In the latter area of the last decade, getting performance on the cheap meant investing in a low end processor and learning how exactly to overclock it. This is one way I were only available in building computers, but a few generations ago Intel locked everything down aside from a few high-end models in each generation. Since that time, because of various changes in packaging, each one of the last few generations has anecdotally felt to provide less overclocking headroom or fewer highly overclocking parts, much to the chagrin of enthusiasts. With Devil’s Canyon, Intel aimed to handle many of these concerns. Now get the best black friday & Cyber Monday deals, offers, discounts in this website.

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The Old and THE BRAND NEW
Both Devil’s Canyon CPUs are part of a three-way release for Intel, with the announcement earlier in June and a complete retail release by the finish of the June (based on location). The three CPUs will be the dual core Pentium Anniversary Edition G3258, which we’ve tested and will article in its review, and the brand new Core series models, the quad-core i5-4690K and the quad core with hyperthreading i7-4790K. There are numerous explanations why the Pentium isn’t area of the ‘Devil’s Canyon’ fall into line, which we will get into in that review, however the Core models are upgrades of the i5-4670K and i7-4770K respectively.

In May we’d the release of the Haswell Refresh CPUs, updated silicon featuring small clock boosts at all of the major points. We posted an assessment of the i3-4360, i5-4690 and i7-4790 at that time that you can read here. The brand new Devil’s Canyon i7 and i5 CPUs are a lot more than just jumps in clock speed like their Haswell Refresh brethren. Intel is keen to quote this slide discussing the ‘new features’ of the CPUs:

Both new official features are:

New Thermal Interface Material, made out of a Next Generation Polymer (NGPTIM)
Additional capacitors on the lower for smoother power delivery
I’ll address the latter point first. According to my sources, they are extra decoupling capacitors so that you can help smooth the delivery of voltages from the FIVR (fully integrated voltage regulator) to the many elements of the CPU. When at the top quality of overclocking, achieving the limits of stability (tied to voltage for confirmed frequency), this will help maintain a frequent voltage specially when load-line calibration settings are fixed. This will have ramifications for home users attempting to overclock drastically (4.7 GHz+) and so are on ambient cooling methods, nonetheless it would seem to be that Intel’s main focus is always to assist sub-zero overclockers competing for records.

i7-3770K, i7-4770K, i7-4790K (left-to-right)

Why is helping the extreme, sub-zero overclockers important for Intel? The extreme overclocking community numbers a few thousand worldwide for the most part, but their exploits tend to be found in marketing material with Intel’s partners, such as for example ASUS, GIGABYTE, ASRock and MSI. Among the key criticisms for the Haswell type of overclocking CPUs was the inconsistency for these CPUs going to high frequencies frequently, with many enthusiasts testing several dozen (and even 100s) as a way to locate a good CPU for benchmarking competitions. This upgrade ought to be a nod towards that community, at least in writing.

THE BRAND NEW Thermal Interface Material
Going back to discussing 24/7 overclocking, and the initial launch Haswell CPUs have already been varied within their performance. Anecdotally, I’ve had three i7-4770K CPUs to check, and with my idea of benchmarking stability (five minutes OCCT and a POV-Ray test, max temperature 98C), one reached 4.7 GHz at 1.35 volts, one reached 4.6 GHz at 1.40 volts and another struggled to get 4.3 GHz at 1.40 volts. Initial reports showed these CPUs ran hotter than even the prior generations, Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, at confirmed frequency. This limited their overclocking potential on air and water. The move from Ivy Bridge to Haswell was an architecture change, with the give attention to power savings and performance benefits taking good thing about the 22nm node instead of all-out performance at the trouble of efficiency. There have been many comments from users who weren’t expecting the brand new CPUs to be so varied, or that the peak temperature was reached so quickly. In the end, the overclocking CPUs are anticipated be the best quality silicon from the production line, the sensation that they varied so much had not been a welcome characteristic. At that time, the ideas were clear: for users owning a good Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPU on a good (4.6 GHz+) overclock, regardless of the IPC and power improvements for Haswell, the only reason to improve could possibly be for the chipset improvements.

Because of these temperature issues, there is a whole lot of user research done in to the reasons for the increase. Most users complained on the problem of the thermal interface material being cheap, instead of soldered which happened in older generations. Successful delidding (removal of the heatspreader) of CPUs and replacing the TIM resulted in various reports of a 10-20ºC drop in temperatures at confirmed voltage/frequency combination, which has even resulted in MSI providing a shim with a few of their Z97 overclocking motherboards so users who do delid can still offer an offset between your PCB and the die for air/water cooling. AnandTech Forum admin Idontcare posted an in-depth report about the dimensions of the CPUs, and his experience with this sort of packaging. His conclusion was that, for his Ivy Bridge CPU at least, the height of the heatspreader above the die was actually the reason for concern, with the heatspreader adhesive actually raising the heatspreader too much off the die, and therefore the gap was bigger than expected and the TIM cannot work properly. Actually, his conclusion is that the TIM is correctly fine, but this gap is triggering the issue.

For Devil’s Canyon, Intel is addressing the first issue, the standard of the thermal interface material. Their phrasing is by using a ‘Next Generation Polymer’ kind of TIM, which is nice and ambiguous for just about any material scientists out there. The actual fact that it says polymer is a major clue that people are working with a silicone based TIM. ‘Next-Generation’ could easily mean version 2.0, so is nearly non-descript and purely a marketing term. However, as a way to improve the thermal efficiency of the TIM, I’d hazard a reckon that the TIM is more dense, and so the polymer chains would either be longer or heaver (through the use of modified starting chemicals/catalysts), or the suspension matrix differs. These silicone based TIMs often hold a suspension of ceramic powders, that may also affect the thermal conductivity by one factor of 200x. ‘Next-Generation’ could imply the ceramic has changed (this might also change the viscosity, perhaps severely so) to 1 with an increased thermal conductivity. The movement from a zinc-oxide filler to an aluminium based filler would give you a 2x improvement in thermal conductivity for the minor added expense, aswell as result in a color change coupled with a viscosity change.

With kudos to Matt Bach at Puget Systems, we are able to see images of the brand new CPUs delidded:

Comparing the i7-4790K to the i7-4770K, apart from the upsurge in internal capacitors (again, for power regulation), the TIM has changed more from a silver material to a whiter material, similar compared to that of the 3770K. The cynic in me would advise a movement to a zinc-based ceramic filler, considering that zinc is a d10 metal (10 electrons in its outer shell) and forms an exceptionally white powder when in the zinc oxide form, so much in order that it is put into paints as a white pigment (much like titanium dioxide). However aluminium oxide can be white, and includes a higher thermal conductivity than zinc oxide when found in a thermal interface material matrix (quoted as 30 W m-1 K-1). The viscosity will be dependent on how big is the nanoparticles used against the matrix itself, but you can argue that the aluminum based TIM ought to be slightly more expensive compared to the zinc based TIM. It really is worth noting that the black IHS adhesive continues to be present, in what appears like similar quantities. So if the black adhesive be the mitigating factor, users who’ve delidded and adjusted their previous CPUs may not see much of a notable difference (or a regression) by switching to an out-of-the-box Devil’s Canyon if the temperature issues are well and truly fixed.

Specifications
The big news in the specifications is that the i7-4790K is clocked higher than once was expected. The i7-4770K, its predecessor, was rated at a 3.5 GHz base frequency and offered a turbo speed for single core workloads of 3.9 GHz. The brand new i7-4790K should come with a 4.0 GHz base frequency (Intel loves to point out that is their first commercial quad-core CPU with a 4.0 GHz base clock) that provides a 4.4 GHz Turbo Mode. A supplementary 14% frequency for an identical price isn’t to be sniffed at although Intel does quote the TDP rising from 84W to 88W.

The i5-4690K is similar to the Haswell refresh samples, marking a tiny +100 MHz upsurge in frequency over the i5-4670K. Here we move from a 3.4 GHz base / 3.8 GHz turbo to a 3.5 GHz base / 3.9 GHz turbo increase, and again a rise in TDP from 84W to 88W.

The CPUs still utilize the LGA1150 socket, meaning compatibility with 9-series motherboards & most 8-series motherboards (when the motherboard manufacturers release relevant updates for 8-series). We advise that if you intend to acquire an 8-series motherboard basic CPUs that you contact your retailer in advance to verify BIOS versions.

The upsurge in frequency for the very best end i7 puts more distance regarding CPU performance between that and the i5, which by the price difference could possibly be significant, specifically for prosumers that are CPU-bound. Things are less clear in the gaming arena, although we’ve tested both CPUs and with overclocks to observe how they pan out.

Expectations on Overclocking
There was a whole lot of talk about the magic ‘5.0 GHz’ number and whether it could be easily achievable with these new processors. At Intel’s overclocking event at Computex this season, the best frequency achieved with an all-in-one closed-loop-liquid-cooler was 5.5 GHz, although this is only stable enough for a CPU-Z screenshot and the air passing over the radiator was cooled with liquid nitrogen, so not really a realistic scenario. Other reviews on these processors experienced trouble hitting 5.0 GHz stable, with most falling short by a few hundred MHz.

So that you can even discuss this, we first need to consider the silicon itself. All arrows indicate an unchanged silicon die, but an updated package, which would advise that the overclocking performance of the new processors might match the old, but with an increase of thermal headroom. Although you can also advise that Intel has optimized the procedure in the fab to permit a different distribution of bin yields, in particular when taking into consideration the new 4.0 GHz bin is considerably greater than the others. This might arguably put some positive note on the i7, considering that there have been some rather poor overclocking i7-4770Ks in the open and the i7-4790K appears to improve that minimum barrier by default.

Without having a few hundred CPUs to check, we cannot create a histogram of expected overclocking results. However I could add our results here, with a clearer explanation later in the review.

Our i7-4790K is in fact among the lower performing CPUs from what I’ve heard from other reviewers. Utilizing a Corsair H80i (the 120mm double thickness CLC), our CPU hit 4.6 GHz at 1.300 volts, with 86ºC peak temperature under OCCT load, and 4.7 GHz at 1.450 volts with 98ºC peak temperature under OCCT load.