Intel's LGA1156 socket and subsequent P55 chipset were designed to be the low cost alternative to the LGA1366 X58 Core i7 platform. Although upon first release it sold in such enormous quantities that prices remained high it didn't take too long before it was possible to build a 1156 based system for a sensible amount of money.
It's actually become one of the best value platforms available, akin to the AM3 socket on the AMD side. It supports everything from the dual-core Pentium based G6950, via Hyper-Threaded Dual Core i5 6 series, the Quad Core i5 7 series all the way up to the Hyper-Threaded Quad Core i7 8 series.
There certainly is a processor for every pocket and application. Today we're looking at the latest model in the i5 range, the top-of-the-line i5 760.
If there is one thing that Intel can't be accused of it is making too great a leap forwards in their processors. While many sites such as Overclock3D and overclockers everywhere have shown that nearly every model in the range will happily run all day at 4GHz, Intel are insistent upon these tiny incremental clock speed increases. It has been the way since the original Pentiums and so it's unlikely to change now.
So from Intel themselves, here are the specifications for the Core i5 760.
|# of Cores||4|
|# of Threads||4|
|Clock Speed||2.8 GHz|
|Max Turbo Frequency||3.33 GHz|
|Intel® Smart Cache||8 MB|
|Instruction Set Extensions||SSE4.2|
|Embedded Options Available||No|
|Max TDP||95 W|
|VID Voltage Range||.6500V-1.400V|
|Intel® Turbo Boost Technology||Yes|
|Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology|
|Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)|
|Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)|
|Intel® Trusted Execution Technology|
|AES New Instructions||No|
|Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology|
|Intel® Demand Based Switching|
|Thermal Monitoring Technologies||No|
As you can see the Core i5 760 is identical to the previous Core i5 750, barring a tiny increase in clock speed from 2.66GHz to 2.8GHz. At least this small increase doesn't come at a increase in price as most sites have them identically priced or in some cases the 750 is slightly more expensive.
For testing the i5 760 we used a slightly modified version of our standard LGA1156 test setup. The main upgrade is the switch from the Corsair HX850 to the class-leading Corsair AX1200.
ASUS Maximus III Extreme P55
4GB Corsair Dominator GT
Noctua NH-D14 with MX3
Windows 7 Ultimate
Intel i7-870, Intel i5-750, Intel i5-760
As I said on the previous page, all of the Intel Core processors are capable of being handily overclocked. The first task is to detune the multiplier and see how far the BCLK will push. The 760 hit a very respectable 225.1 MHz which gives us plenty of wiggle room to obtain both a good high overclock and a nice stable one too.
Starting off with the stable one which we will use for our overclock benchmarks, the i5-760 managed an easy 4 GHz at a reasonable 1.256v on the VCore. 200x20 is something that nearly all Intel chips can do these days and is a very good clock to set your RAM and such like from. All this with such low volts means that even when stressed with Prime95 and using the old faithful Noctua NH-D14 temperatures never went above 60c!
Having attained stability it's time to see how far we can run the 760.
Increasing the VCore to 1.464 we got to 4414 MHz, a 1.6 GHz overclock. As you can see compared to our 4GHz test setup, the moment you cross the 4GHz threshold the extra voltage needed increases far too much to justify a few extra MHz. The picture below links to the validation page.
Todays comparisons are really two-fold. Firstly it's the comparison of the stock 750 against the stock 760. We'd expect to see the stock i5 760 have an edge throughout the testing because of the increase in clock speed.
The second thing to keep an eye on is the i5 760 against the i7 870. The main difference between the two is the i7 870 has Hyper-Threading and so should benefit in certain tests.
As the overclocked i5 760 is running at 4 GHz we'd expect it to dominate all of our charts. To save repetition I'll only point out the main differences between these expectations and the results.
Everest Ultimate Edition
Couple of things of note here. Firstly the CPU Queen test doesn't seem to take advantage of Hyper-Threading, or if it does it's so hard on the CPU that it has no overhead available to create new threads.
Secondly we all know that compression algorithms do use every thread available and yet the 760 at 4GHz still manages to stand astride our graph like a Collosus.
CineBench and POV-Ray
CineBench gives us pretty much the results we were expecting although the OpenGL result for the 870 is slightly lower than expected.
POV-Ray gives us a lovely surprise. The "averaged" result is how many Pixels Per Second (PPS) are rendered in total so it's a measure of the absolute speed you can expect. The "Per CPU" is that score divided by the available threads which is why the 870 with 8 available threads scores so low. There is no doubt the i5-750 rocks these tests totally in overclocked format.
PC Mark Vantage
If there is one thing that we can say about the PC Mark graph, it's extraordinarily linear. In every single test the results go i5-760 OC, i7-870, i5-760 at stock and then i5-750. It also shows how well the components scale across our CPUs.
To borrow a term from the hot rod world, no replacement for displacement. The raw power of the 4 GHz Quad 760 takes an early lead and never looks back.
Now here is something different. The Processor Arithmetic of the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark suite uses what are called Dhrystone and Whetstone tests on the CPU. Dhrystone has been with us for over 25 years and measures Integer calculations of a CPU, whilst Whetstone is older than I am and measures Floating-Point calculations.
The extra threads available on the i7-870 help it to edge out even the overclocked i5-760 in the Whetstone test. Once we move to the Dhrystone test the i5-760 just wins out both in overclocked and stock form. Although clearly the Dhrystone test loves CPU cycles more than anything as once the overclocked i5-760 is ignored the other three CPUs are neck and neck.
Moving to the Processor Multimedia test which uses the CPU to generate a Mandelbrot fractal (a very intensive task) we see normal service resumed.
Our final bunch of mathematical benchmarks is wPrime which really pushes the processor and memory to its knees in a quest to perform a set number of calculations as possible as fast as possible.
Because the benchmark is considered successful the shorter amount of time it takes to complete, similar to rendering, the graph is an inverse of our others, but the results remain the same. The incredible performance available from the i5-760 is sufficient to see it overcome the extra performance of its hyper-threaded big brother.
Finally before we move onto our conclusion, let's see if the i5-760 can maintain its stranglehold over our graphs once we bring the rest of the system into play.
Previous testing we've done have shown how GPU heavy the Unigine benchmark is and so it proves here as the difference between the otherwise dominant i5-760 at 4 GHz and the stock i5-750 is minimal at best.
3D Mark Vantage
Vantage continues the trend you should all be used to by now of the overclocked i5-760 winning ahead of the i7-870, and the extra little boost the i5-760 has over the i5-750 at stock allowing it to edge ahead.
Finally Crysis Warhead is similar to Unigine in that the graphics card plays a large part. However thanks to the need of plenty of CPU cycles to do soft Physx we actually end up with the standard order, although the gap between the chips is greatly compressed.
So how has the i5-760 performed compared to the i5-750 it replaces? Like so many things the conclusion to draw is dependant upon your intended usage.
Considering the relatively small difference in default CPU speeds of the i5-760 and i5-750 the i5-760 makes a very good showing throughout all of our tests in managing to be ahead of the i5-750 by more than it's 140 MHz increase would lead us to expect.
Overclocking the i5-760 was a joy. It almost seems to be designed to run at 200x20, managing to be completely stable even at only 1.25v. It really adds to the frustration of Intel's insistence on only increasing their CPU speeds by around 150MHz per model rather than allowing them to hit the heights they can "out the box". Once we crossed the 4GHz barrier though the amount of voltage needed to keep the CPU stable quickly ramped up. We're not sure that 0.2v increase on the VCore is worth the extra 400MHz it gives.
If you are comfortable overclocking your CPU then this really rewards you with high levels of performance. The extra clock speed allowing the i5-760 to beat the i7-870 in just about all our tests. That's a hell of a lot of horsepower for around £150.
What if you're not though? We are fully aware that lots of people just want to buy some hardware and slot it in without faffing about. In that case it's much harder to recommend. The pricing is such that for most people we'd recommend splashing the little extra out and getting a Hyper-Threaded i7-860. Although Hyper-Threading can't make up for pure speed, a HT processor against a non-HT one is absolutely no contest at all.
All in all the i5-760 is a very good processor that is just hard to recommend. If you want great stock performance, then the extra oomph from a i7-860 more than justifies the extra £50. If you are happy to overclock it then the i7-760 absolutely rocks, but again you might as well pay a little more and overclock a Hyper-Threaded i7 to gain much more performance. If you're just looking for an upgrade then there really isn't enough extra features with the i5-760 to make it a worthy path.
It's still 45nm so you don't get the speed and heat benefits of the 32nm process. It hasn't got the new AES instruction set and it's not Hyper-Threaded. That isn't to say it's a bad chip by any stretch, it certainly is very good. Just there are better options out there on the LGA1156 platform to suit either lower budgets or performance lovers.
Just on sheer value for money terms if you're willing to overclock it though, it has to win our Bronze award.
Thanks to Intel for providing the i5-760 for review. Discuss in our forums.