General CPU Performance
For “real world” testing I ran the 4790k through a few different benchmarks that average the overall performance of a PC. These tests take into account more than just CPU performance with things like memory bandwidth also contributing In Passmark 8 the difference between the 4790k and 4770k was only slight where each of the six core CPUs had consistent improvements each generation.
PCMark 7 favors single threaded performance over more cores and this was obvious with both the 4790k and 4770k numbers topping the chart. There is still a major jump in performance from the 4770k to the new 4790k though!
Lastly with PCMark 8, this is the first CPU that I am testing with so I didn’t have any comparison numbers at this time. I wanted to include them so you can test your own system for comparison. Future CPU reviews will have more results to compare the differences (with it replacing PCMark 7 in the future)
Specialty CPU Performance
These benchmarks are a little more focused and take a look at specific aspects of performance. For example the Cinebench benchmark is one of my favorite benchmarks because we can test overall performance as well as single core performance. This is great to be able to see because if you plan on running games or programs that are still single threaded you will never see the overall CPU performance of a 4 or 6 core CPU. Plus I am able to see what gives the highest single core performance. Currently the 4790k completely rocks this test by a large margin. Single core performance is a large jump over the 4770k and the total score is edging closer and closer to the performance numbers that the most recent 6 core CPUs put up as well.
wPrime is great for comparing pure CPU performance and is highly repeatable. The jump in performance compared to the 4770k is extremely impressive, pushing the 4790k past the 6 core 980X.
Lastly X264 HD tests encoding performance. The 4790k tops this chart because of its extremely high clock speed. This is a benchmark that favors clock speed over core count slightly, but as you can see the 4790k jumped past all three of the “modern” 6 cores from Intel in the second pass but the first pass favors multiple cores.
To see how the 4790k performs in game I ran through a variety of games as well as a 3DMark benchmark to round things out. Unlike in our video card reviews where I only use the graphics score to focus specifically on the video cards performance, for CPU testing I use the Physics result to focus on the CPU performance. In this case the 4790k performed well with a noticeable jump over the 4770k but the 3970X and 4960X still pull in noticeably higher scores due to their two additional cores.
In the rest of my gaming benchmarks the results are based on overall FPS with a GTX 780 installed. Not surprisingly in most of the tests the higher clock speed helped put the 4790k at the top of ¾ of the games. In Hitman: Absolution though they have obviously optimized things to support all 6 cores of the 4960X and 3970X.