With the (delayed) approach of Ivy Bridge, the exact place of this new technology for gamers has yet to be made clear. Is it worth upgrading from Sandy Bridge? Until now we haven’t had independently tested performance of an Ivy Bridge system with a discrete graphics card.
This is one of many tests that will be considered as we get more information going forward – until then, here’s my interpretation:
The CPU tested is the i7-3770k, it is to Ivy Bridge as the i7-2600k is to Sandy Bridge (quad core with hyperthreading). That is, the average computer gaming build wont be considering this chip, but we can use its comparison with i7-2600k for an idea. The charts in the article show us a 5-10% increase in graphics performance with a discrete GPU.
So I would say it isn’t worth upgrading from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge on the surface, for a gamer (there are decent improvements in production activities for those of you who do more than gaming).
You would likely see a larger improvement by upgrading graphics cards, especially if you switch to PCIe 3.0 (for which we don’t yet have benchmarking comparisons).
If you have a Sandy Bridge system with a motherboard other than a Z68 rev 3 that supports PCIe 3.0, then you may consider upgrading to Ivy Bridge just for PCIe 3.0 support (of course you could upgrade the motherboard, but why not go all the way and sell your Sandy Bridge system?)
Anyways, check out the article below for the first independent look at Ivy Bridge performance.
The Ivy Bridge Preview: Core i7 3770K Tested
Intel calls Ivy Bridge a tick+. While CPU performance steps forward, GPU performance sees a more significant improvement – in the 20 – 50% range. The magnitude of improvement on the GPU side is more consistent with what you’d expect from a tock. The combination of a CPU tick and a GPU tock is how Intel arrives at the tick+ naming. I’m personally curious to see how this unfolds going forward.