Intel i7 4790K Devil’s Canyon Processor Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  3. Compression Benchmark
  4. Futuremark Benchmarks
  5. Processing Benchmarks
  6. Encoding Benchmark
  7. Encryption Benchmark
  8. AIDA64 CPU Benchmarks
  9. Game Benchmarks
  10. Online Purchase Links

Intel talked a lot about the Haswell Refresh processors codenamed Devil’s Canyon, and they were very excited about it. The newer Haswell (codename: Devil’s Canyon) came with certain improvements in comparison to earlier processors.

The difference was mostly on the physical side of the processor. Intel used a ‘next generation thermal interface material’ in the hopes that it would please enthusiasts and overclockers who found that older model Haswell processors used a thermal paste under the integrated heatsink, though many would have preferred to see Intel using solder.

The second difference was to provide more capacitors for the processor to enable smooth power delivery for the processor’s die. When the Haswell processors came out and overclockers started experimenting, It was reported that because of this implementation, it created a hot spot on the chip, which was one of the reasons that affected overclocking. Intel assures those extra capacitors and the new thermal interface will provide a better overclocking potential to its users.

As far as the specification is concerned, the i7-4790K has a higher clock. The previous Haswell makes, including the i7 4770K has a base clock of 3.5GHz with 84W TDP, whereas the i7 4790K has 4 GHz base clock with 88W TDP. These processors are compatible with Intel 9-series motherboards, and also, 8-series motherboards provided it has the updated BIOS. Though many manufacturers preferred to push Intel 9 series motherboards with the 8 series, at least judging by the way the companies are promoting their respected models.

The rest is no different. It still provides 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. It’s a 4 core processor with 8 threads and Intel’s own Turbo Boost. All in 1150 socket. True to its nickname- Haswell refresh.

Intel was also bragging about 4790K’s ability for an easy 5 GHz overclock. With Gigabyte Z97X-SOC motherboard, I would really like to see how much of this is backed up. Considering that AMD didn’t produce anything any mid-end enthusiast processors for overclockers (other than recently introduced FX series processors with bumped clocked speed and the one with bundled AIO water cooler unit) or gamers.

The Noctua U12S and U14S CPU coolers were used to test this processor. Later on, Noctua NH-D15 was used for CPU cooling with single, dual and triple fan testing. The review of that should be up.

With this processor, I was able to get a bump of about 4.7GHz stable. Anything more than that will either up crashing while running some test or the other. The 4.7GHz clock speed along with Gigabyte Z97X-SOC motherboard needed a VCORE bump of 1.29v. Anything more will push the temperature towards 80-85degrees Celsius on CPU load. The processor does have a tendency to shoot temperatures upwards with a 0.7 GHz bump. A better thermal paste would most likely aid in better cooling, but the soldering method would have helped a lot. De-lidding processors void the warranty, and that’s not really. I’ll be comparing the stock clock without turbo with the overclocked profile to show the difference in performance in the two. Turbo is disabled for stock, even though it’s in enabled by default to provide static clock-to-clock speed comparison.

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