3550. We compared them to almost every current generation desktop processor.
Within Intel's famous tick-tock strategy, Ivy Bridge is a tick. This means that Intel uses existing architecture - from the Sandy Bridge processors - together with a new manufacturing process. The Ivy Bridge chips are the first processors that employ the state-of-the-art 22nm transistors. Smaller transistors make it possible to have the same performance with lower energy consumption, or increased performance with the same energy consumption as the previous generation.
Ivy Bridge is the tick of Intel's long-running tick-tock strategy: existing architecture with a new manufacturing process.
Intel has introduced nine Ivy Bridge processors for desktop PCs in the Core i5 and i7 series. They utilise the same Socket 1155 processor socket as existing Sandy Bridge processors so therefore they will work with the same motherboards. That said, Intel is introducing new chipsets along with the new processors, which in turn has led to a new generation of motherboards as well.
For notebooks and Ultrabooks Intel has introduced six Ivy Bridge processors. Currently all new laptop processors are in the Core i7 series, but you don't need a crystal ball to predict that later this year we'll see the introduction of the lower Core i series, Pentium and probably even Celeron processors based on the Ivy Bridge technology for both laptops and desktops.
Hardware.Info tested three of the new desktop processors: the Core i7 3770K, the Core i5 3570K and the Core i5 3550. With several benchmarks we have extensively analysed the performance differences with Intel's existing processors, but first we're going to have a look at the underlying hardware.