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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-4790K 4-Core 4.0GHz FX-9590
Cyberpunk 2077 30% 28%
Hitman 3 6% 3%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 6% 3%
The Medium 19% 24%
Resident Evil 8 23% 20%
FIFA 21 35% 32%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 33% 30%
Grand Theft Auto VI 14% 19%
Genshin Impact 47% 45%
Far Cry 6 10% 14%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-4790K 4-Core 4.0GHz is noticeably better than the AMD FX-9590 when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i7-4790K 4-Core was released over a year more recently than the FX-9590, and so the Core i7-4790K 4-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The FX-9590 has 4 more cores than the Core i7-4790K 4-Core. 8 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Core i7-4790K 4-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the FX-9590, it would seem to be a decent choice.

Both the Intel Core i7-4790K 4-Core 4.0GHz and the AMD FX-9590 have the same number of threads. The FX-9590 has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i7-4790K 4-Core uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i7-4790K 4-Core and FX-9590 are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the FX-9590 has a 0.7 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is probably a good indicator that the FX-9590 is superior.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i7-4790K 4-Core has a 132 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the FX-9590. However, the FX-9590 was created with a 22 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i7-4790K 4-Core and the FX-9590 would appear to produce roughly the same amount of heat, and consume about the same amount of power.

The Core i7-4790K 4-Core has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The FX-9590, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the HD i7 4790K, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameDevils Canyon-
MoBo SocketLGA 1150Socket AM3+
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date22 Jun 201411 Jun 2013
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs8
CPU Threads8vs8
Clock Speed4 GHzvs4.7 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.4 GHzvs5 GHz
Max TDP88 Wvs220 W
Lithography22 nmvs-
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature73°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size1024 KBvs-
L3 Cache Size8 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i7 4790K
Base GPU Frequency350 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1250 MHzvs-
DirectX11.2vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Star Wars: Battlefrontvs
No Mans Skyvs
Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i7-4790K 4-Core 4.0GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 4.0GHz, which may go up to 4.4GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked.

The processor integrates powerful Graphics called Intel HD i7 4790K (variant of Intel HD Graphics 4600), with 20 Execution Units, initially clocked at 350MHz and that go up to 1250MHz, in Turbo Mode which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 88W.

Compared to Core i7-4770K there's an overall 10% performance boost. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
FX-9590 is a high-end CPU based on the 32nm Piledriver architecture.

It offers 8 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 4.7GHz, which may go up to 5.0GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Core and Virtualization are activated and the clock multiplier is unlocked, meaning it can be overclocked easily.

The processor DOES NOT have any integrated graphics, and has a rated board TDP of 220W.

Compared to its predecessor FX-8350 there's an overall 12% performance boost. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.