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Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Review


Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing:

Testing Intel's Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Devil's Canyon processor will involve running it and its comparison products through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which include both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual game play, in which we can see if similarly-prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest chipset drivers for each board and GeForce drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 770. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies, unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost will be disabled on all processors to make a fair comparison without skewing results. After stock speed testing, each processor will then be overclocked as much as possible, while still maintaining full stability.


Testing Setup: Intel (Socket 1150)


Testing Setup: AMD (Socket AM3+)



Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4790K 4.6GHz 46 x 100


The promise, or at least insinuation, with the release of Devil's Canyon was that the chips would be more overclocking-friendly and run cooler than the silicone in Intel's  Core i7 4770K. Maybe we were all reading too much in between the lines, but at least the hope was there. What I quickly found out was that the apple really did not fall far from the Haswell tree as far as raw clock speed was concerned. Sure the 4790K ran a few degrees cooler than the 4770K, but as far as clock sped is concerned, the highest speed I could get fully stable was 4.6GHz. To get this clock speed stable, I isolated the memory speeds to see what the CPU would do without the impact of high memory speeds to contend with. I kept the ring multiplier at 40 and the CPU speed at 1600MHz for these tests. Initially, 4.7GHz looked promising, but the voltage required was still too high for even a dedicated water loop to keep Prime 95 stable. Between 4.6GHz and 4.7GHz, the voltage wall ended up not being worth the performance gained to get there.

After finding the maximum CPU speed I could run the CPU, I increased the memory speed to its rated 2400MHz and started pushing the ring multiplier up, finally hitting the wall at 45. At this level, the ring voltage and System Agent voltage needed massaging to run the memory and ring ratio stably. I wound up using a ring voltage of 1.290v and System Agent voltage of 1.25v; any lower and Prime 95 would fail. Overall, what we have are traditional means to increase the clock speed of the Devil's Canyon Haswell refresh. It seems the maximum clock speed variability of samples is playing out similarly to when the Core i7 4770K was released last June. Cooler running? Yes. But increased headroom? The jury is still out, as this chip falls right between my other Haswell samples in terms of clock speed.



Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed over-clocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench 3
  4. Bibble 5
  5. Office 2010
  6. POV-Ray 3.7
  7. ProShow Gold
  8. HandBrake .99
  9. Sandra 2014 SP2
  10. AIDA64
  11. Cinebench R15
  12. X.264 Benchmark
  13. PC Mark 8
  • Video:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. Batman: Arkham Origins
  3. 3DMark

Well we have our lineup and maximum stable overclocks for each respective CPU. Time to see what results we get from the latest Fourth Generation Devil's Canyon Core i7 4790K.

  1. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K: Specifications & Features
  3. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, Geekbench 3, Bibble 5
  5. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: Excel 2010, POV-Ray, ProShow Gold, Handbrake
  6. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: SiSoft Sandra 2014 SP2, AIDA64
  7. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: Cinebench, X.264, PCMark 8
  8. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: Metro: Last Light
  9. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: Batman: Arkham Origins
  10. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Testing: 3DMark
  11. Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K: Conclusion
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