Intel Devil's Canyon Processors Arrive - Core i7-4790K

The Intel Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K are without a doubt the most anticipated processors to come to market for the LGA1150 platform since the first Haswell processors were released back in June 2013. Intel announced that they were going to be doing a Haswell Refresh in March and mentioned that they would be coming out with Devil's Canyon.  Basically these are your typical K-Series unlocked 22nm Haswell parts, but they have been refined for enthusiasts that want the best processor possible for their Intel Z87 or Z97 plaform. What exactly does that mean?

NGPTIM

The Intel engineers wanted to bring the best Haswell processor possible to market, but they wanted to do something special for desktop enthusiasts. They heard the feedback about the thermal interface material being used on the 'lid' of the processor, so they changed the thermal interface material (TIM) that lies in between the die and the integrated heat spreader to improve it. Intel hasn't said exactly what was done, but they did say that they are now using a Next generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM) that will bring cooling improvements. They also added additional capacitors to smooth out power delivery to the die and that should allow for higher clock speeds and potentially better overclocking. 

 Intel Core i7-4790K CPU Clocks

The new Intel Core i7-4790K processor is a Quad-Core, 4.0GHz processor with 8MB of cache and Hyper-Threading, that ramps up to 4.4GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology. The Core i7-4770K has a 3.5GHz base clock with a 3.9GHz Turbo Boost clock, so the 4790K has a 500MHz base and turbo clock advantage over the 4770K. This  means that you can expect about 14% higher performance just from that alone, so it looks like Intel is really trying to get the most out of Haswell with the final revision of it here with improved thermal performance, improved power delivery and higher clock speeds.

What do all these changes cost you? Not as much as you think...

Intel Devil's Canyon Pricing

Intel has interestingly priced the Core i7-4790K processor at $339.99 and the Core i5-4690K at $242 in quantities of 1000. This is the same suggested price for the Core i7-4770K and Core i5-4670K! It looks like Intel is trying to win the hearts of some enthusiasts with this pricing move. The standard Intel Core i7-4690 (3.6GHz/4.0GHz) is a locked part that runs $309.99 shipped, so for an extra $30 you are getting an unlocked processor that was cherry picked with better TIM on the die, more transistors for smoother power delivery and much higher clock speeds. If you are an enthusiast it looks like the Core i7-4790K is the LGA1150 processor to get, at least if you didn't want to hold off for Broadwell to come before the holidays.

Intel Core i7-4970K and Core i7-4770K

Here is a look at the Intel Core i7-4770K (QE6S) on the left and the Intel Core i7-4790K (QG81) on the right.  From the top the processors look nearly identical, but Devil's Canyon has some additional 'dots' on the top and bottom of the processor package that aren't on the original 4770K.

Intel Core i7-4970K and Core i7-4770K Pins

Flipping the processors over you can see that the Intel Core i7-4790K has added capacitors that is said to smooth out the power delivery and help with overclocking performance.

intel-4970k-press-sample

Let's take the Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon Processor for a test drive on Intel Z97 test platform!

 

Intel Z97 Test System For Devil's Canyon

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We completely overhauled our test setup for the Intel Core i7-4790K processor launch, so we are starting over from scratch when it comes to testing everything. For this review will be comparing Intel Z77 and Intel Z97 platforms. These platforms are aimed at mainstream users and all feature integrated graphics, so it will be interesting to see how the systems compare.

Intel Z97 Test System

The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 1008 that came out on 5/29/2014. The Corsair Dominator Platnium 8GB 2133MHz memory kit was set to XMP 1.3 memory profile settings, which is 1.65v with 9-11-11-31 2T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M310 firmware.

Intel Z97 Test System

Here is a quick look at the CPU-Z information for our main test system that we'll be doing the testing on.

Intel LGA1150 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-4790K

Motherboard

ASUS Z97-A Click Here

Memory

8GB Dominator 2133MHz Click Here

Video Card

N/A

Click Here

Hard Drive

Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD

Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H105

Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K95

Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M95

Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i

Click Here

Operating System

Windows 8.1 64-Bit

Click Here

 

SiSoftware Sandra 2014 SP2a

Sisoftware Sandra 2011 SP5

The Sisoft Sandra 2014 SP2a benchmark utility measures pretty much all of your system components, but we'll be using it to focus on memory and CPU performance!

sandra-mem

Results: The Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge processor had 27.58GB/s of memory bandwidth with our Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133MHz memory kit and CL9 timings. This is a solid number, but the Intel Core i7-4770K had 27.91GB/s of memory bandwidth and the Core i7-4790K came in at 28.00 GB/s with the same exact kit. There isn't much difference between Haswell and Ivy Bridge architectures when it comes to the memory controller as you can see from this bandwidth test.

sandra-multi

Results: The Intel Core i7-4770K and Core i7-4790K CPUs are significantly faster than the Intel Core i7-3770K in the Multi-Media test due to the the new Intel AVX2 instruction set available on the Haswell processors. The Intel Core i7-4790K was able to really outperform the Core i7-4770K due to the having a 4.4GHz boost speed versus just 3.9GHz. This gave the Core i7-4790K a nice 12.3% performance boost over the Core i7-4770K.

 sandra-crypto

Results: All the new mainstream and high-end desktop processors support AES-NI and have pretty good Cryptographic Bandwidth numbers. The Core i7-4790K scored 7.24 GB/s versus the 6.80 GB/s found on the Core i7-4770K.

sandra-arith

Results: In the Sandra 2014 SP2a CPU Arithmetic Benchmark the Intel Core i7-47790K was found to be 20.8% faster than the Core i7-3770K processor and 12.3% faster than the Core i7-4770K.

x264 HD Encoding

x264

Simply put, the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It's nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test.

x264 HD Encoding Benchmark

This application scales across many threads and is ideal for processors with Intel Hyper-Threading or a bunch of cores.

x264

Benchmark Results: The x264 HD v5.0.1 benchmark showed the Intel Core i7-4790K had good runs with 75.07 FPS on pass 1 and 19.26 FPS on pass 2. The Core i7-4770K came in with 67.53 FPS on pass one and 17.11 FPS on pass 2. The extra 500MHz turbo boost speed on the Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor meant that we were seeing a performance uplift of 12.6% . The Intel Core i7-4970K was 25% faster than the Intel Core i7-3770K on the second pass, so if you have an Ivy Bridge processor you'll need to give it a good overclock in order to keep up with a stock 4790K CPU.

Euler3d CFD Benchmark

Next up is the STARS Euler3d CFD benchmark. The benchmark is intended to provide information about the relative speed of different processor, operating system, and compiler combinations for a multi-threaded, floating point, computationally intensive CFD code. The benchmark testcase is the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing. The wing uses a NACA 65A004 airfoil section and has a panel aspect ratio of 1.65, a taper ratio of 0.66, and a 45 degree quarter-chord sweep angle. This AGARD wing was tested at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 16-foot Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and is a standard aeroelastic test case used for validation of unsteady, compressible CFD codes.

euler3d-benchmark 

The benchmark CFD grid contains 1.23 million tetrahedral elements and 223 thousand nodes. The benchmark executable advances the Mach 0.50 AGARD flow solution. The Intel Fortran compiler (ifort 10.0) is used and all floating point variables are Fortran's double precision (8 bytes). Parallelization is through OpenMP. The benchmark score is reported as a CFD cycle frequency in Hertz and that is what we used to make out chart.

euler
 

Benchmark Results: The Intel Corfe i7-2700K, Core i7-3770K and Core i7-4770K processors have the same clock speeds, so you can see that the Haswell micro-architecture certainly gives you better performance clock for clock than Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge. The Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor is based on the same die design as the 4770K, but the higher base and turbo clock speeds help bump up overall performance no matter how many threads are being used.

Handbrake

handbrake-gui

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded.

Big_buck_bunny

We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. The 1080P clip was used in the MP4 format and the workload is encoded into h.264 output format using the preset - high profile. This benchmark test was setup to give you an idea of how these processors can take a 1080p BD rip and turn it into a 1080p H.264. HandBrake version 0.9.9 was used for benchmarking and we highly encourage you to download this MP4 clip and compare your system to ours with Handbrake! 

handbrake

Benchmark Results: HandBrake version 0.9.9 showed that the Core i7-4770K "Haswell" processor was able to complete the benchmark 20 seconds faster than the Core i7-3770K "Ivy Bridge" processor. This is a nice 14% performance improvement doing a task that most desktop PC users do today at home.

PCMark 8

We ran the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, which includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system.

Intel Core i7-4770K CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics 4600:

pcmark8-4770k

Intel Core i7-4790K CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics 4600:

pcmark8 4970k

Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-4790K was able to pull ahead of the Intel Core it-4770K processor by just a ~150 points of 4.3%.  If you take a look at the detailed results the Core i7-4790K was faster in the Photo Editing v2, Video Chat encoding v2 and casual gaming test sections and that was what gave it a slight boost over the Core i7-4770K in this benchmark test. The web browsing benchmarks were identical.

POV-Ray 3.7

Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7:

The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own.

The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which, in a nutshell, allows the renderer to run on as many CPU's as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend on purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 RC5, which is the most recent version available. The benchmark used all available cores to their fullest extent to complete the render.

Pov-Ray 3.7 RC3

Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the elapsed time from the dialog box, which indicates the exact time it took for the benchmark to finish the benchmark and a score in PPS. We are using the final CPU score for our benchmarks and a higher value indicates faster system performance.

povray

Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor finished the POV-Ray benchmark with a score of 1817.6 PPS, which is 12.5% faster than the Intel Core i7-4770K that came in at 1615.2. This also means that it is 27.2% faster than the Intel Core i7-3770K processor.

Cinebench R15

MAXON; CINEBENCH R15:

MAXON CINEBENCH Release 15 is an advanced hardware testing suite that assesses a computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on the same powerful technology as MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

The new version of CINEBENCH includes the ability to more accurately test the industry’s latest hardware, including systems with up to 64 processor threads, and the testing environment better reflects the expectations of today’s production demands. A more streamlined interface makes testing systems and reading results incredibly straightforward. Again, higher Frames/Second and point score equal better performance.

cinebench benchmark

Cinebench R15 was able to put a 100% load across all the cores on all of the processors, which makes this a great benchmark to look at multi-core platforms.

cinebench-opengl

Benchmark Results: When it comes to OpenGL graphics performance the Intel Core i7-4790K with Intel HD 4600 graphics was was 26% faster than the Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU and 14% faster than the Core i7-4770K Haswell CPU. The Intel Core i7 2700K with Intel HD 3000 graphics isn't supported on this OpenGL benchmark and that it why it was not included.

cinebench-cpu

Benchmark Results: The fourth generation Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor scored 900 points when using all of the available cores and had a score of 179 on just one. This makes the Core i7-4970K about 13% faster than the Core i7-4770K Haswell CPU and 25% faster than the Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge processor.

TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is a is sort of discontinued, but it was once a widely available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or (under Microsoft Windows except Windows 8 with GPT) the entire storage device (pre-boot authentication). On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternate solutions. Since that announcement was made Thomas Bruderer and Joseph Doekbrijder have stepped forward with plans to revive the project through the truecrypt.ch site, which is offering downloads of TrueCrypt 7.1a – which can encrypt and decrypt data, and was the latest version prior to 7.2.

truecrypt-71

We are using the benchmark built-in TrueCrypt 7.1a with default settings to figure out the mean AES speed for each of the processors being tested with a 50MB buffer size.

 truecrypt

Benchmark Results: As you can see the Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor was 13% faster than the Core i7-4770K and 33% faster than the Core i7-3770K processor when it comes to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) benchmark test.

3DMark 2013

Futuremark 3DMark Tests

Futuremark 3DMark has three primary benchmark tests that you can run and which test you should be running depends on the system that you are benchmarking on.

Since all of the benchmarks can be run on desktop PCs, we will run each of them on our Intel and AMD processors to see how they stack up.

Intel Core i7-3770K w/ Intel HD Graphics 4000:

3770K-3DMARK

 

Intel Core i7-4770K CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics 4600:

4770k-3dmark

 

Intel Core i7-4790K CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics 4600:

3dmark-4970k

Let's take a closer look at 3DMark Cloud Gate as that is a best representative of the integrated graphics performance on these processors:

3dmark

Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-4790K scored 8818 points in Fire Strike, which is 29% faster than the Intel Core i7-3770K score of 6796 and 3% faster than the Intel Core i7-4770K processors score of 8567. If you take a closer look at the individual game tests from that benchmark you can see that the Core i7-4790K and Core i7-4770K each won a Graphics Test scene and are no more than half a FPS apart. This makes perfect sense as they share the same graphics core. If you look at the Physics test you'll see 11.5% difference between the Core i7-4770K and the Core i7-4790K due to the much higher clock speeds on the 4790K four x86 cores. The 'old' Intel Core i7-3770K 'Ivy Bridge' processor is still hanging in there though and was found to be 16% slower in the physics test and 38% slower in Graphics Test 1.

 

Intel Core i7-4790K CPU Temp Testing

NGPTIM

The Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor uses Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM), so let's take a look at idle and load temperatures to see if we can tell a difference between the 4770K and 4790K when tested on the same exact system with identical applications of Gelid Extreme Thermal Compound on the Corsair H105 Closed Loop Water Cooler. Intel says that new thermal compound should mean that you can get better CPU temperatures. Some will be disappointed that Intel didn't solder the lid down on Devil's Canyon, but everyone should be happy that Intel improved the thermal interface material. If it works, we hope that Intel uses it on all Broadwell processor or at least the Broadwell K-series processors when they come out later this year.

4790k-idle-temp

4790k-load-temp2

With the Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor sitting on the desktop at an idle we observed an average CPU core temperature that bounced around 26-28C and the voltage was at 0.7220V. We ran a run of POV-Ray 3.7 across all the CPU cores and saw that it the processor temperature topped out at 71C and was using 1.2590V. The test was repeatable and after running it half a dozen times we were constantly hitting 70-71C each time. We used the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility v4.4 to monitor the temperatures. So, on our system with the Corsair H105 water cooler along with Gelid Extreme Thermal Compound we were running 26-28C at idle and 70-71C at load. How does this compare to the Intel Core i7-4770K on the same setup?

idle-4770k

4770k-load

On the Intel Core i7-4770K processor we would get 36-38C idle temperatures with the CPU core voltage defaulting to 0.6930V and when running POV-Ray we topped out at 65-66C at 1.1300V.

temp-testing

So, to recap the temperatures we are seeing pretty significant temperature differences on the Intel Core i7-4790K versus the Intel Core i7-4770K. For example at idle we found Devil's Canyon (4790K) to be 10C cooler, which is pretty damn amazing. At load the 4790K was hotter, but you have to keep in mind that while it is 5C warmer, it is running with 500MHz faster turb0 clock speeds and at a higher vCore. The fact that it is only 5C warmer is impressive. The ambient room temperature was 75F for those that are curious.

Power Consumption

Intel Z97 Test System

Power efficiency remains important to PC users and Intel and AMD have both made great strides to improve power efficiencies. Today we are looking at the Intel Core i7-3770K with a TDP of 77W, the Core i7-4770K at 84W and the Core i7-4970K at 88 Watts. So, we expect the processors to scale in that order for least to most power use.

power comsumption

Benchmark Results: At idle the Intel Core i7-3770K on the Intel Z77 platform used the most power, which might shock some people since it has the lowest TDP. Intel did some power optimizations on Haswell with advanced ultra low power C-States and they are enabled by default on the ASUS Z97-A motherboard that we were using for the Intel Z97 platform. This just goes to show how much Intel has improved on idle power efficiency over even just Ivy Bridge processors. At load the Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge processor came in at 116 Watts and the Intel Core i7-4770K used just slightly more power at 122 Watts. The big shocker when it came to power use was the Intel Core i7-4790K as it used about 30 Watts more power at load than the Core i7-4770K. If you are on an older Sandy Bridge processor like the Core i7-2700K you won't see much of a power difference at all!

We used Handbrake to rip a full 1080P Blu-Ray as our load test, so this is representative of a real world scenario. The Intel Core i7-4790K has great thermal properties, but that extra 500MHz of clock speed means you'll be using about 24% more power. Most enthusiasts won't mind that as the thermals are okay, but just something to point out. The power use went up 24% and our performance only went up about 5-15% on many of the common benchmarks.

 

Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon CPU Overclocking

4790k-load

The Intel Core i7-4790K processor starts out life with a 4.0GHz base clock and can boost up to 4.4GHz. We heard that reaching 4.7GHz should be easy for most platforms with high-end air coolers or water cooling. For this review we wanted to see what we could hit with the Corsair H105 water cooler and we were hoping that the rumors of 5GHz Devil's Canyon processors with water cooling would prove to be true.

asus-max-overclock

We used the ASUS overclocking assistant on the Z97-A motherboard and was able to reach 4.59GHz in just a matter of seconds. The ASUS board automatically bumped up the multiplier from 44 to 45 and increased the Bus Speed from 100MHz to 102MHz as you can see in the screenshot above. It looks like we are off to a great start, but this is only 190MHz higher than the turbo clock speeds of the Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor.

max-overclock

We got into the ASUS Z97-A UEFI and manually did the overclock in AI Tweaker. We just cranked up the vCore and kept raising the multiplier until we got to 1.40V on the core and the system became unstable. By doing this we were able to enter Windows 8.1 and run a few benchmarks at 4.9GHz with 1.35V, but we just couldn't get it fully stable and we didn't want to go over 1.4V on the first few days that the 4790K was in our hands.

 4790k-stock-voltage

We ended up settling for 4.7GHz as that was the highest stable overclock that we could achieve on this processor.  We were able to do this by leaving everything in the UEFI/BIOS untouched and just raising the multiplier up from auto to 47. It appears that the ASUS Z97-A automatically increases the voltage and in this situation we were running at 1.351V on the core. This was the easiest 4.7GHz overclock that we have had on any Haswell processor!

4770k-oc

This just happens to be the top overclock for our Core i7-4770K processor as well, so when it comes to overclocking performance the Core i7-4770K and Core i7-4790K appear to be about the same. We don't have any retail 4790K chips to play around with though, so our opinion is based on our experience with our engineering sample.

cinebench-oc

With the Intel Core i7-4970K Devil's Canyon processor running 4.7GHz we were able to score 946 on the CPU test in Cinebench. We got a score of 900 stock, so this is a modest 5% performance gain as we are only overclocking 300MHz as the turbo clocks on this chip are at 4.4GHz. A 300MHz clock increase from 4400MHz is a 6.4% increase, so this is about what you'd expect to see.

overclock-temp

At 4.7 GHz we saw the temperatures hit 76C, which isn't bad considering Haswell and Devil's Canyon don't start throttling till 95C. It looks like the Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM) that is being used on the Intel Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K processors really does help out. 

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.

intel-4970k-press-sample

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!