[SOLVED] Which PC to upgrade (x79 vs z97) - gaming/general use.

Apr 23, 2020
Hi All,

I built my first ever gaming PC back in 2015, and aimed to do so for less than the price of a PS4 (in the UK), so on a fairly tight budget. It was only ever intended to run on my TV at 1080p 30Hz.

In the end I went for a gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI motherboard paired with an LGA1150 i3-4170 and then picked up second hand a case, 8gb of RAM and a pair of 670Ti's. For not very much cash I had myself a fairly nifty gaming rig capable of running pretty much anything of the time at TV spec graphics.

Around a 12 months later I ended up being gifted a used ROG Rampage iv formula with an LGA2011 i7-3820, since the CPU was a decent step up from my i3, I moved my RAM/HDD etc over to the new board, added another 8GB of RAM and a GTX1060, and have been using that ever since. I popped the Gigabyte motherboard/CPU up into the loft and it's sat there ever since.

If I've done this right you may be able to see them side by side here:

View: https://imgur.com/OfMaQ0g

That was about 3 years back and these days it's hooked up to the same TV as well as a 1440p 60hz monitor (I switch between them mostly depending on game pad or keyboard gaming). It's starting to struggle to play newer games now without knocking a lot of the settings down a fair bit, even on the TV, and it really doesn't cope well at all with the monitor on a lot of games.

I'm not financially in a position to build a completely new rig but I figure with a high end second hand CPU and modern GPU either motherboard should do ok still?

I'm not sure which is the better platform to upgrade, CPUs seem similar price second I can pick up either an i7 4930k or i7 4790k second hand for less than £150. The Gigabyte board has an M.2 slot so perhaps I could make use of that and move to an SSD at the same time?

My monitor will do 1440p 60Hz so I guess it would be nice to run, say, Red Dead Redemption with the graphics settings cranked up a bit on that screen rather than the TV.

If there is no real benefit to either than I'll use the Gigabyte board, it's got way less hours on it and is in generally better condition.

Thanks very much!


Dec 11, 2013
For a gaming PC, probably the Z97 board (4790K processor), due to it's better performance with low thread count loads.

If it were for workstation or server loads, then the X79 (4930K processor) board, due to it's better high-thread count performance and quad-channel memory.
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