Intel core i7 4790K still best buy for 1080P Gaming

 Author’s Opinion :

Here is my opinion on this in form of a short story. I got my hands on this beast Intel Core i7 4790K in 2015 when I switched to this from my old Intel Core i3 4130. At first, I ran this on the bundled stock cooler. I was shocked to see the temperature touching 100C at full load so I turned off the Virtualization and Turbo Boost from the Bios, afraid of burning the processor. Next month I bought an MSI Z97S Krait SLI motherboard and Corsair H80i GT Liquid cooler than I was able to run it at full potential. I was able to overclock mine to 4.7Ghz without playing with Voltages. Bundled it with Gigabyte GTX 970 and I tried almost every game at ULTRA settings till 2017.

I wasn’t able to run games at max settings due to the lower VRAM of the GTX 970 (Only 4GB). With the launch of latest Intel Core i7 8700K, 6 core processor, I finally made up my mind to trade this chip for the next generation as I also upgraded my graphics card to GTX 1080Ti. I was trying to get everything maxed out at 4K. Otherwise, Intel Core i7 4790K was still able to handle everything.

Intel Core i7 4790K vs Intel Core i7 7700K

Intel Core i7 4790K aka Devil’s Canyon is the most powerful processor of the 4th generation, We’re talking about i7s here. It has 4 cores and 8 threads. It was released in Q2’14. The processor has a base frequency of 4.00Ghz and max turbo boost frequency of 4.40Ghz, this processor features a smart cache of 8MB. Core i7-4790K, codenamed ‘Devil’s Canyon’, has both faster base and boost clock speeds than its predecessor, the Intel Core i7-4770K, compared to 3.5GHz and 3.9GHz. The i7-4790K can operate at these higher clock speeds thanks to extra capacitors that help deliver power to the die and a new thermal interface material to improve cooling.

Otherwise, there is little difference between the chips. Intel Core i7 7700K also have the same core count and cache but it has a higher base and boost clock speed. Intel Core i7 4790K has a TDP of 88W while 7700K have TDP of 91W. Bus speed of 7700K is higher than core i7 4790K. Intel Core i7 7700K supports Intel’s Optane memory.

If you’re not concerned about integrated graphics than there is not a huge difference in both processors. The Core i7-4790K is based on a 22nm process and has four CPU cores, as well as an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 graphics processor while the Core i7 7700K has Intel HD 630 graphics processor. Newer Intel core i7 processors also have intel optane memory support.

A powerful processor and the Core i7 to buy, but it requires real effort to overclock it.

Intel Core i7 4790K vs Intel Core i7 8700K

There is no competition between the devil’s canyon and Intel’s 8th generation beast core i7 8700K. Due to increase core count, Intel Core i7 8700K is far ahead in the benchmarks and multithreaded performance. But we can compare the gaming performance of both chips by coupling them with the same high-end graphics card. As seen in different games there is not a huge difference in frames using both processors when coupled with Nvidia GTX 1080Ti.

No doubt the fastest Intel Core i7 to date, Beast for Gaming and Content Creation due to higher core count as comparred to previous Core i7s.

Clock Speed:

This quad-core processor features a 4.0GHz base clock with turbo boost of 4.4Ghz.

Additional CPU features:

The Core i7-4790K carries two professional features that the Core i7-4770K lacked. It provides 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 to a particular virtual machine. Both of these are specialized features, particularly TSX, which offers programmers the ability to design multithreading applications that scale more effectively than current software—if the CPU supports TSX already.

Overclocking Potential:

According to user benchmarks, Average overclock of Core i7 4790K on liquid cooling is around 5Ghz. Most of the processors are able to achieve 4.7Ghz stable without changing the input voltages. I was able to overclock mine to 4.7Ghz using Corsair H80iGT liquid cooler.

Performance:

I tested the Core i7 4790K using MSI Z97S Krait SLI edition motherboard with 16GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance memory, used a Transcend 250GB SSD for storage. MSI overclock utility is used for overclocking. I’m naive regarding the overclocking scenario of processors. So, at first, I only used basic settings and simply overclocked my processor to just 4.6Ghz to be on safe side. At next step I overclocked it to 4.8Ghz and ran the benchmark using MSI Overclock Utility, that was stable but when I ran Benchmark using CPUZ the system rebooted. After this, I lowered the clock speed to 4.7Ghz and repeated the same benchmark and stress tests. It was stable at 4.7Ghz and I also ran Cinebench and Geekbench at this clock speed. There was around 100 point difference between stock and overclock frequency.

Gaming Benchmarks

The Core i7-4790K failed our 1,920×1,080 Dirt Showdown benchmark and produced an average frame rate of 31.2fps in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1,280×720, with graphics detail set to High and 4x anti-aliasing. You may be able to play some older 3D games if you’re willing to compromise on graphics quality and resolution. But the Intel HD Graphics 4600 GPU is better suited to watching videos, browsing the web and running productivity applications than serious gaming.

Bundled with Budget GPU

  • Intel Core i7 4790K 4.4 Ghz
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1866Mhz
  • Gigabyte GTX 970 4GB

Bundled with Most powerful GPU

  • Intel Core i7 4790K 4.4 Ghz
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1866Mhz
  • MSI Lightning X 1080Ti 11GB

I’ve tested several games, here are the FPS using both Graphic Cards.

It was able to run all games at max settings with 1080Ti. Although it struggled with 970 while playing PUBG and Rise of the tomb Raider.

CPU Benchmarks

Cinebench

  • 879 Points

Cinebench Open GL (3D)

  • 104.35 Points

Unigene Heaven

  • FPS 173.6
  • Score 4374

Unigene Valley

  • FPS 118.4
  • Score 4955

Conclusions

We’re not comparing all aspects of this processor with the other processors, Newer processors are meant to be fast as compared to this 4 year old chip. But if you’re tight on budget you can pick this up for your next build as other components like DDR3 rams are also cheap. Moreover, you can also couple this with some cheap liquid cooler. There is not a huge difference in FPS if you’re using a discrete GPU with this processor. You can run almost every game with Ultra settings if your GPU is powerful enough.

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