Ivy Bridge without the HD Graphics
Intel released a Core i5 Ivy Bridge CPU that does not include integrated graphics with a lower cost.
The processor market is kind of stale these days; there aren't a lot of releases and the dominance of Intel in the high-end CPU market kind of makes things uninteresting. We still have lot of great AMD processors in the low and mid-range markets but if you want a $200+ card part you will probably find your way into the world of Intel.
Today's processor review cuts across segments with a unique twist. The Intel Core i5-3350P can be picked up at Newegg.com for $189 putting it right in the price point of the AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) and the AMD FX-8320 (Vishera). It also undercuts the very popular Intel Core i5-3570K by $50 or so while still offering some impressive performance results.
The only catch: this Ivy Bridge based processor does not include any integrated graphics.
The Intel Core i5-3350P
Intel recently released a couple of Ivy Bridge based processors that have disabled the integrated graphics completely, the 3350P being one of them. This allows Intel to sell processor die that might have a defect on the GPU portion to increase the relative yield rate of their 22nm process and also gives them another weapon to fight off any pricing competition from AMD.
The Core i5-3550P disables the graphics portion completely as well as includes 2MB less L3 cache for the four cores to access. Without the graphics portion keep in mind that the 3350P does not include support for QuickSync transcoding technology.
Clock speeds on the i5-3350P are a bit lower than other IVB parts with a base clock of 3.1 GHz and a top boost speed of 3.3 GHz. That is 600 MHz lower than the Core i7-3770K and 500 MHz less than the Core i5-3570K. Without that "K" designator the 3350P is also not multiplier unlocked meaning you will be limited in your overclocking (which we discuss on a later page).
That 600 MHz clock speed gap between the 3350P and the 3770K is pretty significant: 18% of top performance essentially. Because of that you shouldn't expect the i5-3550P to suddenly become the best performing part with disabled graphics – instead you will be getting a mildly discounted part for those instances where you are sure you won't be utilizing it.
Processor Testing Configuration
For our Ivy Bridge review we tore up our previous CPU test bed and completely rebuilt it from both a hardware and software perspective. With that in mind, we wanted to make sure you were completely up to date on what hardware and testing methods we are using for the review today (and going forward).
Just in time for the review, Corsair sent us a 16GB kit of four DIMMs capable of running at 2400 MHz at 1.65v. With support for higher memory clocks and the potential to see some interesting motherboard metric scaling with faster memory, we wanted to make sure we had some of the best modules from our partners available. Also sent in were four Kingston HyperX DDR3-2400 modules in a 4 x 2GB configuration so we are sure we always have the right memory for the job.
Having previously used the PC Power and Cooling Turbo Cool 1200 watt power supply for CPU testing, I was eager to gain my hearing again and upgrade to a quieter unit. Corsair sent over the Professional Series AX 650 watt power supply for our CPU test bed and the unit was able to provide completely stable power while also operating at a nearly silent sound level.
To keep our CPUs at low temperatures with reasonable sound levels, Corsair supplied us with a Hydro Series H80 cooler. We further decided to use only one of the two 120mm fans it comes with. Even in our overclocking testing, the H80 was able to keep things running stable!
Our GPU of choice for this newly upgraded GPU test bed is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti.
Included in our results today are the following CPUs:
- Core i5-3350P – Ivy Bridge
- Core i5-3470 – Ivy Bridge
- Core i7-3770K – Ivy Bridge
- Core i7-2600K – Sandy Bridge
- Core i5-2500 – Sandy Bridge (simulated)
- Core i3-2105 – Sandy Bridge
- Core i7-3960X – Sandy Bridge-E
- Core i7-3820 – Sandy Bridge-E
- Core i7-920 – Nehalem
- AMD FX-8150 – Bulldozer
- AMD Phenom II X6 1100T – Thuban
With this change in hardware comes a revamp of the software used for our testing as well. Here is the new suite:
- SiSoft Sandra 2012
- Handbrake 0.9.6
- x264 HD Benchmark v4.0
- Cinebench 11.5
- POV-Ray 3.7
- 7zip 9.20
- TrueCrypt 7.1a
- PCMark 7
- Basemark CL v1.0
- 3DMark Vantage
Let's see what these processors can do!