Best Intel Core i7 4790K Black Friday + Cyber Monday Deals 2020
The Intel Core i7-4790K ($350), code named “Devil’s Canyon,” is not a huge update over last year’s Intel Core i7-4770K, but it’s enough of a noticable difference to displace that CPU as our Editors’ Choice for high-end processors. In the event that you weren’t impressed with the Core i7-4770K, you might find the i7-4790K more to your liking these times, particularly if you get with an eye toward long-term features and compatibility. Get black friday sales and deals in this page and be updated.
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There are a few important improvements, including:
Faster clock speed: The Core i7-4790K runs at a 4GHz base clock, with a 4.4GHz Turbo Mode. That’s a rise of 15 percent over the Intel Core i7-4770K’s 3.5GHz base/3.9GHz Turbo clock speed, and since CPU performance scales practically linear with clock speed improvements, this means benchmark results will grab a supplementary 10- to 15-percent performance on the newer core.
Better temperatures: The old Haswell chips have a reputation for running hot. There are lots of known reasons for this, including a fresh onboard voltage regulator that puts a significant heat generator on the CPU die, and Intel’s decision to use thermal paste rather than soldering the CPU heat spreader directly onto the chip. The Core i7-4790K fixes this with a fresh thermal interface material (TIM) between your CPU die and heat spreader.
Additional CPU features: The Core i7-4790K carries two professional features that the Core i7-4770K lacked. It offers support for Intel’s Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) and I/O virtualization (VT-d). VT-d allows a virtual machine to assign specific I/O devices (meaning those hardware mounted physically within the machine) to a specific virtual machine. Both these are specialized features, particularly TSX, that provides programmers the opportunity to design multithreading applications that scale better than current software-if the CPU supports TSX already. Intel’s decision to leave both these features from the Intel Core i7-4770K this past year drew criticism from enthusiasts who wanted a high-end chip that offered most of Intel’s high-end features, but were not able to get one unless they quit overclocking support.
Neither TSX or VT-d is specially important to the normal consumer today, but TSX could possibly be a crucial performance feature in the future-and with desktops lasting an extremely long time, it seems sensible to get into every available option. With the Core i7-4790K dropping in at the same price as the Core i7-4770K, there’s still an advantage to the added compatibility.
Now, let’s cover what hasn’t changed. The Core i7-4790K continues to be predicated on Intel’s fourth-generation Core architecture, codenamed Haswell. It’s still built on a single 22nm process, and it gets the same HD Graphics 4600 onboard GPU at the same clock speeds. For this reason, we won’t give attention to GPU performance here.
We tested the Core i7-4790K on an Asus Z97-Deluxe motherboard with 8GB of DDR3-2133. We installed Windows 8.1 Update 1 with all patches and updates, and used an Intel 730 Series SSD for storage. We compared the Core i7-4790K against last year’s Core i7-4770K and Intel’s first-generation 22nm processor, the Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i7-3770K, our former Editors’ Choice for high-end CPUs. At $339, the Core i7-4790K is a drop-in alternative to the Core i7-4770K-so just how much has it improved performance weighed against last year’s model?
In line with the results from our suite of tests, the 15-percent clock speed boost of the i7-4970K results in a real-world performance gain of 8 to 12 percent over the Intel Core i7-4770K and a 25- to 35-percent performance jump over the older Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i7-3770K. Increases in size are smallest in general-application suites like PCMark 7 and larger in CPU-intensive programs like Photoshop CS6, the rendering program POV-RAY, and the 3D rendering test, Cinebench 11.5. Here, the Core i7-4790K’s performance scales practically linearly using its clock speed.
The chip, however, isn’t only faster-it substantially boosts CPU thermals. The initial Haswell core was infamous because of its heat and didn’t overclock particularly well. We tested the Core i7-4790K with the same V3 Voltair CPU cooler we recently reviewed on the Core i7-4770K. Whenever we set the Core i7-4790K to the same 3.5GHz base/3.9GHz Turbo clock speeds as the Intel Core i7-4770K, it ran a complete 15 degrees cooler-50 degrees Celsius, weighed against 65 degrees Celsius for the Intel Core i7-4770K. At stock speeds and under full load, the Core i7-4790K hit 74 degrees Celsius-but that’s still a reasonably modest increase, taking into consideration the chip is clocked 15 percent faster than its predecessor.
The one caveat to all or any of the is overclocking performance. When Intel launched Devil’s Canyon, it made a major deal about how precisely the chip will be ideal for overclocking-an area where Haswell, which ran hot even at stock speeds, fell notably flat. Unfortunately, our tests show that the Core i7-4790K is not a particularly good overclocker-its power consumption and thermals spike sharply when the clock rate increases much above its stock speeds.
With that caveat at heart, the Intel Core i7-4790K increases on the Core i7-4770K in almost every way. If you just upgraded this past year, the huge benefits probably aren’t substantial enough, but in the event that you upgraded this year 2010 or before, the Core i7-4790K is an advisable investment, and is our new Editors’ Choice for high-end processors.