Tech companies are increasingly become innovative and competitive, continuously producing processor after processor for the gamer, the business owner, and everyone in between. Intel is one of the best companies that produce a good quality cpu, and now you may be torn between their i7 chips 5820k and 4790k. The nitty-gritty of this comparison may not matter because they are made by the same company and are in the same line anyway.

However, to ensure that your build is powerfully optimized, you have to make the right choice of choosing between CPUs. We reviewed the 5820k and the 4790k and summed up our thoughts to help you decide.

Intel Core i7 5820K vs i7 4790K

Features and Specs


Intel Core i7 5820K

The 5820K is a lot more expensive than the 4790K mainly because the former has two more cores than the latter. At this point, you can see right away that this comparison really boils down to the specific applications you plan to use your processor for and that the two simply target different consumers.

In general, the more cores your processor has, the faster it is and the better it is at simultaneous computing. If you do a lot of photo and/or video editing, the 5820K sounds like a better fit for you. Otherwise, going for the 4790K might be a practical choice.

If your main use for your PC is gaming, even the 4790K is already overkill. The extra dollars you are thinking about spending on the 5820K may be better spent on good graphics cards. However, if you do play really intensively and are willing to splurge a little more, then by all means go for the 5820K.


Intel Core i7 4790K

The number of threads your processor has is closely related to the number of cores. As put it, “a thread is a string of instructions from [each] processing core.” Therefore, in general, the more threads you have, the more “instructions” your processor can do at a time.

The 5820K wins again in this category with 12 threads. The 4790K has 8. That is not an abysmal number. Eight threads is still nothing to sneeze at. However, 8 and 12 are still divided by a gaping difference.

Again, this boils down to your usage pattern. If you do a lot of computing in terms of quantity and intensity or you simply want quick processing and task execution, then you may find the higher cost of the 5820K acceptable.

Clock Speed

This is one area where the 4790K wins. Its base clock speed is 4 GHz, whereas that of the 5820K is a measly 3.3 GHz. Those numbers can be increased to 4.4 GHz and around 3.9 GHz with Turbo Boost.

In the wake of the emergence of multi-core processors, clock speed has been set aside by many as a performance indicator. However, according to industry experts and veteran builders, clock speed is still important.

In the case of these two Intel chips, the substantial clock speed jump you are getting with the 4790K may be enough to offset its lagging behind the 5820K by two cores. It may also be insufficient. Again, it all depends on how you use your PC.


The cache of the 5820K is 15 MB, whereas that of the 4790K is 8 MB. This essentially means that the 5820K is less likely to use up your PC’s slow RAM, so data is processed much more quickly and the overall performance is enhanced.

One thing you need to know about the 5820K and the 4790K is that since they both use Hyper-Threading, determining how much of their performance is using up the added cache can be difficult.

This is not a major concern in choosing between processors, but every bit matters when you are trying to push your build to the absolute best. Moreover, this is important especially if you have issues with your existing system RAM.


If you are not yet too familiar with Intel jargon, the “K” in the 5820K and 4790K chips indicate that they are unlocked, which is great news. Both chips also have NX bit and support dynamic frequency scaling. By contrast, trusted computing is not supported by either.

The TDPs are 140 W and 88 W for the 5820K and the 4790K, respectively, which are not surprising considering the number of cores of each chip. These bring us to their estimated annual energy costs, which should be around 10 USD apart. The difference is even larger for commercial use, clocking in at about nearly double the home cost difference.

Lastly, you may be interested in their integrated graphics if you are into gaming. The 5820K has no such feature. Meanwhile, the 4790K has integrated GPU (Intel HD Graphics 4600), which supports up to 3 displays. Its clock speed is 350 MHz, and Turbo clock speed is 1,250 MHz.


Which One is Better?

The 5820K is the most affordable of the new Haswell-E prosumer/enthusiast micro-processors, under which it joins two other chips, the 5930K and 5960K. Nonetheless, the 4790K is still a lot cheaper.

The 5820K utilizes twelve threads and has six physical cores. These features are incredibly attractive because they produce substantial throughput in terms of processing. However, the cheaper 4790K is faster regardless of whether the workload is single- or dual-threaded.

This only goes to show that the wildly popular and widely used 4790K does its job well by improving the right components. Although the 5820K has two more cores compared with the 4790K, these added cores apparently do not directly benefit general computing anyway.

Moreover, the 5820K’s base clock is merely 3.3 GHz, which is easily 0.7 GHz lower than that of the 4790K. Besides, the Haswell-E architecture in the 5820K needs DDR4 RAM, which is way more pricey than DDR3.

Therefore, the 5820K may do better for servers, and the 4790K appears to be the right choice for practical general PC enthusiasts.

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