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Intel further boosts default clock-rate of the Core i7-4790K

Intel Corp.’s Core i7-4790K was expected to be the chipmaker’s first desktop central processing unit with 4.0GHz clock-rate. For some reason, the company decided to make a last-minute change of the product’s specifications in a bid to make it even faster.

As it appears, the final default clock-rate of the Core i7-4790K processor will be 4.10GHz, 100MHz higher than originally planned, according to ShopBLT store, which is already taking pre-orders on the processor. All other specifications reported about the chip earlier seem to be correct: four “Haswell” cores with Hyper-Threading, 4.40GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency, 8MB last-level cache, Intel HD Graphics 4600 integrated graphics core with 20 execution units, 88W thermal design power, LGA1150 form-factor.

The Core i7-4790K central processing unit, just like other members of the “Devil’s Canyon” family of products for enthusiasts, will feature slightly different packaging with improved thermal interface, which is expected to improve  overclocking capabilities of the CPU. The DC chips are projected to be exclusively compatible with Intel Z97 and Intel H97 platforms.


The reason why Intel decided to make the Core i7-4790K faster that it was originally supposed to be according to Intel’s own internal documents is not completely clear. At present there are no “external” rivals for the Core i5 and Core i7 “Devil’s Canyon” chips: AMD’s FX-series is considerably behind in terms of performance.

In fact, at 4.10GHz the Core i7-4790K may actually outperform Intel’s least expensive high-end desktop (HEDT) processor, the Core i7-4820K (four “Ivy Bridge” cores with HT, 10MB last-level cache, 3.70GHz/3.90GHz clock-rate, quad-channel DDR3 memory controller, LGA2011 form-factor), which means that the company creates competition between its own product lineups. Obviously, since there are Core i7 “Haswell-E” chips incoming shortly, any competition between the Core i7-4790K and the Core i7-4820K may not be an important factor for Intel.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: It seems like 4GHz clock-rate is Intel’s unicorn. The company first planned to release the Pentium 4 processor with 4GHz frequency back in 2004, but the chipmaker changed the direction of its microprocessors’ evolution. Intel dropped the concept of rapid clock-rate rise and focused on increasing the number of cores inside its chips as well as boosting parallelism of its micro-architectures (i.e. processing parallelism of its cores), which allowed the company to sell competitive CPUs with relatively low frequencies for many years. Since clock-rates have been gradually increasing (in addition to everything else), this year could be the time to finally release a CPU clocked at 4GHz. For some reason, the company decided to skip the milestone and jump right to 4.10GHz.

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