X
Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Intel Core i5 3470 review: Intel Core i5 3470

While the i5 3470 will give system integrators some wiggle room on price, we're fans of sticking to the i5 3570K for everyone else.

c8864f8c4d6aec88.jpg
Craig Simms
c8864f8c4d6aec88.jpg

Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

See full bio
2 min read

Here's a mainstream part for you: Intel's third generation Core i5 3470. Clocked at 3.2GHz, it has a max turbo boost of 3.6GHz. Unlike the Core i7 parts, the i5 lacks HyperThreading, making this a quad core, quad thread part.

intel_1.jpg
0.0

Intel Core i5 3470

The Good

Good enough performance for the mainstream.

The Bad

HD 2500 graphics could be limiting for some. As with all i5 products, no HyperThreading. 3570K isn't that much more expensive.

The Bottom Line

While the i5 3470 will give system integrators some wiggle room on price, we're fans of sticking to the i5 3570K for everyone else.

We've already covered Ivy Bridge's major architectural differences in the i7 3770K review, where we discovered that Intel's HD 4000 graphics didn't bring us much, in terms of gaming. It did manage to bring Batman: Arkham Asylum and Skyrim scraping across the line at their very lowest settings, but its major contribution was introducing a baseline of DirectX 11 across the industry, and its improved QuickSync encoding.

And, so, we won't be benchmarking the 3470 as far as games are concerned, as its cut down HD 2500 Graphics certainly won't be capable.

The 2500 is basically a 4000, with less execution units: six compared to 16. While definitely not a gaming chip, where we're likely to see relevant differences is on the QuickSync front, with CyberLink's MediaEspresso managing a nine minute 55 second XviD to H.264 conversion in one minute and seven seconds, compared to the i7 3770K's 59 seconds. Given a longer video, the difference would no doubt be more pronounced.

Our CPU-reliant benchmarks see the expected performance differences between the top-of-the-line i7 3770K and the mid-range 3470.

Application performance

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


Handbrake and Cinebench benefit the most, by having a higher clock speed and more threads available. Photoshop and iTunes — not so much; the Photoshop result is the most interesting, even if it is within margin of error — it shows that there's some other bottleneck in the system, other than threads and pure clock speed. We're running a SandForce-based SSD as our test hard drive, so perhaps the memory subsystem is the hold-up. For the most part, though, it emphasises that mid-range CPUs will be plenty fine for a large amount of the populace.

Verdict

While the i5 3470 will give system integrators some wiggle room on price, we're fans of sticking to the i5 3570K for everyone else. It simply gives the most flexibility, with extra clock speed, overclocking capability, and the bumped up HD 4000 Graphics gives QuickSync a nice boost. Above all, in the retail market, there's now very little difference in price — so you may as well get the higher binned chip.

Shopping laptop image
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping