Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-4770K – A Brief Comparison of Haswell and Haswell Refresh

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The new Intel Haswell Refresh processors are just around the corner, and it is expected to be announced officially together with the Intel 9 Series Express chipset. If you have been following my site, by now you should be aware that major motherboard manufacturers like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and EVGA have already announced their Z97 and H97 motherboards respectively. Oh well, so much for NDA. Anyway, according to Intel their new Haswell Refresh processors are not only faster than the first generation Haswell processors, but they also feature an improved Thermal Interface Material (TIM) and an updated packaging that should result in better and lower temperature. Since the most anticipated Devil’s Canyon a.k.a Haswell Refresh K-Series is still a few months away, let’s take a look at the upcoming Intel Core i7-4790 Haswell Refresh first and let’s see how it pars with the current Intel Core i7-4770 K. Check the results below.

Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-4770k (4th Gen Haswell vs Haswell Refresh)

Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-4770K

Thanks to TweakTown for posting their performance preview of the Intel Core i7-4790, we are able to see an overview on how well does this new processor perform compared to the currently released processors. The Core i7-4790 has a base clock of 3.60GHz and a maximum Turbo Boost speed of 4.0GHz. It doesn’t have an unlock base-clock multiplier (obviously) so 4GHz (or slightly higher) is pretty much the maximum speed you’ll get from it.

Intel Core i7 4790 CPU-Z

Okay without further delay, below are the performance difference of the Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-4770K. TweakTown also added other processors, including an AMD processor, in their raw benchmarks test.

Intel Core i7-4790 3DMark 11 Benchmark

Intel Core i7-4790 Cinebench 11.5 CPU Render Benchmark

Intel Core i7-4790 PassMark Performance Test

Intel Core i7-4790 AIDA64 CPU Cache Benchmark Write

Intel Core i7-4790 AIDA64 CPU Cache Benchmark Read

Intel core i7 4790 PCMark 7

Below are power consumption and temperature produced by the Intel Core i7-4790 Haswell Refresh:

Intel Core i7-4790 Power Consumption

Intel Core i7-4790 Temperature

If you want to see more benchmarks and other information related to this test, I suggest you head over to TweakTown’s article here.

To Upgrade or Not Yet?

The Intel Core i7-4790 is indeed faster than the current Intel Core i7-4470K. But wait, shouldn’t they compare the Core i7-4790 with the Core i7-4770 which is also a non K variant? And compare the Core i7-4770K with the Core i7-4790K “Devil’s Canyon”? Anyway, the only advantage of the 4770K is that you can overclock it, and will most probably surpass the 4790’s performance easily.

Honestly, the performance difference is not that huge at all; and if you are coming from an Ivy Bridge system or even Sandy Bridge upgrading wouldn’t make sense at all, specially in terms of gaming. I also doubt if the Devil’s Canyon would also have a huge performance difference compared to the 4770K as well.

So upgrading to the current Z97 motherboards and Intel Haswell Refresh system would only make sense if you are coming from a much older system, and or if you plan to ditch that build sooner or later. Well, there are people who do that, and I know some, build a system today and sell it later just before the one year warranty expires. And build a new system again just to keep updated.

In my humble opinion, I think it is best to wait for the upcoming 5th generation Broadwell processor which is due for release early next year 2015. Hopefully we will have an idea about Broadwell processors by fourth quarter of this year. And by the way, Intel Skylake is also reported to be released by 2015. The Intel Skylake is much more promising than Broadwell since it supports Intel 100 Series chipset and most probably support for DD4 memory.

UPDATE: If you are interested to know more about the upcoming Haswell Refresh-K Series processors, a.k.a Devil’s Canyon, I suggest you check out my new article here – Intel Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K Devil’s Canyon Specifications Revealed

UPDATE 2: The new Intel Core i7-4790 and Core i5-4690 Haswell Refresh processors are now available. The Core i7-4790 is priced at $299, while the Core i5-4690 is priced at $224.99.

Meanwhile, the “performance-optimized lifetyle” S variants of the said Haswell Refresh processors are now available as well. The Intel Core i7-4790S is priced at $314.99, and the Core i5-4690S is priced at $224.99.

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