Intel finally gives enthusiasts some horsepower

Computex is the place to show off new hardware, and Intel has done it in a big way. It demoed dozens of new tablets, said its partners would ship 140 new tablets this year, and showed off a new processor for tablets, the Core M.

So it's not hard to see why enthusiasts were feeling neglected. Well, that neglect is over. Intel's new enthusiast chip Devil's Canyon will give people who like to overclock their systems for maximum performance plenty to play with.

Devil's Canyon is based on the older Haswell generation, not the newer Broadwell, which is late to market. The chips are officially known as Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K. Because of this, the two chips are socket-compatible with the existing LGA 1150 that are on the market. However, motherboard manufacturers will need to tweak their Z87-based motherboards because the chips have a higher power draw of 88 watts vs. 84 watts for the original Haswells.

There's a reason they run a little hotter: they are hotter. The Core i7-4790K can run all four cores at a base clock frequency of 4.0GHz. No Intel chip has run that fast in a sustained mode. The best they've done has been to shut down other cores and run one core around 4Ghz in burst mode.

Beyond that, the 4790K is unlocked, so tweakers can raise the clock speed even higher. That's best left for the modern day chopper makers who engage in liquid cooling and extreme fan cooling. They will undoubtedly hit 5GHz in no time.

The Core i5-4690K is no slowpoke. It will run at a base clock speed of 3.5GHz with a turbo burst mode of up to 3.9GHz. Like the 4970, its multiplier is unlocked for overclocking.

Both processors are quad-core but only the Core i7 variant supports HyperThreading. The Core i7-4790K will have 8MB of cache, where the Core i5-4690K has 6MB. Both come with the Intel HD 4600 integrated graphics processor.

Intel expects the new Core i7 part to sell for $339 and the Core i5 for $242 in quantities of 1,000.

Intel is also marking the 20th anniversary of its Pentium processor by introducing the all-new Pentium G3258. It will sell for $72, also in lots of 1,000.

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