Intel Core i7-4790K Devil’s Canyon Processor Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Intel Core i7-4790K Features

The Intel Core i7-4790K Devil’s Canyon processor was impressive when it came to performance it shows off the true power of the Haswell architecture. The 500MHz clock speed increase at both the base and Turbo clock speeds is much more than your traditional Intel speed bump of 100-200MHz if that. This processor takes Haswell to the next level and really raises the bar once again. We saw performance increases of about 12-13% on many of the heavily threaded CPU benchmarks when compared to the Core i7-4770K, so if you care about performance the 4790K is certainly the chip to go with.

The one downside to that extra 500MHz clock boost across the board is that the TDP is higher and that means the power consumption is also up at both idle and load. At an idle we found the 4790K used about 4 Watts more power than the 4770K, but at load we were seeing 29 Watts more being used. We weren’t expecting to see 24% higher power needs at load, but it looks like the 14% higher clock speeds come at a cost and that is power consumption.

When it comes to thermal performance we did see some significant changes on the CPU temperature side thanks to the changed thermal paste. We doubted the results the first time around and re-did the thermal paste and reseated the CPU cooler on both processors a number of times to ensure the thermal paste was applied evenly and equally to both processors. The results stayed with a degree or two at most, which is right what we expected to see as our test room does heat up a degree or two at times due to outside temperatures and how many systems are running at once. The Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM) Intel us using on both Devil’s Canyon processors defintatly works, so we hope that they continue using it down the road on all of the Broadwell processors or at least the K-series once again.


Overclocking performance was a little disappointing. There was a ton of hype around Devil’s Canyon and many were hoping to use that 50 multiplier to get to 5.0GHz with a good water cooling setup. We were able to get into Windows at 4.9GHz, but it wasn’t stable and we had to dial it all the way down to 4.7GHz to get it 100% rock solid. We have several Intel Core i7-4770K processors that can hit 4.7GHz with ease and even one that can do 4.8GHz, so we had Haswell processors that can reach this speed since June 2013. That said, the Core i7-4790K runs cooler at those speeds and that is important to many people.

Right now the Intel Core i7-4970K is available to pre-order for $339.99 Shipped at Amazon. The estimated ship date for the first batch of processors is June 20th and we expect that the initial batch will go quickly.  Devil’s Canyon will not be a limited edition processor, so Intel will make as many as they need to in order to fulfill demand. We know Intel has been culling chips for months now, so it will be interesting to see how the retail processors perform compared to the engineering samples that were sent to media. We will also be very curious to see if the initial batch of processors overclock really well at the initial launch or if the results will be similar months down the road. Regardless, we like Devil’s Canyon and the Core i7-4790K was a breeze to use on the ASUS Z97-A motherboard. We just popped the 4790K into a budget friendly $143.99 motherboard and had it up and running at 4.7GHz by just changing the multiplier.  It doesn’t get much easier than that and we hope that the retail chips will overclock just as easy!

ASRock Z77 Pro3 Legit Reviews Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core i7-4790K is as good as Haswell is going to get and it is the enthusiast processor to get for any Z87 or Z97 motherboard!


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  • She-Ra

    Basically devil’s canyon has the same overclocking scaling as the ivy bridge 3770K in both the I5 and I7 processors. Two generations news with a few more bells and whistles but the same OC cap as ivy. If you consider it comes in at 4ghz but only jumps to 4.5-4.7 which is the same as the 4770K. Essentially a chip that comes mildly overclocked which can be achieved in the 4770K with the exact same OC’d results. Obviously, that is the chip because of those added bells and whistles. The 22nm process is showing that it’s dated. Intel really needs some new silicon or something so they can hit 5ghz. PC gamers need the speed. They should also add a feature that uses internal graphics in tandem with PCI Express graphics cards. It’s really a simple solution adding integrated graphics. I am not talking about quick sync. I simply give intel ideas to revive their PC gaming market.

  • klepp0906

    Clock for clock they’re the exact same chip. So unless your convinced you can get an extra few hundred MHz out of a 4790 save your money.

    For me running a delidded watercooled haSwell at 4700mhz I can’t imagine (based on all results I’ve seen thus far) being able to attain a high enough overclock to make it worthwhile.

    • CharlesAnderson

      I can – it’s better to run a stock Devil’s Canyon at 4700 MHz and keep your warranty intact.

  • Kat

    I think the Intel Deviled Egg would be a better name…

  • anon

    I’d like to see this and the 4770k compared when they’re both overclocked as high as possible. “High as possible” depends on the sample of course, but I still think it’s more useful then comparing with stock speeds, since the 4790k’s is higher but at the expense of greater power draw and heat.

    • Thomas Dameron

      except that OCing a CPU as high as possible reduces its life to a few months and doesn’t give any useful information

      • anon

        I meant as high as reasonably achievable.

      • klepp0906

        It does?

      • dj3hac

        I ran an Intel E8500 @ 3.6ghz for years no problem at all, it’s still running in a dedicated server. It’s be going 24/7 at that speed for 6 or 7 years now.

  • Steven Kean

    Tempting upgrade from a 3570K…

  • Will Beams

    What the heck? 71c under load with a Corsair H105 Closed Loop Water Cooler??? Then how hot does the bloody thing get with an after market air cooler, let alone the stock cooler? Something doesn’t seem to be right here…

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Haswell has always been regarded as a fairly hot processor, so nothing out of the ordinary there! I actually thought that was low and was extremely happy with that. I used the latest version of Intel XTU and screen shots are in the review and everything was done more than once and was consistent.

    • Vinny

      they were using the integrated graphics that why it ran hotter….if you use a dedicated card it wouldn’t run so hot then 🙂

    • name

      I have the 4790k with an h110 and mine doesn’t go over 60C on a full load.

      • klepp0906

        Load it with IBT then and not Aida or something foo foo :p

        (Assuming your overclocked)

  • Coach

    Great review. I was very curious/anxious to read this. It’s selling at $279 at MicroCenter. VERY tempting! I want to see how the Broadwell’s do, but I’m sure they’re price point will be much higher.

  • OJ

    Hopefully some of the 4790ks do manage to hit 5GHz otherwise the extra features such as the smoothing caps and the thermal interface don’t achieve much. Although the the improvements lead me to assume that some 4790k chips should be more stable when clocked over 4.5Ghz.

    • Thomas Dameron

      umm, 500 MHz a core is actually a pretty good boost, especially considering that the 4770k was pretty shaky at anything over 4.3 GHz

      • Joe Joejoe

        And compared to AMD, a 500Mhz boost is more like a 4×1.5Ghz boost, especially when it’s on 4 cores rather than 8.

    • ricksanchez1

      I was disappointed they didn’t push the chip until it burned. If they ran all their tests, and more come along in a week, a $350 chip can’t be sacrificed for the point of testing?