Issue: What is the performance difference between an older i5 and a new i7 CPU, especially the i5-3570k and the i7-8700k?
As I engage in several digital activities which require a lot of processing power, I found myself wondering if a new CPU would benefit these endeavours. There isn’t much information on a comparison between the 8700k and the 3570k performance-wise on the internet. Most benchmarks are synthetic and aren’t fit for real-life scenarios. Especially high-end gaming benchmarks were hard to find, as they often compare the last 2-3 generations of hardware. My trusty old 3570k was released 6 years ago and does not fit this condition. After reviewing few gaming benchmarks I have found on YouTube I decided to pull the trigger and order new hardware. This post will provide some benchmarks I conducted myself for anyone curious as well.
As a matter of fact I needed to justify buying a 3dmark license, so I went ahead and used some benchmarks provided. Another benchmark I conducted utilized the Heaven benchmarking tool. I decided on these benchmarking tools, as they require GPU power aswell and deliver a somewhat more realistic result. Moreover there are benchmark comparisons already available using only CPU related benchmarking tools.
Time Spy (3dmark)
As expected the Graphics score does not vary greatly but the CPU score almost doubled, resulting in a boosted overall score of 87% in relation to the 100% of the 8700k.
Fire Strike (3dmark)
The Graphics score does not vary greatly in this instance either (it even dropped surprisingly further), but the Physics score (which most likely resembles CPU score) has more than doubled. The difference in the overall score is astonishingly high with 82% percent to the 100% of the 8700k.
The Heaven Benchmark seems to rely mostly on the GPU so there is not a lot of difference here. But computer games are not just GPU intensive (although this is primary), but rely on CPU power as well.
To achieve the closest comparison without the possibility of random events I decided to only test benchmarks included in games. Those will render a predefined scene to assure that every run will be as close as possible to the previous run. My choice included GTA 5, Company of Heroes 2 and Bioshock Infinite. These games are not the latest and greatest available, but they implement an included benchmark and were already installed on my system. The following numbers resemble the average frames per second.
Company Of Heroes 2
All results combined suggest that the 8700k grants almost 20% more fps compared to the almost ancient 3570k. In these cases this resembles an average of 24 fps.
Besides gaming benchmarks there was another use case which was quite interesting to me: rendering / converting videos. For this I benchmark chose an mkv file in 720p which I converted to webm. I chose to convert only the first 5 minutes and output the file at 8000 kbps. To quantify the result I stopped the time the task took – so in this a lower score is better.
This test was not much of a surprise, because the i5 3570k only provides 4 cores, whereas the i7 8700k features 6 cores with hyperthreading. The webm converter tool I chose made use of those 12 cores opposed to the 4 cores of the competitor, which allowed it to almost run the task in half the time.
So overall I suppose the upgrade to the 8700k was worth it, despite it’s high cost. If someone is interested, I uploaded the raw data and screenshots of the benchmarks here.