Intel Devil's Canyon Core Processor Presentation

Intel is presenting its new Devil's Canyon processors today at Computex in Taiwan. Enthusiasts get a two new processor solutions, one with HyperThreading and one without. While many of us are familiar with processor core clocks of 4GHz+, this is first time we have Intel serving up a minimum 4GHz clock on its enthusiast K processor.

Intel Devil's Canyon Processors

Intel is fully exposing its new Devil's Canyon processors to the public today in Taiwan. Sadly though, as of typing this, no samples have been released to reviewers, however Intel is "hoping to ship samples by end of week" for the Core i7 derivative. As far as the public getting its hands on a retailer processor, that will likely happen in a month or so. On the upside, we should be able to get a ton of hands on experience to our readers by the time you can purchase a Devil's Canyon CPU in retail.

While we will all have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on Devil's Canyon processors, it does seem that Intel is taking its time to properly cull the best of the best silicon in order to make sure these higher clocked processors have headroom for enthusiasts. It will be interesting to see just how much headroom the Core i7 and Core i5 Devil's Canyon processors have.

Nuts and Bolts of the Devil's Canyon

The "secret sauce" in the new Devil's Canyon CPUs is actually not that complicated. As many enthusiasts have found out previously, the TIM (Thermal Interface Material) used in current Haswell processors is something less than robust in thermal interface department. Many enthusiasts took a somewhat extreme approach and removed the stock heat spreader from the processors, commonly referred to as "de-lidding." Some simply replaced the TIM with a better one, and others went as far as to direct cool the processor die. This produced much lower temps and extended overclocking headroom...as long as you did not break your precious and expensive CPU in the process. Intel's big move with the Devil's Canyon is a new NGPTIM (Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material). We are hearing good reports on this TIM and have seen all sorts of projected core temperatures, but we will have to test in-house before we are getting good target temperatures to report.

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The new Devil's Canyon processors will also have additional capacitors to aid in power delivery to the die. There is little we can tell you about how this improves overclocking till we get Devil's Canyon CPUs in our hands.

As you might have guessed, most all current LGA 1150 coolers will work fine with this new processor.

One thing is for sure and that is Devil's Canyon is precisely aimed at the computer hardware enthusiast. We certainly appreciate that instead of being simply a marketing afterthought for a change.

The Intel Express Chipset Question

There has been a lot of misinformation on this topic that Devil's Canyon is a Z97-only product. This is simply not the truth. Both the new Devil's Canyon processors can work on both Z97 and Z87 chipset motherboards. The Z87 can support the Devil's Canyon both mechanically (LGA 1150 socket) and electrically. For the Devil's Canyon to operate on a Z87 motherboard it will be up to the ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) to provide BIOS, as well as validation.

Currently you can check the ASUS' CPU Support Page and select "Intel Core i7" as the type, and "Core i7-4790K" on the name menu and get a full look at motherboards that already have BIOS support for the Devil's Canyon processor. As well as a whole host of Z87 chipset motherboards being present, there are also other X8X variants supported. The Core i5-4690K is listed as supported by those motherboards as well.

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Above we have the new Z97 chipset block diagram. Quite frankly, outside of SATA Express support, there is little to get excited about. Of course if you are looking to upgrade from a pre-Z87 motherboard, there is little reason to not move to the Z97 architecture with a new build.

Devil's Canyon Models

Two models of Devil's Canyon CPUs will be for sale soon; a Core i7 and a Core i5 variant. Like we have seen in the past, the Core i5 will be lacking HyperThreading and will have a reeled in core clock. The 4C/8T Core i7-4790K will sport a 4GHz base clock speed with a Turbo Frequency up to 4.4GHz. The 4C/4T Core i5-4690K will have a 3.5GHz base clock speed with a Turbo Frequency up to 3.9GHz. Both processors' TDP is 4 watts more than the previous comparable processors which were 84 watts TDP.

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The Core i7-4790K will have 8MB of cache and the Core i5-4690K will have 6MB of cache onboard. Dual channel DDR3 support will again be the norm.

Overclocking Advantages

While this makes for a nice slide, almost all of us are familiar with these overclocking features on current high end Intel processors.

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Of course it will be interesting to see exactly how well this feature base can be utilized on these new Devil's Canyon processors.

Devil's Canyon Die

Again here we see a very familiar processor die at a very familiar size of 22nm.

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Pentium "Reboot"

An last but not least, we have the reemergence of an unlocked Pentium processor that will hopefully allow those of us on a tighter budget to have an enthusiast platform as well since the Intel Pentium G3258 processor will be selling in retail for around $75.

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The Bottom Line

It is certainly hard for us to proclaim a "bottom line" when we do not have the hardware in hand, so we won't. However, we are hearing that 5GHz on air cooling might be possible on some of the Intel Core i7-4790K processors. Intel will be culling pristine silicon for this flagship processor, so we expect to see very good overclocking results with it. As for real world results with the Core i5-4690K, we simply do not know yet and have heard nothing from industry contacts worthy of repeating.

As for pricing on both these Devil's Canyon processors, Intel has not released retail pricing targets. Leaks from internal Intel sources indicate the Core I7-4790K will retail for somewhere around $365, while we should find the Core i5-4690K retail for around $255. Considering the Core i7-4790 is retailing for $310 currently, this pricing seems to make sense. As always, keep your eyes peeled on Microcenter as it sells Intel silicon for tremendously competitive prices with in-store pickup.

Surely we are looking forward to getting these Devil's Canyon processors on our test benches as soon as possible in order to see just how many GHz we can put our hands on. It is great to see Intel with an actual focus on computer hardware enthusiasts and their needs.

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And kudos for an awesome original logo as well!

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