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Haswell vs Ivy and the battle of the graphics cards!

GK110 and GK104 duke it out!

Don't you wish your monitor was "tri" like me.


With Haswell's launch being dissapointing and the new GTX  7 series cards coming out it's hard to tell whether or not it's worth it to upgrade. Luckily, here at Techometer, we advise you to take the best path so in this article we'll be comparing what it's like to own both of these systems with differing graphics cards so we can encompass all users.

Whether or not you've bought a new Ivy Bridge board it stands to say that Haswell has been relatively underwhelming. The clock speeds haven't changed, performance is almost similar, the only thing different is probably the power consumption. The GK110 variation of the GTX Titan that was put into the GTX 780 has been a big hit and I've seen people upgrade left and right. The performance on these graphics cards are a big improvement compared to the previously released 6 series.

A little insight

So I've been asked, pretty frequently actually, if people should upgrade from the Ivy bridge architecture  to the Haswell architecture. My answer has always been "No, don't do it yet, let the technology mature a little and when it starts showing improvements then go straight for the jugular". This is still my philosophy simply because there is no significant gain from choosing Haswell yet. But paired with new graphics we'll see how it performs for gamers who demand the most out of their graphics cards. The GTX 780 may be bottle necked by an i7-3770k, it's very possible, this is one of the opposing reasons I have in my head as to why someone should upgrade right now. The i7-4770k is not a bad processor at all, but in my head it wouldn't make sense to spend much money on another motherboard and processor only to gain so little in terms of performance. I'm sure most people feel the same way, so without further adieu let me introduce what I will be doing here.

I will be comparing two systems, one will be running the Ivy Bridge processor as well as a 680.

Still a better computer then what most people have..

 This will represent an age before the i7-4770k and the GTX 7 series 780. A simpler time when technology was a little less advance (lol). A time when if you had Dual 670's you were the boss.

And then we have this monster:

The latest and greatest technology right now.


So basically what we have here is the old vs the new in a rumble match as to if the performance will be similar. You can already tell the Ivy Bridge GTX 680 combo is going to be the underdog because the Haswell architecture is around 10% faster clock per clock. To close that performance gap the i7-3770k would have to be clocked a little bit higher then what standard overclockers produce.

In terms of the GTX 780 and GTX 680 it's a completely different story. The GTX 780 is cut from the GK110 graphics processing unit, and the GK110 is an all business in the front, business in the back kind of processor. Also, with much more bandwidth, memory, and processing speed the advantage is definitely going to the GTX 780. The rookie is lookin' good right about now.

 Alright, so with the new system you get a 1K performance increase in the future mark benchmark. Pretty much all thanks to the GTX 780 doing the intensive work.

In terms of CPU, what I've said in my previous articles I can honestly still stand by. Moore's law is keeping up in terms of transistors and all that other good stuff but man are we just completely underwhelmed here in the overclocking world. Anandtech has stated that when compared to it's Ivy Bridge counter part, Haswell really doesn't perform too much better. Only about in the single digit percentage performance increase. The difference between the i7-4770k and the i7-3770k is absolutely minimal, if you're looking for an upgrade I don't think haswell is right for you. Instead it's suggested that people should go with the i7-3930k. Personally, I think the i7-2700k from sandy bridge is absolutely phenomenal but if you want a solid upgrade the 3930k would be your best bet.

Even if you didn't feel like overclocking, the i7-3930k would overall better than a Haswell platform. Also, no one wants to buy a new motherboard. I've said this a thousand times before, but I believe making a new socket for the Haswell architecture was a terrible idea by Intel. Not only do you force users to purchase a new motherboard, but it's almost like stealing. At least if they kept it in the socket 1155 category users wouldn't have to purchase a completely different motherboard, probably would've led to more sales honestly. I understand that architecture is more complicated then that but it's just a thought.... a very very valid thought considering how underwhelming Haswell is.

Oh yeah baby, Feel the GTX 780

But hey the on the GPU side things are very different. The GTX 780 is actually an improvement over the GTX 680. So far I've seen a 10% increase from a GTX 680 to a GTX 780 and that's with the 680 heavily overclocked and the 780 stock. Overclocking is a way to obtain a levels higher on old technology and it usually gets pretty close, but the GTX 780 just blows everything out of the water. An overclocked 780 will match a Titan, maybe not the raw compute performance but it will match the titan when it comes to graphics and gaming performance. What's different about the 7 series is the performance gap between the 770 and the 780. it might as well be night and day the difference is so large. But this is expected simply because the 770 uses the GK104 chipset (Same as the GTX 680 and you're seeing how the GTX 780 blows it out of the water). Even overclocked there's no way a 770 could touch a 780 especially the boost clocks.

Other Thoughts/ Factors/ Conclusion

So what the hell can I say about the newly released Haswell running a GTX 780 that I can't say about an i7-3770k running a GTX 780. Let's throw the GTX 680 out of the picture because let's be honest it didn't stand a snowballs chance in hell against the GK110. Let's just say you're running an i7-3770k and an i7-4770k on a system that has a GTX 780, remember what I said about bottlenecking? Yeah forget that, the GTX 780 is absolutely fantastic, haswell however... is essentially a renamed, more electrically effecient, Ivy Bridge. Disappointed to say the least... Look at this

From these benchmarks the % performance increase is pretty big considering the GTX 780 is stock and the 680 is overclocked. If the GTX 780 was overclocked you can bet your sweet i7's that it would perform so much better especially when water cooled. That boost clock is just dying to get the boost out.

On the inside, I feel indifferent about Haswell, the only good thing I can say about it is that it's very efficient at power consumption. But that doesn't matter if you're running a GTX 780 that'll easily suck 250W out of your power supply, even more on full load. Sure you get access to the z87 chipset motherboard but in terms of performance that doesn't mean much, and in terms of overclock it means even less. So there you go, if you're upgrading from the first or second generation then why not go with Ivy, there's virtually no difference and there's a chance of keeping your motherboard. Sounds like a solid plan to me.