Power Consumption, Perf per Dollar, Closing Thoughts

Power Consumption Testing

Our power testing was done with the discrete graphics card installed with the system running at idle (obviously).  Cinebench 11 was used to obtain our CPU load values, but all measurements are for the full system.

I find it somewhat interesting that the idle power consumption was a bit higher with the Core i7-4790K. It isn't enough to be worried about, but I imagine this is something that will be tweaked in the UEFI of this motherboard in the near future. Load power consumption is a bit different, as the Core i7-4790K pulls 28.5 watts more power than the Core i7-4770K. That extra power comes with another 500 MHz of clock speed and 7-14% additional performance though, and I think all enthusiasts would gladly make that trade. 

It does put the quad-core Core i7-4790K damned close the load power draw of the Core i7-4960X, a 6-core part with a quad-channel memory controller.

Performance per Dollar

One thing we wanted to take into consideration with this review is the idea of performance per dollar.  To get some interesting data I selected three benchmarks (7zip, Cinebench 11 and x264 v5.0) and included current pricing from Newegg.com (or Amazon if out of stock on Newegg). 

The projected MSRP of the Core i7-4790K is $339, matching the price of the Core i7-4770K, an interesting move I'll discuss in the conclusion. I have doubts on to the availability of that part at that price.  If it sticks, anyone considering a 4770K would obviously see better performance with a 4790K.

The results for the new Intel processor are great, but not unexpected. With performance that is clearly faster than the Core i7-4770K at the same price point, the value of Devil's Canyon cannot be argued. 

Pricing and Closing Thoughts

Based on the preorder options at Amazon.com, the new Core i7-4790K will be shipping as soon as June 20th. Amazon's price of $379 $339 is $40 over the MSRP but Newegg and MicroCenter have it at MSRP or less! I am honestly confused by Intel's decision to price this part exactly in line with the Core i7-4770K, but I am not one to look a gift-horse in the mouth, as the saying goes. If Intel is trying to "do the community a solid" with this move then I am excited for the gesture and excited for all the enthusiasts that are able to pick one up.

Performance of the Core i7-4790K is impressive, even if you choose to not overclock at all. The 500 MHz clock speed increase (at both base and Turbo speeds) when compared to the Core i7-4790K makes the choice between the two parts pretty much a no-brainer. Benchmarks clearly showed the advantage of the Devil's Canyon CPU and it range from 7-15% depending on the application and the threaded efficiency of the application. That is a hefty boost in today's world of x86 processors and the fact that we are creeping closer and closer into the Ivy Bridge-E territory is great news. And hopefully means the Haswell-E parts are right around the corner.

Overclocking results for my part were a bit disappointing, even if the temperature results I saw proved that the new thermal interface and added capacitors were doing their job. Hopefully as we see more samples make their way into the community we'll get a better sense of how much these changes actually mean to the average overclock. I wouldn't expect a world changer though and users hoping that skull logo would mean you could just hit the 50x multiplier button and go should slow down a bit.

Even with that, the Core i7-4790K is an exciting processor. It's not "budget" by most people's standards but getting this kind of performance with a $339 CPU helps everyone and Intel's good will gesture to the community at least indicates that the lack of competition on the high-end of the market isn't totally damning us all.

If you were planning a new build in line with the Z97 platform shift, the Core i7-4790K is the perfect processor to pair with it. You'll get one of the fastest consumer processors you can buy and you won't have to shell out $1000 for it. Overclocking, as always, will vary from user to user and if that is the crucial factor in your purchase, you'll likely want to wait and see what lots of other users have to say first. For me though, the Core i7-4790K fits perfectly in a high end gaming rig without tweaking a thing.

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