If you’re interested in PC’s, are a PC gamer, video editor, photo editor, or use a PC for 3D modeling, Intel’s core i7 4770k could be a great processor choice. This processor costs about $330 as of mid April 2014, and is worth every penny. With 4 cores at 3.5GHz each, this processor is ready to work to provide the best in computer processing. This processor is runs on Intel’s 22nm technology, has 12MB of L3 Cache, and only requires a stunning 84 watts. The processor is socket LGA 1150 and does include integrated graphics .
I’ve had this processor since early December, and in that time I have had more than enough time to test the processor’s strengths and weaknesses. The other equipment I used with this processor are: Motherboard: ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO, RAM: 16GB G.Skill Sniper series 2133MHz, Boot Drive: Samsung 840 pro 256GB, Graphics Card : EVGA GTX 770 SC 2GB (I’ve also tested the integrated graphics), CPU Cooler: Stock Intel cooling. It’s important to understand that a good computer usually requires good hardware, names like Intel, ASUS, and EVGA have great reputations to back up their names. All of my testing was done in a Rosewill Thor full size case.
The packaging that this processor comes in is very simple. It’s a very small box that when opened includes the processor, a heat sync and fan combo, and some instructions. I’m not 100% satisfied with the simplicity of the packaging. For something so expensive, the only thing holding it in place is some plastic. I might also include that the processor is sticking out of the top of the box, so if it was dropped, the only thing really protecting it would be the thin layer of plastic that it is contained in. As long as the pins on the bottom aren’t damaged, I don’t think that much damage would be done, though.
Installing the processor wasn’t to hard, carefully remove it from its packaging, place it on the slot in the motherboard (make sure the arrow is facing the correct way), and then close the piece above the processor, securing it to the motherboard. Next I installed the stock cooler that was included with the processor. Just remove the plastic tabs to expose the thermal compound, stick it to the processor, then push the four screw like pieces in each corner down to secure it to the motherboard. Then just plug it in to the slot on the motherboard that says something like “CPU Fan 1”. It’s really pretty easy.
Now for the interesting part, the results of all the tests. I ran a few current games, a few video editing programs (rendering the videos), and then ran some benchmarks. I’ll start out with the games, because those are the reason I purchased this processor. I tested Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, ArmA 2, ArmA 3, ArmA 2 DayZ Mod, DayZ Standalone, and Call of Duty Black Ops 2. I tested these with the integrated graphics as well as my GTX 770.
While using the integrated graphics, the games preformed well only on medium settings. High settings would not get very good frame rates. On Battlefield 3 (medium settings) the integrated graphics got about 35-55 FPS. On Battlefield 4 (medium settings) it got 40-50 FPS. ArmA 3 (medium settings) was a steady 35 FPS single player and 22 FPS multiplayer. ArmA 2 (medium settings) averaged 28 FPS single player as well as multiplayer. ArmA 2 DayZ mod (medium settings) got 30 FPS on servers containing about 20 players. DayZ standalone (medium settings) got a good 25 FPS on servers with about 20 players.
While using my EVGA GTX 770 SC, I only ran the games on the max/ultimate/very high settings. Battlefield 3 (Ultimate settings) got a stunning 85 FPS on multiplayer servers, even in the most intense moments. Battlefield 4 (Ultimate settings) was a lot more optimized and got 90-110 FPS on multiplayer, even when recording my game play. ArmA 2 (Very High settings) kept a stable 70 FPS on single player and frame rates from 60-72 on multiplayer servers with 20 players. ArmA 2 DayZ mod was the same as the ArmA 2 (with out single player). ArmA 3 (Very High settings) was a tricky one, on single player, it got about 90 FPS, but on multiplayer, it would very from 40-70 FPS depending on the server, the bandwidth of the server, the player count, the location of the player on the map, the servers up-time, and what was going on in the server.
Once I was pretty happy with the game play, I took one good clip from some ArmA 3 game play, and put it in Sony Vegas Pro 12. I rendered this clip at 1080p, 60 FPS, and it was about 8 minutes long. I did render with and with out CUDA rendering to test the time differences. Without rendering with CUDA, I got a finishing time of about 22 minutes. When CUDA rendering was on, I got a time of about 12 minutes. For those that don’t know, CUDA rendering is using the processing cores of NVIDIA graphics cards, speeding up the rending times.
Overall, I was really happy with the results of this processor. I was actually an AMD fan-boy before I got this processor. I used to think that the more cores, the better the processor. I had one of AMD’s FX series 8 core processors, and got pretty good frames with it. I switched to Intel, and my entire view on processors changed. I guess it’s one of the “Don’t knock it till you try it” kind of things. Intel does make very quality products, and their name has a great reputation. Intel customer service is really great in-case you run into any issues as well. This processor is a great workhorse and I really enjoy having it in my machine. If you’re a PC enthusiast, a PC gamer, do graphic design, or 3D modeling, this is an excellent processor and is worth every penny. Ignoring the packaging, this processor gets a 10 out of 10 in my book any day!