How We Tested Core i7-4790K
Architecturally, Core i7-4790K is the same as its predecessor. If you want to know more about Haswell, check out The Core i7-4770K Review: Haswell Is Faster; Desktop Enthusiasts Yawn.
Really, our purpose today is comparing the previous flagship to Intel’s most recent effort. With that in mind, I ran both CPUs in stock and peak-overclocked form through the newest build of our benchmark suite.
|Processors||Intel Core i7-4790K (Haswell) 4.0 GHz (40 * 100 MHz), LGA 1150, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled|
|Intel Core i7-4770K (Haswell) 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), LGA 1150, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled|
|Motherboard||MSI Z97 Gaming 7 (LGA 1150) Intel Z97 Express, BIOS 1.3|
|Memory||G.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600, F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL @ DDR3-1600 at 1.5 V|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX860i, 80 PLUS Platinum, 860 W|
|Heat Sink||Noctua NH-U12S, Fan set to 100% duty cycle|
|System Software And Drivers|
|Operating System||Windows 8 Professional x64|
|Graphics Driver||Nvidia GeForce Release 337.88|
Obviously, the overclocks on both processors represent a limited look into what you might get in the wild. What I can say, though, is our Core i7-4770K is a retail-purchased processor that I snagged from Newegg (and not the press sample we were using previously, which hit 4.7 GHz). It better represents what many of our readers report: using strong air cooling and 1.275 V, four cores are stable at 4.2 GHz, with more lightly-threaded workloads running up to 4.5 GHz. It’s hard to apply significantly more voltage and not run into thermal issues, so we tend toward settings that (ideally) won’t do as much damage to the CPU over time.
My Core i7-4790K is a press sample. Nevertheless, it’s not an outrageous overclocker. I was able to get it up to 4.6 GHz across all four cores using 1.31 V, with single-threaded tasks jumping up to 4.8 GHz. In this case, it appears possible to apply higher voltages to dial in a more stable/higher overclock. However, we’re still apprehensive about going much higher than 1.3 V on Intel’s 22 nm process.
All tests are run on MSI's Z97 Gaming 7 motherboard running the latest 1.3 firmware. We populated all four of its memory slots with 4 GB modules, dropped in a GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, and hooked up Samsung's 840 Pro SSD.
|Adobe Creative Suite|
|Adobe After Effects CC||Version 188.8.131.524 x64: Create Video which includes three Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly|
|Adobe Photoshop CC||Version 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates|
|Adobe Premeire Pro CC||Version 7.0.0, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality|
|iTunes||Version 184.108.40.206 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format|
|LAME MP3||Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 0.9.9: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)|
|TotalCode Studio 2.5||Version: 220.127.116.1177: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV|
|ABBYY FineReader||Version 18.104.22.1683: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages|
|Adobe Acrobat XI||Version 11.0.0: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption|
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 and 2013||Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080|
|Blender||Version: 2.68a, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1|
|Visual Studio 2010||Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted|
|WinZip||Version 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"|
|WinRAR||Version 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"|
|7-Zip||Version 9.30 Alpha: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"|
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings|
|3DMark 11||Version: 1.0.5|
|PCMark 8||Version: 2.0, Creative (Conventional)|