Question Overclocking i7-4790K on Z87 or Z97 - is Z97 better?

Aug 12, 2020
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Hi there,

Does anyone know if there’s any truth in the idea that a Z97 motherboard would be significantly better than a Z87 for running and overclocking an i7-4790K?

I'm planning an upgrade from my successfully de-lidded and overclocked 4760K, to a 4790K which I found at reasonable price and plan to delid and overclock also. However my mobo is now faulty and needs replacing.. :(

I can replace it like-for-like or could upgrade to the Z97x-UD5H in the process. It would ordinarily be a no brainer, but the only currently available Z97 I’ve found will cost me £60 (50%) more than the Z87. I need to get the machine up and running again for work reasons, so have a bit of time pressure to move on this now either way.

I feel quite strongly that this extra cost for the Z97 isn’t worth it, and I’m 99% to go for the Z87. However, the vendor of the Z97 has said to me: “I think it's useless a 4790k with a z87 chipset”, and that the Z87 “is more limited for overclocking”.

Obviously he’s biased! But I still wonder if there’s any genuine truth in what he’s saying? If so, I might keep an eye out for a cheaper Z97 in future.

Final point here is I was just about to finally upgrade to Win10 from Win7 Ultimate. Yes, I know I should have done this before trying the CPU upgrade (this isn’t going very well!), but for some reason have been resisting the change! So another consideration is whether switching mobo to Z97 now will give me problems with windows when I restart, but I feel probably there’s a way I could overcome that if necessary and get back in.


All thoughts and advice most welcome!
Thanks! :)

Spec:
i5-4670K (delidded and overclocked to 4.2)
Z87x-UD5H, firmware F9 (broken, needs replacing)
Scythe Fuma 2 cpu cooler
Corsair RM750 PSU
4x 8GB Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 1600
EVGA RTX 2060 XC Super
Samsung 840 Pro SSD
Win7 Ultimate (about to finally upgrade to Win10 before mobo broke!)
 
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From overclocking perspective, there should not be any difference.
From other perspective what you get is, more sata, M.2 (generally it runs x4 mode, its limited) directly to pcie lanes which leaves you an full speed for ssd/other sata.

I owned B85 or smth like that before getting hands on Z97 maximus hero vii. I like the M.2 support of this motherboard and never crashed onto me in last year or two.
I've got it for sole purpose of getting an unlocked CPU, but they are still expensive here in my country (going like 100€ for i5 and 100€+ for i7).
 
Aug 12, 2020
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From overclocking perspective, there should not be any difference.
From other perspective what you get is, more sata, M.2 (generally it runs x4 mode, its limited) directly to pcie lanes which leaves you an full speed for ssd/other sata.

I owned B85 or smth like that before getting hands on Z97 maximus hero vii. I like the M.2 support of this motherboard and never crashed onto me in last year or two.
I've got it for sole purpose of getting an unlocked CPU, but they are still expensive here in my country (going like 100€ for i5 and 100€+ for i7).
Thanks, yes I thought the overclocking should be similar or same. Agreed would be nice to have M2 although TBH my Samsung SSD still seems to be going pretty well so far. If I get the Z87 still have trouble getting into my OS, or have trouble with the 4790K(unlikely) then maybe I can find a Z97 at that point plus an M2 drive.

Thanks for your input.
 
Aug 12, 2020
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If you change the motherboard, you'll have to do a reinstall anyway. Whichever OS it is.
Hmm, understood so another pointer then to stick with the Z87 to try and get back into my existing system first either way. Let’s just hope Windows isn’t clever enough to notice my mobo serial number has changed!

I had upgraded the firmware to F9, so I wonder if this replacement Z87 arrives with lower firmware version perhaps windows could notice that and be unhappy. Anyway I’ll run it with my i5 at the start and if I get in I’ll update the firmware of course.

Thank you!
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Hmm, understood so another pointer then to stick with the Z87 to try and get back into my existing system first either way. Let’s just hope Windows isn’t clever enough to notice my mobo serial number has changed!

I had upgraded the firmware to F9, so I wonder if this replacement Z87 arrives with lower firmware version perhaps windows could notice that and be unhappy. Anyway I’ll run it with my i5 at the start and if I get in I’ll update the firmware of course.

Thank you!
A replacement motherboard, even if of the same make/model, will probably trigger an activation issue.
Not a reinstall, but it will probably report as Unactivated.

With Win 7, you'll probably have to contact Microsoft for a reactivation.
 
Aug 12, 2020
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A replacement motherboard, even if of the same make/model, will probably trigger an activation issue.
Not a reinstall, but it will probably report as Unactivated.

With Win 7, you'll probably have to contact Microsoft for a reactivation.
Got it. Yes I feel since it def has the right drivers installed it should be ok. As long as I can get in to the OS I don’t mind the next steps, as everything will be easier if I can make a ‘tidy’ transition to Win10 rather than current situation where I hadn’t quite prepared all my files and programs etc.!

Thanks!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
134,800
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Got it. Yes I feel since it def has the right drivers installed it should be ok. As long as I can get in to the OS I don’t mind the next steps, as everything will be easier if I can make a ‘tidy’ transition to Win10 rather than current situation where I hadn’t quite prepared all my files and programs etc.!

Thanks!
A "tidy transition" really means a full reinstall.
An inplace upgrade from 7 to 10 sometimes works. Sometimes it goes badly wrong.
 
Aug 12, 2020
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A "tidy transition" really means a full reinstall.
An inplace upgrade from 7 to 10 sometimes works. Sometimes it goes badly wrong.
yep that’s what I have in mind. When I say ‘tidy’ I just mean first having chance to back up my files and log my programs etc the easy way rather than having to dig around on my SSD using a SATA>USB converter first!

Definitely once I figure out the Win10 upgrade route I will be doing a clean install for sure. Still not sure yet if I can still blag it to activate using my existing Win7 Ultimate license key, or if I’ll need to buy it - I’ve found a few different resources around that and seems I just need to have a go and hope for the best, otherwise I’ll have to just suck up the £120+ cost!

thnx
 

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