Time is something that many of us have very little of. With every tick of the clock our time grows shorter. Problem is how many ticks do you get before even a tock doesn’t produce a new second? Confused? Let me explain. Technology is like a clock - we have ticks and tocks. When the clock ticks, it means it's time to improve upon what you already have in the open market. When the clock tocks, it means that it is time for a change and a new direction. How many ticks does a manufacturer have before it's time to take the tock and reinvent the wheel? Since there is only one tick and one tock, I guess we could say one. Recently, there have been manufacturers who have tried to make you believe their latest and greatest were a tock, but in essence, it was only a tick. Somehow, adding a GPU to the same die of a processor that has been on the market for five years doesn’t seem to be a tock.
Last year, Intel introduced new micro-architecture with the 2nd Generation Core processors codenamed “Sandy Bridge”. This we could call the tock on the clock, since Sandy Bridge differed from its predecessor “Nehalem” in multiple ways. With the launch of the 2nd generation Core processors, Intel also made owning one of their processors more affordable. The processors were built on a 32nm process and included on-die DirectX 10 graphics processor as well. A little over a year has gone by since the launch of this new architecture - what has Intel done to improve upon it and what should we expect?
The 3rd Generation of Intel Core Processors is labeled a tick on Intel’s roadmap. The Intel Core i7 3770K 22nm “Ivy Bridge” processor is one of the multiple 3rd generation processors available to choose from. The 3rd generation Core processors include multiple upgrades over their predecessors. The 3770K, or K series, still remains unlocked for those who choose to performance tune their systems to take full advantage of what hidden prowess the Core Series has to offer. Some of the enhancements over the previous generation are an improved architecture, up to 2x performance in processor graphics performance, which is now DirectX 11 (650/1150MHz for most), native USB 3.0, enhanced security protection (based on actual processor) and improved performance tuning features (increased CPU multiplier adjustments) with XMP 1.3 support. Intel has also improved on power consumption, with some processors having a TDP as low as 45W (K-Series and most desktop 77W TDP).