Intel Core i5-3550 Review, Benchmarks and comparison

Intel continue with the tick-tock strategy on CPUs production pressing and squeezing the market to the last drop, things happen every year before moving to a new generation, we are now on the third generation of Intel Core technology processors, few weeks ago Intel release to the market the first third generation of Core series code named "Ivy Bridge" and this time its the processing technology that changed down to 22nm, so you can say its partially its an "Ivy bridge" architecture (which use 32nm process technology) but using a new 28nm TSMC process technology.

On this new CPU review GuruHT team will test a mid range third generation CPU, it's the Intel Core i5-3550 which is a quad core based processor, with a current price tag around 215$ lets see how this thing perform compared with the precedent generation, first lets talk something about the new Intel Ivy Bridge generation.

What's new inside the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture?
Ivy Bridge is the codename for Intel's 22 nm die shrink of the second generation Sandy Bridge micro-architecture based on tri-gate ("3D") transistors. Ivy Bridge processors will be backwards-compatible with the Sandy Bridge platform so some intel X6 series motherboard can support the new Ivy Bridge after a BIOS update.

As precedent generations, Intel has released with the Ivy Bridge CPUs, the new Intel 7 series Panther Point chipsets with additional new features such as PCIe 3.0 standard and USB 3.0 support to complement the Ivy Bridge chip.

The Intel's Tick-Tock road-map:

Ivy Bridge physical cores can be between two and four cores running at clock speed between 2.5 GHz to 3.5 GHz according to the current state, the Successor is Intel core code named "Haswell" (using same 22nm process but with a new advanced architecture, the Haswell is expected to be released next year 2013 on 29 April and 31 May 2012), Ok now lets concentrate on the Ivy Bridge potentials.

General performance:
for the performance according to a general performance for the Ivy Bridge, its expected to be 5% to 15% faster than the Sandy Bridge for the CPU cores performance, and 25% to 68% increase in integrated GPU performance.

Internal architecture overview of the Ivy Bridge:

The Intel Core i5-3550:

The Intel Core i5-3550 first released on April 2012 for a price around 210$, compatible with any motherboard equipped with an Intel B75, H77, Z77, Q75, Q77, and Z75 chipset using a LGA 1155 socket, come with four physical cores and does not support HT technology, Intel rejected the new HD 3000 graphic chip from the i5 3550 CPU integrate and put the HD 2500 that used on the previous generation, the HD 2500 GPU is operating at the rate 650 to1150 MHz

the I5-3550 is running at clock speed 3.3 GHz when in normal uses, and can boost up to 3.5Ghz when in load state, as you can notice that the model on test on our lab is a non "K" model and that mean a limited turbo overclocking ability and you can't increase the turbo multiplier to overclock this CPU, your only choice to OC this one is to increase the BCLK value between 100Mhz and 125Mhz, that give it a max frequency up to 3475Mhz when in 35x multiplier, but with 1.4 billion transistors inside, this chip can do a great job, bellow detailed tables showing technical specification of the Intel Core i5-3550.

Specifications and features:
Already Launched
Launch Date
Processor Number
# of Cores
# of Threads
Clock Speed
3.3 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency
3.7 GHz
Intel® Smart Cache
6 MB
Bus/Core Ratio
5 GT/s
Instruction Set
Instruction Set Extensions
SSE4.1/4.2, AVX
Embedded Options Available
22 nm
77 W
Recommended Customer Price
TRAY: $205
BOX : $213

Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type)
32 GB
Memory Types
# of Memory Channels
Max Memory Bandwidth
25.6 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported
Graphics Specifications
Processor Graphics
Intel® HD Graphics 2500
Graphics Base Frequency
650 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency
1.15 GHz
Intel® Quick Sync Video
Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology
Intel® Insider™
Intel® Wireless Display
Intel® Flexible Display Interface (Intel® FDI)
Intel® Clear Video HD Technology
# of Displays Supported
Expansion Options
PCI Express Revision
PCI Express Configurations
1x16, 2x8, 1x8 & 2x4

Core i5-3550 CPU-Z specifications:

Product show case:

Test bed, software and hardware:

ASUSTeK P8H77-V + 1333Mhz DDR3 dual-channel
Graphic card:
Zotac Geforce GTX 560
Intel Core i5-3550

AIDA64 Extreme edition.
Futuremark 3DMark Vantage.
Futuremark 3DMark 2011.
Futuremark 3DMark 06.
SiSoftware Sandra 2012.SP4c

Benchmark results

3DMark 2011 benchmark:

3DMark Vantage Benchmark:

3DMark 06 Benchmark:

CineBench 11.5 Benchmark comparison:

AIDA64 CPU AES test:

AIDA64 CPU PhotoWorxx:

AIDA64 CPU Queen:

AIDA64 CPU Hash test:

AIDA64 CPU Hash ZLib test:

AIDA64 CPU FPU Julia test:

SiSoftware Cryptography benchmark comparison: 

SiSoftware Cryptography result snapshots:  

SiSoftware Multicore efficiency result snapshots:   

SiSoftware CPU arithmetic benchmark comparison:   

SiSoftware CPU Arithmetic result snapshots:   

Overckloking results will come very soon, stay tuned.

Okay based on our tests the Intel Core i5-3550 do a prety good work compared with it's price, the new Ivy Bridge CPUs features a lower TDP leading to a high performance per watt rate, Intel Core i5-2500 users, don't worry as the new generation is not so far, but if you already stuck at the first generation of Intel core, go and change things even if you own an i7.

We gave this processor bellow scores:
Performance: 7/10
Price: 8.5/10
integrated GPU performance: 6/10
General score:7.5/10

Recommended to upgrade if you own a:
Dual core based CPU.
First generation of intel core CPUs or older.

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Intel Core i5-3550 Review, Benchmarks and comparison Intel Core i5-3550 Review, Benchmarks and comparison Reviewed by Mhr on 18:52 Rating: 5

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