Intel i7 4790K Devils Canyon CPU Review


Intel i7-4790K Review


Summarising the i7-4790K is actually pretty easy.

Because it's very much a minor refinement of the i7-4770K, rather than a massive change of technology or architecture, then it has very similar overclocking performance. We know that our i7-4770K is an absolute stormer, capable of hitting 5GHz on the right motherboard. Equally we know of many people who struggle to squeeze 4.4GHz from theirs. So, as always, there is a bit of hit and miss involved in any maximum overclock.

However, the i7-4790K gives you all the tools necessary to get the absolute most from your CPU, regardless of the manner you wish to achieve it. Because of the greatly improved TIM the temperatures are a lot lower than the hot Haswell of old and, as we all know, heat is one of the primary limiting factors in any overclocking. Because the refreshed CPU runs cooler you can put even more voltage through, should you so wish. Even with our relatively modest 200MHz overclock there is clearly a big change in performance in certain tests when you up the ante. The stock CPU, which we'll get to in a moment, isn't a slouch but even a mild overclock really unleashes the beast. It's enough to put the i7-4790K ahead of its predecessor in certain benchmarks, which is always the mark of a good CPU. Doing more with less.

Where the Core i7-4790K really shines though is at stock. We know that many of you are uncomfortable with overclocking and prefer to run your processor 'as God intended'. Or perhaps you only have an average cooling solution and can't afford the extra heat generated from an overclock. Either way the 4.4GHz Turbo from the Haswell refresh is outstanding. On our test ASUS Z97A it never dropped below 4.4GHz either. Perhaps even more impressively, as if that wasn't enough, we could drop the core voltage down to 1v and still run at 4GHz. Low power draw, low heat but 4GHz of performance is outstanding. Just plugging it in and getting 4.4GHz is enough to tempt almost anyone.

Any negative is only dependant upon your current setup. If you've already got a i7-4770K then there probably isn't enough here to justify an upgrade. If you're not planning on overclocking then grabbing the K version is perhaps overkill, but we know a lot of people like having the best, even if they never take full advantage. For the rest of us, the i7-4790K is as brilliant as the i7-4770K, but refined in the areas the 4770K was lacking. Excellent, and of course it wins our OC3D Gold Award.


Thanks to Intel for supplying the i7-4790K for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

13-06-2014, 09:46:26

Nice review thanks.

If I could get the same 4.80GHZ overclock with a 4970K that I have with my 4770K then I would definitely buy one but I'm not lucky with the silicon lottery Quote

13-06-2014, 10:09:17

Very nice review Tom. Thank you for the time in trying to enlighten us about the differences from the 4770k cpu. I probably will get one for the Maximus VII Hero rig that I hope to finish in the next couple of months. The 4770k I have now is not a strong one from what I can see. I might get a better entry in the lottery with a new chip. I am also hoping you go back to the VII Hero board with the DC 4790k chip. Your review of that board was what made me buy it on day 1 when it came available. I really hope the combo with the DC chip will be a "Epic Win"

Thank You Again!


13-06-2014, 10:21:16

Good review as always Tom, the 500MHz boost over the 4770k is nothing to take lightly at stock and the improved thermals is always good.

While it is a shame that the average overclocks for DC is not any higher than vanilla haswell, the improvements are always welcome.Quote

13-06-2014, 11:07:20

the non K cpu doesn't turbo to 4.4Ghz, only the K one.Quote

13-06-2014, 11:47:17

Hitman absolutely (heh) loves the overclocked 4790K
I almost lost it with that subtle joke
Great review, and I'm not sure why I don't know this but do you need a z97 mobo for devil's canyon, I currently have an i3 and want to upgrade by the end of the summer (no job makes it hard) so will it be the 4670k or 4690k that I'll be (hopefully) getting?Quote

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