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Intel Core i7-4790K (Devil’s Canyon) CPU Review featuring Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5

Intel Core i7-4790K (Devil’s Canyon) CPU Review featuring Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5

Ghostwriter Bachelorarbeit Preis Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with Powercolors new dual core 290X Devil 13.

The i7-4790K

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Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5

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gigabyte-z97x-gaming5_memory gigabyte-z97x-gaming5_socket

Moving up the PCB we find the first of our power connectors (24pin) which combines with the 8pin connector in the top left corner. A USB 3.0 front panel is also present here and then at the other side of the memory slots (4x slots, Dual Channel, 32GB) we find the M.2 slot. This supports 42, 60 and 80mm length SSDs.


On the back panel we find PS/2, VGA, DVI, HDMI(4K) and 4x USB 3.0. A further 4x USB 2.0 are also present as are 3.5mm audio ports which along with the HDMI are all gold plated. We also have an optical audio connector and the final port is a Killer E2200 LAN with access to a tuning suite in Windows.

gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios1 gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios2 gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios3 gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios4 gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios5 gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios6 gigabyte-z97x-gaming5-bios7

Gigabyte continue to use an evolution of their UEFI BIOS on this board and it offers all of the functionality we need to configure our board and maximise its performance. The key options are shown to us in the centre of the screen with summary information surrounding. Additionally Gigabyte also offer a classic mode for those who prefer the old style BIOS and added recently is a Smart/Quick setup option for those who just want the basics.


On the software front we get the latest edition of App Centre. App Centre allows us to use Gigabytes software tools to tweak, maintain and monitor our board and even some little additions like auto-lock of our system. Game Controller adds sniper mode and keyboard/mouse response time tuning along with macro functions and Smart Switch brings back the classic Start menu experience to Windows 8/8.1.




Let’s start the conclusion to this review with the CPU being tested today. Devil’s Canyon has had a reasonably interesting development process with Intel noting that when they set out to revise Haswell they brought this model to market in record time. Not quite the time to meet the Z97 launch but pretty close. The revisions to the CPU have allowed them to boost performance without having a huge impact on power use and the fact it can be dropped into all new Z97 boards or (with a BIOS update) older Z87 models is a bonus.

We know there has been a lot of talk about overclocking potential on these CPUs with very varied results across the web. In our case the CPU hit 4.9GHz with complete stability at 1.4v which isn’t too far off the 4770K model we have tested. Would we have loved to see all Devil’s Canyon CPUs hit in excess of 5.0GHz, yes… but its going to be the luck of the draw. In terms of “stock” performance the 4790K sits exactly where we would expect, above the 4770K and when multi-threading is considered, beneath the 4960X. That CPU is still very valid in today’s market for productivity tasks which usually take advantage of the extra cores/threads. We do of course loose support for new storage platforms with X79, the main benefit of the 4770K/Z97.

Speaking of the Z97, Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 is a solid addition to their family of boards. It offers all of the key features from the Z97 platform (PCIe, SATA3, USB3, SATA Express and M.2) along with decent audio/network features and does so without costing a huge amount. Its black and red styling is a nice bonus for those looking to build in a case with window and it is always good to see the use of the same software suite and BIOS on this model as the more expensive boards.

In summary, for those looking at a high MHz system with all the latest features the Z97X Gaming 5 and i7-4790K make for a nice mix. Multi-threaded performance still belongs to the X79/i7-4960X but even then, Devil’s Canyon isn’t too far behind.

Recommended Award

Intel Core i7-4790K

Recommended Award

Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5


Intel Core i7-4790K Pricing: £259 $339

Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 Pricing: £109 $144

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.


  1. Good to see that Intel have enabled VT-d and TSX on this chip. They were disabled on the original unlocked Haswell chips.

  2. abcanw

    great review , I bought them both and cant waiting for shipping 😀