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

Results: Productivity And Media Encoding

Tuning Core i7-4770K up to 4.2 GHz (using the four-core Turbo Boost setting) has a nearly 10 percent impact in our FineReader OCR workload. From there, the stock Core i7-4790K shaves off a couple of seconds more, while overclocking further whittles away at the completion time.

Same story in Visual Studio. This time around, the overclocked 4770K and stock 4790K nearly tie, which is the outcome we'd expect from two processors able to push four cores at a consistent 4.2 GHz. Nudging the clock rate up to 4.4 GHz across four cores gives Devil's Canyon an additional edge.

This is the only page with single-threaded tests, but TotalCode Studio isn't one of them. The bump you get from overclocking Core i7-4770K is easily replicated (and then some) by a stock Core i7-4790K.

The same goes for HandBrake, though the performance improvement is even more pronounced. From stock 4770K to stock 4790K, we report an almost 11 percent boost.

From the factory, a Core i7-4770K jumps as high as 3.9 GHz with one core active while the 4790K gets up to 4.4 GHz. That 500 MHz difference translates to an improvement of almost 12 percent. Pushing Devil's Canyon's clock rate up to 4.7 GHz knocks another couple of seconds off of the completion time.

Our iTunes test is similarly set up to utilize one core. The percentages work out to be fairly similar to LAME: expect double-digit gains from the frequency headroom freed up by more effective cooling.

  • NBSN
    Really nice read. I am very excited to see how well the i7-4790k performed, and that means in 2-3 years the CPUs that will be out are going to be amazing. It will be nice to start seeing stock clocked 4 GHz to 4.5 GHz Intel CPUs to better keep up with the AMD overclocking that many builders do. I prefer Intel and really feel that they offer the best performance for their CPUs.

    I built my PC at the end of last year, beginning of this one and went with a i7-4930k. I really wanted a six core processor and have not been disappointed. I have been itching to build another PC because it was really fun to put the plan of components together and although my hands were to big and my medical conditions prevented me from getting to do a lot of the building, my wife helped a lot with that part and it was nice to see the finished product in action. With that being said, I don't have a lot of money for anything right now and hope that my disability pay finally comes through so I can start picking together parts for a computer for my wife. She won't need anything as powerful as I have, and the i7-4790k sounds pretty sweet.
    Reply
  • smeezekitty
    4GHz base clock on an intel chip wowie
    Reply
  • dark_wizzie
    The average overclock based upon my Google Doc of about 185 overclocks now averages at 4.55ghz for Haswell. A tim change isn't going to gain an extra 200mhz and even then, it's being generous.

    On a side note, this website annoys me. I click to add comment and the default fields are for signing up, no logging in, and when I do, I am back to the homepage. Great.
    Reply
  • roymustang
    It would've been nice to show benchmarks and temps vs sandy bridge (2600K) at same frequency to help us gauge the progress (or the lack of) that's been made in the last three and a half years.
    Reply
  • neon neophyte
    so one of their biggest selling points ended up resulting in a 6 degree difference.

    bring back solder intel.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    Seriously u should bench it against the old Hex core like 990X, 3930K, 4930K.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    nice improve :) please where i put my razor? no way 6ºc improve. my ambient temp hits 45ºc my old 3770k 4.6ghz hit 88ºc on core. with this "new shinning old tech" i can't hit the 4.2ghz. intel miss and miss Hard!
    Reply
  • NBSN
    I think that the whole real point of releasing this new processor and the others to follow it is simple. Intel wants to offer a better stock clock for those that do not want to or do not know how to overclock their processor. And since AMD allows easier overclocking, or at least a whole lot more processors that can be overclocked than the ones that Intel specifies for their own products. This will help a lot of consumers decide Intel over AMD if they continue to offer comparative clocks.
    Reply
  • ssdpro
    First problem: 6C between the old and new TIM is something, but not much. As one of the big improvement features, that is disappointing.

    Second problem: Why is Tom's using 1.275 V for 4200MHz on both units? Is that actually 1.275v with LLC disabled or is LLC on a setting resulting in the lowest load voltage? If one of those units need 1.275v to be stable at 4200 you have a real donkey sample on your hands. Even the worst i7-4770k are stable at 1.20v @ 4200. Or was the over voltage designed to test an unrealistic incompetent situation to either emphasize or DE-emphasize the TIM difference?
    Reply
  • Adroid
    Sorry, but I'm entirely unimpressed. Improved TIM is a waste of time. I thought this was going to release with fluxless solder. 6° worth the wait ? 6° is the difference between air cooling and water cooling.

    Voltage wall is still at the approximate same place. Heat is still the limiting factor. I expect some of the better binned 4670K will hit equal or better than the 4690K.

    I'll stay with my 3570K @ 4.3ghz - this clearly isn't much of a step up. Looks like I'm waiting for a DDR4 system in a couple years.
    Reply