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

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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?


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.


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


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