Question Upgrading from 4th gen Intel i3 4160 to a decent budget 4k gaming rig: 4th gen i7 4790k vs. 8th gen i7 8700k + Mobo + Ram?


Sep 9, 2009
Hello, I recently decided to finally upgrade from my 4th gen i3 setup which has done me considerably well so far, but I wanted to upgrade to something that could achieve 4k gaming for a budget price, something similar to xbox one x quality maybe. My current build:

CPU: Intel Core i3 4160 @ 3.60GHz
MOBO: ASRock Z97 Extreme4
RAM: G.Skill 8GB DDR3 ( 2x 4GB 1600MHz)
GPU: MSI Geforce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X (Recently purchased to replace a GTX 760).

Now I already have the 1080 Ti which would be ideal for 4k gaming, I just can't decide if I should simply upgrade my i3 4160 to an i7 4790k and OC it, or if I should invest in a "future proof" setup with a i7 8700k with DDR4 ram. On newegg, both of these processors can be found for around $380-390 new, which brings into question if I should get the i7 4790k used or a new 8700k + mobo + ram setup.
Mar 14, 2019
If you have haven't bought the 4790k yet, just go with 8700K and the DDR4 memory. By upgrading to 8700K, you will also need to upgrade your motherboard as well since your old motherboard definitely not support 8th gen CPU.
Just by comparing the specs, 8700k has a higher frequency and more cores and DDR4 is way faster than DDR3 as well as easier to get bigger size spec DIMMs.
Most people will say the newer CPU that comes with more cores would not benefits from the gaming, I agree with that. However, a newer CPU that has a higher frequency will definitely help to push your computer to go further.
4790K would still be pumping out frames in 4K gaming without streaming scenarios, but, they are $312 on Amazon. a rather tidy sum to invest in a 4c/8t rig just to make use of it's 4 year old mainboard.

If upgrading, I'd still be looking at the 9700K over the 8700K, the $40 premium seems worth it...(two more real cores, 200-300 MHz...)
Jan 31, 2019
For RAM i would suggest 16 GB (2x8 GB) with something like 3000 MHz speed would be enough for a dual-channel (more RAM speed only gives you like 1-2% more performance at 4k). I would go for the 8700K, because its still one of the best CPUs for gaming. 6 cores are more than enough for gaming according to my researches.


Sep 9, 2009
Thanks for the replies everyone. So, considering I upgrade to a new i7 8700k, does the price of motherboard matter in regard to CPU/GPU overclocking? Looking at the reviews of most motherboards ranging from $70-$100 on newegg, most of the them complain about receiving the motherboards dead on arrival. Is this really such a common problem on "low end/budge cost" motherboards for LGA 1151, and do I really have to shell out over $200 for a descent motherboard?


Feb 18, 2019
If You are looking for a BUDGET solution, then i'd go for 4770K or 4790K.
Those CPU's can be overclocked with a good cooling and in 4K will perform almost the same as 8700K.

It will be enough to utilize 1080ti at that resolution. You will be perfectly fine with that.
(not as good as with 8700k though)
If all You need is 60 fps, 4770k is still a good option.

However, this is okay, if You can get Your i7 cheap. If it is like 300$, there is no point going that. Here in Poland, used 4770K is like 175$. That's still a good price.

The answer to Your question is in the prices. 4770k might be much cheaper than brand new setup (CPU + MOBO + DDR 4 RAMS) and will give You the same performance in 4K.
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