CPU upgrade advice

Dustin97

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I currently have an i5-4460 with an ASRock H97 Anniversary MOBO and a GTX 970. I want to upgrade my CPU. What are some CPU's that are compatible with my board that would be noteworthy upgrades over my 4460? Something overclockable for later on down the road is also preferable but not a requirement if the base speed is fast enough. The only CPU extensive thing I do on my PC is game.
 
An i7 4790K but your H-series motherboard does not allow overclocking. All Z-series motherboards allow overclocking of K-series Intel chips. The 4790K has a higher base and boost clock than the 4770 so that would be worth it in your case due to no overclocking. A significant jump in clock speeds too: 4.0GHz base, 4.4GHz boost (single core) vs. 3.4GHz/3.9GHz respectively for the 4770.

However, there are two drawbacks to upgrading older chipsets with CPUs no longer made: 1) used ones like on eBay may have been abused in overclocking meaning possible stability issues, and 2) even if you do find a new boxed one out there, they will be extremely expensive. At least in the US market.

I was doing exactly this last year swapping out my i5 4690K/ASUS Z97-AR build for an i7 4790K until I saw the asking prices of new boxed chips. I figured nearly $400 spent on a three year old chipset build (now four years old) was not worth it and would rather spend that on either a Coffee Lake upgrade or the next generation after that.
 

Dustin97

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How much better are the two you listed compared to mine?

 
An i7 4790K but your H-series motherboard does not allow overclocking. All Z-series motherboards allow overclocking of K-series Intel chips. The 4790K has a higher base and boost clock than the 4770 so that would be worth it in your case due to no overclocking. A significant jump in clock speeds too: 4.0GHz base, 4.4GHz boost (single core) vs. 3.4GHz/3.9GHz respectively for the 4770.

However, there are two drawbacks to upgrading older chipsets with CPUs no longer made: 1) used ones like on eBay may have been abused in overclocking meaning possible stability issues, and 2) even if you do find a new boxed one out there, they will be extremely expensive. At least in the US market.

I was doing exactly this last year swapping out my i5 4690K/ASUS Z97-AR build for an i7 4790K until I saw the asking prices of new boxed chips. I figured nearly $400 spent on a three year old chipset build (now four years old) was not worth it and would rather spend that on either a Coffee Lake upgrade or the next generation after that.
 

honkuimushi

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Yeah, you can't overclock with that board and if you replace the board, you might as well replace the whole platform. There really isn't much point in upgrading to an i5. The i7s are the only ones worth considering. But used prices can vary and might be as much as or more than a current gen i7. And with K models, you don't know how heavily they were overclocked. I would check the prices on locked i7s and if there are no deals, save for the next major upgrade.

One other option are the e3 Xeons. The 1230v3, 1231v3, 1240v3, 1241v3, 1245v3, and 1246v3 (the last 2 have integrated graphics) are also good options. But again, finding one at a decent price is a challenge.
 

Dustin97

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I found an i7-4770 on eBay for $170 that looks to be in really good condition. Would that be worth the upgrade?

 

nmb255

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That's a good market price. It's worth the upgrade, but keep your expectations realistic. In terms of raw benchmark it's about a 20-25% increase on your i5. In terms of FPS, probably not very many [1-2] in most games. As the GPU is a factor also. You can use cpuboss.com to compare.

Is it a good upgrade? I would say it is. It's the kind of micro upgrade that will give you a year or two more on the platform before you need to change everything. I'm still running a 4770k [and I haven't overclocked it] with a 980ti and it's performing fine in all the games I play and multitasking like a dream. I often have several VM machines running whilst I'm gaming for example no noticeable lag or loss of FPS at all.
 

honkuimushi

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What nmb255 said. It won't be a whole lot faster in single threaded applications, especially older games, but it should help out in multiplayer games and when running several things at the same time. It's almost half of the original price and about the best upgrade you can find. Whether that's worth $170 is a purely personal decision.
 
For gaming at 1080p, the faster CPU speed of the 4790K would make an FPS improvement over the slower 4770's speed as I stated previously. That's a 17.4% CPU speed boost (again comparing all four core operation speeds), which in the overclocking world will offer a notable boost in not only gaming, but applications like video rendering. Now if you only have a 60Hz/1080p monitor for gaming for a higher resolution monitor as explained above, the CPU won't matter as much in difference in performance. A 144Hz G-Sync 1080p monitor on the other hand, that's a different story.

I did a quick check and found a new boxed i7 4790K for $330 (US market). So double the price basically over the 4770 that is used. If I planned on keeping that PC for several more years, I'd give that extra $160 a serious thought. Again though keep in mind you are taking a gamble on buying a used chip. No telling how it was cared for whether K or non-K.
 

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