Intel Core i7 5775C Reviewccokeman -
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Intel Core i7 5775C Introduction:
With an official launch date of June 2, Intel gave the world its first taste of the 5th Generation desktop LGA-based SKUs built upon a 14nm node and code named Broadwell. Traditionally, we see a large set of processors released for both desktop and mobile applications, but the launch of Broadwell was skewed more heavily towards the mobile market. For the desktop we get a pair of 65W rated processors: the 5th Generation Core i7 5775C and the Core i7 5675C. The main differences between the pair of 5th Generation Core series is that the Core i7 5775C supports Hyper-Threading, while the Core i7 5675C does not. Much like the same structure we see with the 4th Generation Haswell-based Core Series processors, the Core i7 4770K and Core i7 4670K.
Now, when you get to the differences between generations, the big rollout is that the 5th Generation processors see a major step forward with the inclusion of Intel's Iris Pro 6200 integrated graphics solution. In the past this has always been a pointed weakness that was adequate for an integrated solution. Over the past few generations, Intel has made some improvements with each successive launch, until now. Adding Iris Pro 6200 series graphics, we get a solution that should more than double the performance of the HD 4600 series integrated graphics seen on the Devil's Canyon-based Core i7 4790K. By doing so, the small form factor, all-in-one build ecosystem really opens up with this new graphics solution.
Will the combination of a modest clock speed and measurably improved Integrated graphics processor be all that it is touted to be? Time to find out.
Intel Core i7 5775C Closer Look:
Intel's 5th Generation Core i7 5775C is built around Intel's Broadwell architecture and is a Tick to the Haswell Tock in the Tick-Tock Cadence that Intel uses to signify a process change or improvement in that process. The Core i7 5775C takes the Haswell architecture down to the 14nm node from 22nm in a die shrink. What makes the 5th Generation Core i7 5775C impressive is that it is the first desktop processor to come equipped with Intel's Iris Pro 6200 integrated graphics processor rated at an economical 65W TDP thanks to its mobile heritage. This socket 1150 processor is designed to be used with a motherboard equipped with Intel's Z97 PCH, such as the Z97 Gaming 7 or Maximus VII Hero.
Visually, the Core i7 5775C is almost indistinguishable from most of the Core series processors tied to the LGA 1150 socket. On the back side are surface mount components that manage current flow through the package. Internally is where you see the changes as indicated in the core diagram seen above. The big takeaway is how the Iris Pro graphics take up a significant part of the space on the die. Intel's 5th Generation Core i7 5775C is an unlocked 3.3GHz ( 3.7GHz Turbo Boost speed) quad-core processor that supports Hyper-Threading with each core pulling from 6MB of shared L3 cache. The Iris Pro 6200 GT3e graphics chip sports 128MB of eDRAM that is looked at as a shared L4 cache to speed up access for the Iris Pro IGP. Intel's Iris Pro graphics processor is a major step forward for Intel, as it more than doubled the execution units to 48 from the 20 seen on the HD 4600 IGP on the 4th Generation processors.
Intel has gotten out of the motherboard business, leaving all the innovation and build-outs to its board partners. The Z97 chipset launch was the the first time this occurred. Intel's Z97 PCH brings support for upcoming and current socket 1150 processors. The chipset includes PCI Express M.2 storage options, which allows transfer speeds of up to 1 GB/s (as fast as SATA Express), are supported with Intel® Smart Response Technology, and can be used as a primary boot device. Intel Device Protection with Boot Guard is a new technology that "prevents repurposing of the platform to run unauthorized software, protects against execution of boot block level malware, and is rooted in a protected hardware infrastructure." Three specific types of Boot Guard are available: Measured Boot, which measures the boot block into the system storage device or TPM module; Verified Boot, which "cryptographically verifies the platform Initial Boot Block (IBB) using the boot policy key"; and Combined Boot, which uses both options.
Also new for the Z97 chipset is support for Intel's Rapid Storage Technology 13, which allows "support for a single 16GB SSD to enable dynamic cache sharing". Basically, this allows the system memory image to be dynamically written to a caching SSD during deep sleep conditions. With a "resume" command, the image is written back into the memory and the caching SSD resumes full functionality as the cache SSD.
The real key is how will this processor perform by comparison to others on the market. Equipped with a lower clock speed and a huge boost to the Integrated graphics, it should prove interesting.