Intel Processor Giant have just released their 4th Generation core range of processors. Currently only the i7 and i5 flavours are out and the i3 range is expected later on in the year. The enthusiast processors out of the pick is the flagship i7 4770K and the i5 4670K thanks to the 'K' denomination in the model name which represents an unlocked multiplier. We discuss the real world differences and features between the two chips.
What is the same?
Both processors actually share a lot on common. The Intel Core i5 4670K and Intel Core i7 4770K both have;
The same amount of cores (4)
The same integrated graphics card (Intel HD 4600)
A Max TDP of 84W
Are of the same manufacturing lithography (22nm)
Intel Turbo boost 2.0 Technology
An unlocked multiplier
There are plenty of others such as the packaging and other features but they are really not relevant.
The most glaring difference between these two heavyweights is the price. The 4670K currently retails around the £192 mark and the 4770K, around the £276 mark - An £84 difference or just over 30% depending which way you look at it. Of course the price is subject to change but if one CPU goes up in price then the other CPU will almost certainly also go up in price, the same rule applies if they go down in price but any price fluctuation will be minimal.
Number of cores
No matter which way you look at it, it is the same - Both CPU's have four physical processing cores. The difference is where the 4th Generation i7 CPUs have a feature called hyperthreading where each physical core has two threads effectively tricking an operating system into thinking that a thread is indeed a physical processing core allowing tasks to be more efficiently processed. Hyperthreading is an article in itself and we summarised it in our i5 3570K v i7 3770K article but provided you are using an application that can make use of these extra threads such as multimedia editing programs (Photoshop, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier Elements, Cubase, etc) then processing times will be reduced.
Rarely gaming, surfing, watching films will make very little use, if any, of hyprethreading so if you are looking a custom PC for these tasks then its probably not worth spending that extra money on an i7 CPU unless you are looking for maximum performance for everything and future proofing.
Intel's Core i7 4770K is 100Mhz faster at stock speed and the same again when turbo boost 2.0 is in action. That is 2.94% at stock speed and even less when turbo mode is active, 2.63%. For 30% more in cost you are better off investing your budget in other areas of a PC unless of course you want that extra 100Mhz. We are of the opinion of buy a 4670K, save the £84 price difference, invest in a good processor cooler and overclock the processor - You would then end up with a 4670K running at around 4.4/4.5Ghz for the same money.
Cache is a cache used by the processor to reduce the time to access memory. It acts as a ‘go between’ the CPU itself and the computers RAM. It’s very small but very fast and therefore does not need to be big.
In today’s standards cache is almost irrelevant when choosing a processor for a computer as it’s more than big enough for pretty much everything. The 4670K has 6MB and the 4770K has 8MB. Pitch both processors together in a ‘cache test’ in everyday tasks and there would be no noticeable improvement. There is small value in having the extra cache when processing lots of data in a server environment of heavy multimedia editing.
Once you break it down there really is not much of a difference between the i5 4670K and i7 4770K. A few Mhz, more cache and hyperthreading meaning it is no better performance for 90% of users. Of course if you are using applications that will make use of hyperthreading then the extra cost is justified. Remember that you do not need to outlay any more on supporting components when choosing between these two monster CPU's as they both are of the same socket type, use the same power/cooling etc.
If you are designing a system for gaming, general home use etc then choose a 4670K and put the saved funds in your pocket, towards a processor cooler and overclock or towards another component such as the graphics card or a little more RAM.