TODO alt text

Intel Core i5 3470 review

What does saving £15 on a CPU get you?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Decent performance
  • Negligible drop-off due to lack of QuickSync
  • Good auto OC via Turbo-boost

Against

  • No manual overclocking goodness
  • Intel HD 2500 iGPU
  • Not cheap enough

The big news about the first Ivy Bridge processors was the improved graphics, but with this second tier iGPU, can the Core i5 3470 match the pace of its technological compatriots?

With the i5 tag, it's a non-Hyperthreaded chip of the straight quad-core ilk, and sitting beneath the Intel Core i5 3570K means it comes with a lower starting clockspeed of 3.2GHz. The missing 'K' from its name shows up the lack of overclocking potential from the Ivy Bridge architecture.

That's a shame, as the other IvB chips we've played with have overclocked as well as their Sandy Bridge elders. But if overclocking's not your bag then grabbing a cheaper quad-core with the latest Intel architecture should be the sensible choice. Right?

Shader-light

If the Intel Core i5 3470 wasn't pared back enough (with the removal of Hyperthreading and overclocking for marketing reasons), consider that this Ivy Bridge CPU is also sporting the weaker of Intel's graphics parts.

In this chip we're looking at the Intel HD 2500 graphics versus the HD 4000 of the top Core i5 3570K and i7 3770K parts. That means a woeful six unified shaders compared with the generally inadequate 16 shaders of the HD 4000 core. If you're after the CPU graphics to deliver gaming performance, you'll be sorely disappointed.

While the HD 4000 does give some little hope of gaming frame rates - we were playing Batman: Arkham City at 1080p on the lowest settings at nearly 30fps - the slashing of constituent graphical components from the HD 2500 core means you've got little to no hope with it.

But you wouldn't expect processor graphics to offer gaming speed, and most of us are fully paid up members of the discrete graphics club. So what does it mean for the likes of QuickSync on this lower-end CPU?

The bad news is that there is some drop off in performance. The good news is that it's fairly negligible. Our MediaEspresso encoding benchmark took only 25s compared with the 23s for the HD 4000 series.

What about straight-line performance? At stock speeds it actually stands up against the i5 3570K, turbo-ing at 3.62GHz versus 3.82GHz. But that's where the K series chip's ease of overclocking comes to the fore. You can easily up the multiplier to 45-46 and hit crazy frequencies right away. The Intel Core i5 3470 though is limited to a multiplier of 38 for all cores, allowing it to go up to 40 for single core operation. That nominally means a limit of 3.8GHz.

Benchmarks

Rendering performance
Cinebench 11.5: Index score: Higher is better
INTEL CORE I5 3470: 6.01
INTEL CORE I5 3570K: 6.33
INTEL CORE I7 3770K: 7.91

Video encoding
Shogun: FPS: Higher is better
INTEL CORE I5 3470: 36.44
INTEL CORE I5 3570K: 38.46
INTEL CORE I7 3770K: 39.07

QuickSync performance
MediaEspresso: Time in seconds: Quicker is better
INTEL CORE I5 3470: 25
INTEL CORE I5 3570K: 23

That said, we managed to hit 3.99GHz with a little sprinkling of the baseclock overclocking that Ivy Bridge now allows. That sort of performance should make this chip a more compelling proposition.

It must be much cheaper, right? Well, there lies the rub. This chunk of hobbled silicon is barely £15 less than the awesome Intel Core i5 3570K. There is no reason we can think of to recommend anyone buy this chip over the top-end CPU. If you can't afford the extra £15, save for a couple weeks and just man up.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Thermal Design Power77 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics 2500
Product FamilyCore i5 i5-3400
L3 Cache6 MB
Clock Speed3.20 GHz
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameIntel
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Monitors Supported3
Direct Media Interface5 GT/s
Overclocking Speed3.60 GHz
Width37.6 mm
Depth37.6 mm
L2 Cache1 MB
Product Seriesi5-3400
Compatibility
  • Intel DZ77RE75K Desktop Board
  • Intel DZ77GA70K Desktop Board
  • Intel DZ68ZV Desktop Board
  • Intel DZ68BC Desktop Board
  • Intel DQ77MK Desktop Board
  • Intel DB75EN Desktop Board
  • Intel DZ77SL50K Desktop Board
  • Intel DZ77BH55K Desktop Board
  • Intel DZ68DB Desktop Board
  • Intel DP67DE Desktop Board
  • Intel DP67BA Desktop Board
  • Intel DH77KC Desktop Board
  • Intel DH77EB Desktop Board
  • Intel DH77DF Desktop Board
  • Intel DH67GD Desktop Board
  • Intel DH67BL Desktop Board
  • Intel DH61ZE Desktop Board
  • Intel DH61WW Desktop Board
  • Intel DH61CR Desktop Board
  • Intel DH61BE Desktop Board
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli5-3470
Product NameCore i5 Quad-core i5-3470 3.2GHz Desktop Processor
Package TypeRetail
Product LineCore i5
Manufacturer Part NumberBX80637I53470
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.intel.co.uk
Marketing Information

A new PC can provide you with unique and expanded capabilities. And when it is powered by a visibly smart 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor, it can deliver amazing performance. Smart features give your PC the ability to adapt to your needs, as well as stunning visuals built-in for an enhanced experience that you can both see and feel. You can enjoy a wide selection of entertainment, create and share your great memories, and explore and connect to what interests you most. Rediscover what's possible with a new computer. The only thing more amazing than our technology is what you'll do with it.

Process Technology22 nm
Limited Warranty3 Year