When Intel announced its Haswell processor last year, it also signalled what appeared to be a major push in computing in different form factors, such as 2-in-1 notebooks, tablets, and alternative form factors to the traditional desktop computing. What the company likely didn’t expect however is that the enthusiast market has seen a remarkable growth over the past year, and sensing that this continuously growing niche market has a potential for something special, they announced a refresh to the Haswell processor, codenamed Devil’s Canyon.
The number one question people will likely have about the Devil’s Canyon Processor is “Is it worth the investment?” This matter is really quite subjective, and really depends on what you’re looking to do with the processor. If you’re aiming to do extreme overclocking with the processor, its capability to drive higher voltage values for ramped up performance will definitely drive you in good stead.
Its new thermal cooling features will also ensure that the chances of it overheating are kept as low as possible, as long as you know what you’re doing. As far as usual computing tasks are concerned, the performance between Haswell and Devil’s Canyon may be somewhat noticeable in terms of numbers depending on the task.
As far as physical looks are concerned, the Intel Core i7- 4790K processor does not differ all that much when compared to the reigning powerhouse, the Intel Core i7- 4770K. What Intel has done however, is that the newer processor comes equipped with a new Polymer Thermal Interface Material which aims to reduce the overheating issues that are commonplace with Haswell and Ivy Bridge processors whenever they hit speeds of 4.4GHz and above. There are also more capacitors underneath the processor, which helps to regulate power delivery to the processor.
If the Intel Core i7- 4790K is a bit out of your reach in terms of cost, fret not as there is not just one Devil’s Canyon processor that Intel has unveiled. Potential users can also scout out the Intel Core i5-4690K processor, clocked at 3.5GHz, and can be overclocked to 3.9GHz via Turbo Boost. If a more budget option is what you’re looking for, Intel also has the Intel Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition dual-core processor, featuring unlocked core multipliers, and an overclockable 3.2GHz base frequency.
Intel’s K processors have had a base clock that was clocked at 3.5GHz and had options provided to users via Turbo Boost to overclock them to the 3.8-4.0GHz range, which is quite impressive on its own merit, all things considered. The Devil’s Canyon CPU steps it up a notch however, as at stock, the processor runs at 4.0GHz, with Turbo Boost numbers of 4.4GHz, which actually does run quite stable even when being cooled by a tower cooler. Tests and overclocking showcases at COMPUTEX Taipei earlier last month has shown that the new processor can easily clock 5.0GHz and beyond with liquid nitrogen cooling, although the numbers shown with a much simpler water-cooling block are already good enough for enthusiasts to shout praise about.
The main worry with the new Devil’s Canyon and Broadwell processors is compatibility. All three processors share the same LGA1150 socket, however Intel processors have been known in the past to be quite rigid with the list of supported motherboards when it comes to new processors. Users will be happy to know that Intel has unveiled a list of Z87 motherboards that will be capable of supporting the new Z97 processors, and the list is a lot more extensive than one would expect.