Intel’s latest processor architecture brings a lot to the table, with the usual suspects dominating the feature’s-list: improved CPU and GPU performance, better power-efficiency, and new instruction sets. We’re taking a look at the desktop line’s highest-end offering here, so let’s see how it stacks up against the last-gen’s champ.
Game benchmarks stand to see the least amount of gain in comparison to our other tests, but they’re necessary for the sake of completeness. Also, while we benchmark hands-on for our graphics card content, we opt for synthetic testing here, as we’re utilizing the same GPU across each setup.
First up is the ever-popular 3DMark benchmark, and for the sake of completeness, we run all three tests (Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Fire Strike).
Throughout most of our testing, Intel’s Core i7-3960X, despite having six cores, hasn’t outperformed the other CPUs as much as we would have thought. Apparently where gaming is concerned, or at least 3DMark, extra cores do make a difference, as evidenced here. Overall though, the differences are quite minimal, except in the DX9 Ice Storm test.
Real-time and turn-based strategy games tend to be the most stressful on both the GPU and CPU, and Total War: SHOGUN 2 does well to live up to that stereotype. The game is so stressful on a PC, in fact, that the developers included built-in benchmarks that are meant to test a PC in a worst-case scenario sort of way. For our testing here, we use we use both the 720p GPU and CPU benchmarks.
When the CPU is singled-out, Intel’s Core i7-4770K leads the pack. GPU-wise, all of the CPUs might as well be considered the same.