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Unleashing Power: Intel Core i7-4790 vs i7-4790K - Which Reigns Supreme?

Updated: Jan 6

When it comes to choosing between processors, the Intel Core i7-4790 and its unlocked sibling, the i7-4790K, both stand out as powerful contenders. These CPUs, part of Intel's Haswell lineup, have been stalwarts in the computing world for their robust performance and reliability. Let's delve into the nuances of each to determine which might be the better choice for your needs.

Intel Core i7-4790

The i7-4790 is a formidable processor designed for high-performance computing. It boasts a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a turbo boost frequency of up to 4.0 GHz. With its four cores and eight threads, this non-K variant is a workhorse, excelling in multitasking and handling resource-intensive applications. Its locked multiplier means it's not optimized for overclocking, but it offers solid performance straight out of the box.

Intel Core i7-4790K

On the other hand, the i7-4790K is the unlocked version, explicitly tailored for enthusiasts who want to push their systems beyond stock performance. With a base clock speed of 4.0 GHz and the ability to turbo boost up to 4.4 GHz, it packs a punch. The 'K' designation indicates that this processor allows for overclocking, providing more headroom for users to tweak settings and squeeze out additional performance.

Performance Comparison

In terms of raw performance, both processors deliver exceptional power for a variety of tasks, including gaming, content creation, and productivity. The i7-4790K, thanks to its unlocked multiplier, has the potential to edge ahead when overclocked. However, if you're not interested in or comfortable with overclocking your CPU, the i7-4790 still provides substantial processing power right out of the box.

Considerations for Choice

Your decision between these two processors ultimately boils down to your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize stability, reliability, and aren't interested in overclocking, the i7-4790 could be the more cost-effective and practical choice. It offers robust performance without the complexities of overclocking.

Conversely, if you're an enthusiast seeking to fine-tune your system for maximum performance, the i7-4790K's unlocked multiplier gives you the flexibility to explore overclocking and potentially achieve higher speeds, which might be beneficial for certain tasks and demanding applications.


Both the Intel Core i7-4790 and i7-4790K are solid choices, each catering to different user requirements. The non-K i7-4790 shines with its reliable performance, while the unlocked i7-4790K offers overclocking potential for users seeking that extra performance boost. Ultimately, your choice should align with your computing needs, budget, and comfort level with tweaking hardware settings.

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