Intel, at GDC, revealed the next generation Intel processors based on the Haswell architecture, codenamed – the Intel Devil’s Canyon. The next generation Intel Devil’s Canyon processors basically features improved Thermal Interface Material (TIM), located between the CPU’s die and the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS), updated packaging materials and is supported by the new Intel 9 Series chipset. The Devil’s Canyon is said to address the disappointment of many PC enthusiasts and overclockers with the Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors because of the high temperature it produce (due to poor TIM), and poor overclocking capability.
Lisa Graff, Intel’s new GM and VP for Desktop Client Platforms Group, was the speaker and the one who introduced the next generation processors. According to her, the Intel Devil’s Canyon is expected to have a very nice performance compared to the first generation Haswell and Ivy Bridge processors. It is basically “re-engineered for enhanced performance and overclocking”. Graff didn’t mention any particular SKU model, so there is no telling that the recently rumored Intel Core i7-4790K is indeed the Devil’s Canyon. When questioned, she also refused to disclose any information regarding the recently leaked prices for the non-K SKUs, like the i7-4790, i5-4690, i5-4590 and so on. But something tells me that the Intel Core i7-4790K is (or one of the) Devil’s Canyon processors, featuring 4 cores/8 threads, 3.6GHz base and 4GHz boost speed and an 8MB L3 cache.
It is expected that the new Intel Devil’s Canyon will be released by mid-2014. Probably Intel will have an event this coming June to officially unveil the next generation Haswell Refresh and Intel Devil’s Canyon processors. So what does this mean for those who are coming from Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, or even 1st gen Haswell?
UPDATE: The specifications on the upcoming Intel Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K were recently revealed. Check out their respective specifications here.
Upgrade Now Or Wait for Devil’s Canyon?
For those who are coming from previous generations, like Sandy Bridge, and Ivy Bridge or even 1st gen Haswell, I think it is best to wait for the Z97 motherboards to be released this coming April or May, and wait for the new Devil’s Canyon processor before upgrading.
The Intel Core i7-4770K is only around $299.99, and it’s very tempting to upgrade right now and pair it with a good Z87 motherboard like the Asus Maximus VI Hero which is only $198.99. But a few of months or weeks from now, the Z97 motherboards and next generation Devil’s Canyon processor will be released.
I’m not really sure about this, but the bad part is that the Intel Devil’s Canyon will only be supported in the upcoming Intel Series 9 Chipset, featured in the Z97 motherboards. If this is correct, then the Intel (Core i7 4790K) Devil’s Canyon might not work with the current Z87 motherboards despite having the same socket type. So it’s best to wait for the new Z97 motherboards. But the good thing is that the most awaited Broadwell processor will be compatible with the Intel 9 series. This means you can buy a Devil’s Canyon and a Z97 motherboard when they become available, and just upgrade to a Broadwell processor in the future.
The Intel Broadwell Processors
Another good thing Graff revealed is the upcoming 5th Generation Intel Broadwell processor, featuring a 14 nanometer manufacturing process and Intel Iris Pro graphics technology. Intel Broadwell will replace the 4th generation Haswell processors, and it expected to be introduced by later Q3 or Q4 of the year. The good thing is that this 5th generation Intel Broadwell processors are unlocked and hopefully will have good overclocking potential.
UPDATE: A schedule showing the release date of Intel Broadwell processors has been revealed. See Intel Broadwell Release Date For Desktop PC
Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition Processor
Aside from the Devil’s Canyon and Broadwell, Intel will also be releasing an Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition processor, in line with its 20th anniversary celebration. The said Pentium processors are unlocked, meaning they can be overclocked using a Z87 motherboard.
Intel Pentium processors are very cheap, and if they can be overclocked to a good and stable higher clock speed, this could be a good/cheaper alternative for gaming machines.
I’m hoping that motherboard manufacturers will reveal their Z97 motherboards soon and I am looking forward to the performance difference between the Intel Core i7-4790K vs Core i7-4470K.
See also: Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-4770K – A Brief Comparison of Haswell and Haswell Refresh