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Apr 18, 2012

First Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K Box Pictures Surface, Worse Overclocking Than Sandy Bridge

The first pictures of retail boxes of the Intel's Core i7-3770K “Ivy Bridge” processors in the LGA1155 package have reportedly been revealed.

We can see that the boxes come from a Chinese distributor. The box-art illustration hasn't changed from that of the 2nd Generation Core processor family, even the die-shot CGI in on the center of the box is the same.

There’s not much on the box to help the buyer tell them apart from Sandy Bridge CPUs. The box simply marks the model number “3770K” and socket as “LGA1155” on the sticker.

The side sticker is the only element that comes with some useful information. We know from many earlier reports, that the TDP rating of “Ivy Bridge” quad-core parts, including the i7-3770K, was expected to be at the 77W level.

However, the sticker on retail i7-3770K comes with different and surprising information. The TDP is rated at 95W, and that’s no different from Sand Bridge based i7-2700K. The S-spec number is “SR0PL” in this case.

The ones that got their hands on some of these retail versions have experienced higher than expected temperatures and did not achieve the overclocking results they were hoping for.

Even with a good aftermarket cooler, the 4.8 ~ 5.0 GHz overclocking results obtained with a i7-2600K Sandy Bridge were unattainable. The best results were lower than 4.6 GHz, that is the frequency at which the i7-3770K CPU reached a high temperature of over 90 degrees Celsius and started throttling.

The problem seems to reside in the tight packaging of the Tri-gate transistors, which are so dense that they cannot be cooled fast enough with normal air or water cooling. Practically, if the heat would be removed fast enough, the chip might work at a higher frequency.

There is a chance that this TDP rating is a typo on the packaging but the low overclocking results experienced by the enthusiasts that tested the new CPU are a sign that the chance is slim.


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