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

Results: Power Consumption

The following chart reflects power consumption throughout our benchmark suite, which gets logged every two seconds. The long, straight section at the end represents 30 minutes of idle time inserted by our automated script to better reflect actual use when we calculate averages.

It's pretty clear that going from Core i7-4770K to -4790K increases power consumption under load. That much we expected. More strange is that the stock Core i7-4790K doesn't settle into the same idle state as the stock -4770K (or even the overclocked -4790K, which does drop down around 50 W). It's possible that MSI's Z97 Gaming 7 motherboard isn't properly dropping into the right C-state by default, correcting the behavior only when we overclock manually. We'll take this into account as we present the next chart, though.

The other observation we make is that consumption rises noticeably once we apply more voltage and a higher clock rate to the Core i7-4790K. No surprise there. Let's have a look at how average use is affected.

The above chart includes a couple-thousand data points averaged together for each CPU. I specifically factored out the idle time, though, due to the obvious anomaly suffered by the stock Core i7-4790K. We'll keep things fair and stop short of running efficiency numbers. But when these CPUs are churning through our scripted benchmark sequences (all of the applications presented on the preceding pages), you can see how big of a difference there is between them. Overclocking takes the Core i7-4790K up an extra 20 W, on average. And that's on top of a 15 W increase going from stock Core i7-4770K to -4790K.

Of course, these are still systems with 16 GB of DDR3 memory and a GK110-powered GeForce GTX Titan. Power consumption is hardly what we'd call egregious.

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.