Skip to main content

Core i7-4790K Review: Devil's Canyon Tantalizes Enthusiasts

Results: Synthetics

Comparing the 3DMark suite score to the Graphics and Physics results shows that CPU performance is what moves the dial. Most notably, a stock Core i7-4790K is faster than our overclocked Core i7-4770K. Given that this test is well-threaded, and both configurations are set up for four-core Turbo Boost settings of 4.2 GHz, the outcome is unexpected. It is something you'll see happen consistently through the rest of our suite, though.

I picked PCMark 8's Creative suite for our little exploration in light of its emphasis on media and content creation (specifically, Web browsing, photo editing, video editing, gaming, and video chat). There are two versions of the benchmark: Conventional and Accelerated, the latter of which employs OpenCL-based acceleration. Because I specifically want to isolate the host processor, though, and not lean on the GeForce GTX Titan in our test machine, these numbers reflect the Conventional run.

The biggest speed-up comes from overclocking a Core i7-4770K from its stock 3.5 GHz up to 4.2 GHz. However, the Core i7-4790K wants to run at 4.2 GHz in its stock form, too, and it yields a bit of extra speed in the process. Pushing up to 4.4 GHz across all four of the 4790K's cores registers a a small speed-up, and you'd expect to see similarly subtle increases as you push the CPU harder.

The results from each processor are reflected in kilonodes per second. A node is a position on the chessboard. So, in the case of Core i7-4790K, Fritz evaluates more than 16,000 thousand nodes per second, or 16 million. In comparison, a Core i7-3930K, operating at its stock frequencies, returns more than 18,000 kN/s, and the Core i7-4960X approaches 20,000. Those CPUs get their advantage from six physical cores, even though they employ older architectures.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.