After last month's underwhelming Haswell refresh, Intel says overclockers can rejoice over the newest revision of its fourth-generation Core processors, codenamed Devil's Canyon, which actually promises a few improvements on the CPU side of things including updated packaging materials, more capacitors for smoother power deliver, as well as a 'Next Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material' (NGPTIM).
If you recall, Intel moved the voltage regulator on-die with Haswell and this caused problems for overclockers by creating an additional hot spot on the chip. Moreover, the company never changed the thermal interface material (TIM) from Ivy Bridge, which was believed to be a downgrade from Sandy Bridge's and led to Ivy Bridge and Haswell parts to running hotter than older Sandy Bridge ones.
Extra capacitors and a new thermal interface should make Devil's Canyon Intel's best overclocking chips to date -- or at least that's what we hope to see from the flagship Core i7-4790K we have on hand...
Meet the Core i7-4790K
Like the Core i7-4770K before it, the 4790K is an 1150-pin LGA processor that is compatible with Intel 8-series and 9-series chipsets (though 8-series boards will need a BIOS update to work with the 4790K).
It's also worth noting that although the 4790K has a new TIM, it's still compatible with all LGA1150 coolers.
Ignoring the new TIM and capacitor upgrades, the Core i7-4790K looks to be an overclocked 4770K on paper. The core frequency has been increased by almost 15% from 3.5GHz to 4.0GHz (up to 4.4GHz Turbo Boost). As a result, Intel raised the TDP rating from 84w for the 4770K to 88w for the 4790K.
Beyond those tweaks, both are quad-core Haswell processors with eight threads thanks to Hyper-Threading support. The 4790K features the same 8MB L3 cache with 256KB of L2 cache per core. The same Intel HD Graphics 4600 graphics have been used, operating at between 350 and 1250MHz.
In what can only come as great news, the Core i7-4790K will be available for the same $339 as the 4770K. Although that offers no incentive for 4770K owners to upgrade, folks looking to buy the 4770K should find the 4790K attractive.