Intel Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge
Last month we saw an onslaught of Z77 motherboards released in anticipation of Intel’s latest evolution, code named Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge’s release was delayed intentionally due to the overstock of Intel processors with OEM manufacturers and retailers which made sense due to AMD’s Bulldozer failed performance. Intel still reins king of the hill with Sandy Bridge processors and this also gave Intel’s Sandy Bridge “E” extreme processors some traction in somewhat a dismal desktop market.
Ivy Bridge continues Intel’s “Tick Tock” strategy with the shrink of the die from 32nm to 22nm. For those not familiar with Tick Tock, Intel initiated a development plan that generates a Tick; the development of new silicon while increasing transistor density every other year and a Tock; engineering new micro-architecture on the flip side. The two alternate every other year so Sandy Bridge brought the Tock and Ivy Bridge keeps the clock Ticking.
One exciting point with Z77 motherboards, Intel keeps socket 1155 rolling which is a sigh of relief to the Intel enthusiast. Both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge work on both platforms (Z68 Gen. 3 and Z77). Traditionally, Intel changes sockets with new releases but that is not the case with Ivy Bridge. Along with the new Z77 motherboards, Z68 Gen. 3 motherboards are also compatible with Ivy Bridge with a simple Bios flash however with Intel on a “Tick” cycle; they threw a loop with the much anticipated PCIE 3.0. On both Z77 and Z68 Gen. 3 motherboards, Ivy Bridge supports PCIE 3.0 leaving Sandy Bridge left out but the transition needed to happen somewhere.
Today, we have the new Core i7 3770K locked and loaded in our lab, along with a new ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard, so let’s take a look and see if the new Ivy Bridge processor lives up to all the hype and also see if any upgrade is worthy for Sandy Bridge owners with the introduction of PCIE 3.0 and USB 3.0.