Ivy Bridge Performance and Overclocking Overview
With the paper launch of Ivy Bridge earlier this week, and products shipping from the end of the week, we have taken a look at a number of reviews to give you an idea of what to expect if you buy an Ivy Bridge system, along with an overview of what to expect if you overclock it. Indications so far are that at the same clock speeds, Ivy Bridge will outperform Sandy Bridge by a few percent, but if you overclock it will get much hotter much quicker.
The first set of results we looked at are those from Guru3d.com, who have tested a Core i5-3570K and a Core i7-3870K, with results of both at stock and the i7 at on overclock of 4.9 GHz. They noted that at that speed, when stress testing with Prime95 (which does not produce as much heat as some apps) the processor temperature exceeded 90C under air cooling. Going through some of their benchmarks we see that their charts cover a wide range of processors, but we are only concerned with how much of a leap in performance might be seen from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge.
The Queens CPU test uses only basic x86 CPU instructions to find solutions for a classic chess problem, the "Queen's problem". The i7-3770K and i5-3570 performed roughly equal, with scores of 49146 and 47906 respectively. The 2600K scored 43827, and factoring in the slightly slower turbo clock speed of the older processor we see a performance boost of approx 9% clock for clock. In Cinebench, the 2600K scored 6.51, compared to 7.91 points for the stock 3770K, which gives a clock for clock boost of around 18%.
A media encoding benchmark, Espresso transcode, shows a 12% performance boost in Ivy Bridge, and Handbrake FPS in another set of results shows the same 12%. 3DMark 06 CPU score shows a performance increase of 9%, and with PC Mark Vantage that increases to 15%.
The same pattern is seen across a number of benchmarks at a large range of sites we checked, showing a typical performance boost of between 5% to 15% for most tests.
Moving on to overclocking, we have already noted that when using air cooling, Guru3d measured temperatures as high as 90C at 4.9 GHz. Hexus.net noted the same in their reviews, and they had to swap their cooler for a Corsair A70 (a closed water loop) with 2 fans in order to keep the temps to 75C with a clock speed of 4.8 GHz. Once again, looking over a wide selection of reviews, we see the same picture repeated. It would seem that Ivy Bridge processors are easy to overclock, but to reach the same clock speeds you could reach with Sandy Bridge you will typically need much more powerful cooling.
In summary, if you will be running Ivy Bridge at stock speeds or with only a modest overclock, you will get a slight performance increase over Sandy Bridge. I'm not sure that would be enough to justify an upgrade from Sandy Bridge for most people, but if you are upgrading from an older system it will give you a decent performance for the price. Don't expect to break any overclocking records though, unless you use exotic cooling like liquid nitrogen or phase change cooling, as the 3D transistors and higher transistor density than older platforms appears to be causing temperature hotspots that are not highly responsive to typical cooling solutions.
Links to Ivy Bridge reviews:
Related News (newer articles):
May 01, 2012: Intel admits Ivy Bridge runs hot when overclocked
Apr 29, 2012: Intel Ivy Bridge processors released today
Apr 28, 2012: Why Is Ivy Bridge So Hot?
Related News (older articles):
Apr 23, 2012: Intel announces Ivy Bridge desktop and mobile CPUs
Mar 11, 2012: Ivy Bridge Benchmarks Surface
Feb 21, 2012: Ivy Bridge graphics performance estimates
Dec 06, 2011: Ivy Bridge mobile CPU lineup revealed
Nov 27, 2011: Ivy Bridge desktop CPU lineup details, part II
Nov 27, 2011: Ivy Bridge desktop CPU lineup details