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Review Intel® Core™ i5-3550 Processor (6M Cache, 3.30 GHz) Ivy Bridge Wednesday, 14 November 2012

After almost three years since the launch of the first generation (Lynnfield) , i5 processor series has reached the 3rd generation. We are here to review and compare i5-750 which is the first generation with last one – i5-3550. Seem like the i5-3550 uses same Sandy Bridge architecture with few improvements and with 22nm manufacturing process. So, smaller transistors shows two options, may be similar performance but lower power consumption or increased performance with the similar power consumption as 42nm generation. In any case is win-win situation except for the fact of integrated cache memory. The downside for 2nd (Sandy Bridge) and 3rd (Ivy Bridge) processors is the integrated cache, first generation got 8MB but on 2nd/3rd Intel has decided to cut 2MB. Anyway the 3rd generation processor architecture improvements that are worth mentioning are:

  • higher clock speed
  • double system bus
  • double maximum memory size
  • lower TDP and TCASE  due to 22nm lithography
  • 3.0 PCI Express revision
  • integrated GPU
  • and maybe higher max memory bandwidth but here are all about memory, on performed synthetic tests with Corsair DDR3-1600 the max was at 20.31 GB/s


Product Name Intel® Core™ i5-3550 Processor
(6M Cache, up to 3.70 GHz)
Intel® Core™ i5-750 Processor
(8M Cache, 2.66 GHz)
Code Name Ivy Bridge Lynnfield
Launch Date Q2’12 Q3’09
Processor Number i5-3550 i5-750
# of Cores 4 4
# of Threads 4 4
Clock Speed 3.3 GHz 2.66 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.7 GHz 3.2 GHz
Cache 6 MB Intel® Smart Cache 8 MB Intel® Smart Cache
Bus/Core Ratio 33 20
Bus Type DMI DMI
System Bus 5 GT/s 2.5 GT/s
Instruction Set 64-bit 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE4.1/4.2, AVX SSE4.2
Embedded Options Available No Yes
Lithography 22 nm 45 nm
Max TDP 77 W 95 W
VID Voltage Range 0.6500V-1.4000V
Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB 16 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600 DDR3-1066/1333
# of Memory Channels 2 2
Max Memory Bandwidth 25.6 GB/s 21 GB/s
Physical Address Extensions 36-bit
Package Specifications
Max CPU Configuration 1 1
TCASE 67.4°C 72.7°C
Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm 37.5mm x 37.5mm
Processing Die Size 296 mm2
# of Processing Die Transistors 774 million
Sockets Supported FCLGA1155 LGA1156


Test system:

  • Intel® Core™ i5-750 Processor (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz) Lynnfield – overclocked at 3.40 GHz
    Intel® Core™ i5-3550 Processor (6M Cache, 3.30 GHz) Ivy Bridge
  • Asus P7P55D
    8GB ( 2x 4GB ) Corsair Vengeance v3.19 DDR3-1866 @ 9-10-9-27 (1.50v)
  • Asus P8H77-M
    16GB ( 2x 2GB ) Corsair Vengeance v5.12 DDR3-1866 @ 9-9-9-24 (1.50v)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
    CPUz x64
    PassMark PerformanceTest


PassMark 7.0 Aida64 CPU   Aida64 FPU WEI*
CPUInteger CPU FP CPUPrime Queen PhotoWorxx ZLib Hash VP8 Julia Mandel SinJulia CPU
Intel® Core™ i5-750
(1st generation)
2.296,8 2.985,7 1.426,6 28.777 50.851 142,9 MB/s 2.295 MB/s 2.817 11.204 5.796 3.132 7,4
Intel® Core™ i5-3550
(3rd generation)
2.474,1 5.252,4 1.378,1 33.151 60.530 219,6 MB/s 2.823 MB/s 3.551 17.251 9.556 3.093 7,5

*WEI (Windows Experience Index)


  • the Intel® Core™ i5-3550 can be found in stores (Europe) at the approximate price of 215 €
  • higher performance
  • lower TDP
  • other architecture improvements (see above)
  • less integrated processor cache memory
conclusion_pen Better performance and test results but not convincing. Anyway seen that has better TDP and all architecture additions mentioned in the begining is a good choice to fit in a new system but doesn’t worth upgrading from i5-750.


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