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Question Is there still life in my i5-4690K?

Bobsy

Member
Jan 5, 2010
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Hi all. My current build dates from late 2014 and features the i5-4690K processor and MSI Z97M mobo. It currently has 16 GB RAM, GTX 1060 6GB and 840 EVO SSD. I play Call of Duty: Warzone and my PC is starting to show its age. I'd love to upgrade my 60 Hz monitor to 144 Hz or above.
A clerk in a PC store told me that the weakest link in my setup is the CPU, which surprised me a bit. Thoughts on that?
Also, do you think it's time for a whole new PC?
Thank you.
 

damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
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The weakest link in your setup is determined by your use case. If you don't play at high refresh rates you don't need a CPU with high gaming performance. It of course also depends on the game you're playing. For Intel consumer CPUs there hasn't happened much since Haswell aside from more cores and higher clock speeds.
I wouldn't upgrade your CPU until you actually played with it on your new 144 Hz monitor, or at least looked at CPU gaming benchmarks for the games you play the most. Don't just blindly buy a newer CPU and motherboard, the performance gain might not be worth the money.
I would also wait for the release of Zen 3 CPUs before you buy a new motherboard and CPU, if the rumors of an 8-core CCX in Zen 3 are true they should make really great gaming CPUs.
 
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A///

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Feb 24, 2017
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There's also a possible 11th gen Intel desktop launch early 2021 if you want to stick with Intel for whatever reason, specifically if Zen 3 doesn't improve much on the gaming front. I'd still keep that system around. It'll have a long life for general use and light gaming.
 

Adonisds

Member
Oct 27, 2019
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I have almost the same machine and I am satisfied with it. I will upgrade only with Zen 4 or Alder Lake.
I recommend that you upgrade only the GPU and monitor initially after the new parts arrive this year and then upgrade the CPU too if you are still unsatisfied
 

GaiaHunter

Diamond Member
Jul 13, 2008
3,606
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Hi all. My current build dates from late 2014 and features the i5-4690K processor and MSI Z97M mobo. It currently has 16 GB RAM, GTX 1060 6GB and 840 EVO SSD. I play Call of Duty: Warzone and my PC is starting to show its age. I'd love to upgrade my 60 Hz monitor to 144 Hz or above.
A clerk in a PC store told me that the weakest link in my setup is the CPU, which surprised me a bit. Thoughts on that?
Also, do you think it's time for a whole new PC?
Thank you.
If when you are using your PC you aren't having fun because of the hardware, yes. Otherwise, no.

Does your PC get over 60 FPS in the games you play?

The Rig 4 on my signature was an upgrade from an i5 4690K to a r7 3700X due to micro stutter in some games.
 
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blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
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www.teamjuchems.com
As the others have said, it’s all personal preference.

I was disappointed with how Borderlands 3 was running on my 3930k (six core sandy bridge) @ 4.2 ghz with a 290x, even upgrading to a 5700xt didn’t really help as much as I thought it would, peak frames were way higher, average was higher but it still was janky under stress with big frame dips.

The rig (spoiler: mild rig with a 3600 and a fast nvme drive) in my sit smoothed it all out and really let me turn it up at 1440p.

Warzone sounds like a title that can really drag your frames down in spots. It’s notoriously hard on ram too from my earlier research.

You could always wait but a current six core K Intel CPU or an AMD 3600 would really be a solid step up.

Anything more would be gravy. :)

I would try to stretch out the GPU if anything, next gen graphics cards are truly imminent and will likely have a bigger impact on image quality and frame rates - but would likely still be CPU limited.

IMO your current rig is pretty balanced.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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There isn't much you could do to the current PC besides going one level up (4790k) and a better GPU. A newer CPU would require a whole new motherboard and DDR4 RAM as well, and you would of course want to upgrade the GPU as well, especially if going with a larger monitor with faster Hz.

I would wait till the new GPUs are out, then upgrade depending on your budget and what is out there, with a whole new computer and monitor.
 
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SnooSnoo

Member
Jun 14, 2011
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Hi, my main PC has a 4670k @ 4.1. During lockdown I upgraded my monitor from a 1080 60 Hz to a 1440 144Hz adaptive sync one not just for better ergonomy for working from home but also for gaming in the near future. Since I sold my last graphics card when my daughter was born, I also borrowed a 750Ti as a place holder to drive that monitor at resonable refresh rates (60Hz, instead of onboard 30 Hz). Then a month later I found a guy selling unused 1070Ti's that he was planning on bulding a miner and putting them into...

Anyway, since I have a big backlog of games from 2014-ish that I plan on playing when a window opens here and there, I have to say that all the upgrades are pretty brilliant and am very satisfied to have done them. Since it's all older games, the CPU copes pretty well, and DOOM was just a beautiful gory experience. So yeah, if you play older titles and do anything other than game, the upgrade to 144Hz is well worth it. Just dragging windows aroud or even the cursor is so much nicer with this new monitor. In fact, everything is smotther, especialy scrolling. Oh and since it's ultrawide, I can also enjoy some movies on it. It's pretty sweet for me.

My old monitor was an IPS so I did not expect to see much better picture quality, but I was quite pleasently surprised that even picture quality was way better. So, all in all, for me, it works and am very satisfied.
 

dr1337

Member
May 25, 2020
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I had a 4690k and for four years it handled pretty much everything I threw at it. But once I got a VR headset in 2017 I had to start closing out other programs in the background as I was maxing out all four cores. Im usually a pretty heavy multitasker so having to close programs out like I had my pentium 4 again was unacceptable.

Had I had an i7 I think I would probably have been able to get by, but buying a $200 cpu for only four threads didnt seem like a good value to me so I got a 3600 at launch in 2019.

I'd definitely buy the monitor I want before upgrading a computer, unless I already feel its being held back.
 

daveybrat

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Jan 31, 2000
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I also had a 4690K like the OP and when it's when i got COD: Modern Warfare that i finally decided to upgrade. That particular game maxed out the cores on that old cpu pretty badly.

I upgraded the entire system to an AMD 2600X and it was night and day better and smoother. I recently sold the 2600X and upgraded to the 3700X and got an even bigger boost in games, especially COD.
 

inf64

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2011
3,157
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I upgraded recently from 4690k to 1600AF+x570 (waiting for Zen3 12C). I could not be more pleased with this thing, the improvement is massive. In games (i use GTX1080) I see major improvements, while in apps that I use it's night and day ( 12 threads versus 4 threads, similar clocks).
 

singe_101

Junior Member
Aug 14, 2020
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Can you frame cap Call of Duty? You can in Black Ops 4

I would buy the new monitor with Freesync or G-sync. They existed in 2014 but there has been tons of progress since then.

Though I think it is worth it to install Windows fresh on a new 1TB NVMe drive with DRAM cache and all that, impossible in 2014, but then with a new motherboard and fast RAM wouldn't hurt.

Or maybe still on the Z97 board for the game but now WIndows, but there are also little adapters to use the second big PCI Express slot since SLI was supposed to be important in 2014.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
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This thread is a i5 Devil's Canyon club reunion. :cool: It was a good overclocker, and kept my son's Arma III rig powered for years. That game likes a couple of fast cores.

A 4c/4t as you have found, is ill suited to heavy MP games out now, like war zone and BF5. Having discord and other apps opened exacerbates the situation.

Great user comments in this thread too. :beercheers: Free/G-sync are useful. And as others stated, definitely holdout, if you can, on the build. We should only be a few months away from the new hardware hitting. Though I do worry about supplies, since it seems like everyone plans to buy in. For example, failing to pre-order a Ryzen 3300x to have some fun with, was a mistake on my part. Now, only the Ferengi sell them.
 

Bobsy

Member
Jan 5, 2010
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To all who replied,
Thank you so much for your suggestions and insight. I love this community. You guys are very generous. I am amazed that several people have had, or are having, the same experience as me.
I've paid more attention to the metrics displayed in game (COD Warzone) and when I get hickups, it's usually due to the CPU (the response time in ms shoots way up).
I agree my current CPU + mobo + RAM still has a long life ahead as a general purpose and light gaming machine.
JayzTwoCents put together a PC for his daughter (maybe this was her daughter's friend?) and he picked an Intel 9xxx CPU because it would be powerful enough and was very stable/proven. I'm tempted to take that route for my upgrade.
I will definitely stretch out the GPU (as recommended by @blckgrffn ) until nVidia release the successor to the 2060 Super (or something like that).
If it wasn't for Warzone, just like @SnooSnoo , I have a big backlog of games from 2014-ish that I'd like to play as well down the road. Before Warzone, it was 99% work on this PC, now it's 65% work and 35% game.
@daveybrat , thank you for your insight.
Now I'm gonna watch that video shared by @Martimus !
Cheers!
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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Newegg has the 9900K for $360 and it comes with the Avengers game. That is a hot deal imo. And justifies the expense of a good cooler for it. I would not go with 8c/8t or less now. Games will continue to utilize more threads as the months go by, and there are already games that can fully load a 9700K. 10600K is a little cheaper and the best bang for buck gamer right now, but for a little more bank you get 2c/4t more from the 9900K. I still regret not paying the extra $100 for the i7 years back, it held up much better than the i5, which made the $100 more than equitable. 10 series has a upgrade path the 9 series cannot match either.

That is all if you simply cannot wait a few more months. But anything under the 9900K in the 9 series is going to age comparatively poorly. 9900K is technically under $300 if you were going to buy the game anyways. Never thought that would happen, and that they would go for that on the used market years later. Ain't competition grand?
 

GaiaHunter

Diamond Member
Jul 13, 2008
3,606
134
106
If it wasn't for Warzone, just like SnooSnoo, I have a big backlog of games from 2014-ish that I'd like to play as well down the road. Before Warzone, it was 99% work on this PC, now it's 65% work and 35% game.
If your work takes advantage of many threads you might wish to consider a ryzen CPU since they generally beat equivalent Intel machines in certain types of applications.
 

Bobsy

Member
Jan 5, 2010
164
41
101
My workload won't take advantage of many threads (it's just Office 365 and Adobe Acrobat). That said, I don't want to repeat the "mistake" I made in 2014 (hindsight is 20:20 though) when I picked the i5-4690K instead of the i7-4790K. It felt like a huge upgrade at the time, as I was coming off the 1st gen Core-i3. I don't upgrade often, so I want this upgrade to last me a long time.
I'll have to get up to speed on modern processors. Where I live (Canada), the 9900K and the 10900K are the same price, so I suppose the latter is a better pick?
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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My workload won't take advantage of many threads (it's just Office 365 and Adobe Acrobat). That said, I don't want to repeat the "mistake" I made in 2014 (hindsight is 20:20 though) when I picked the i5-4690K instead of the i7-4790K. It felt like a huge upgrade at the time, as I was coming off the 1st gen Core-i3. I don't upgrade often, so I want this upgrade to last me a long time.
I'll have to get up to speed on modern processors. Where I live (Canada), the 9900K and the 10900K are the same price, so I suppose the latter is a better pick?
The 10900k can be hard to cool. Also, Ryzen 4000 series come out very soon, if you can wait I would go that route.
 
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A///

Golden Member
Feb 24, 2017
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Jay built that purple system for his daughter's friend, IIRC. The daughter's system was just done this or last week. I haven't caught the video myself, just his case roasts. I agree and can only repeat what @Markfw is saying here by waiting for the 4000 series.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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OP you have a perfectly normal pc to me.
However this is in regards to my expectations, if you are going for ultra settings and high FPS in new games you do not.
I’ll say it again, to me there is very little difference between ultra and medium settings in most games. Yeah I can look at still images and tell a difference but playing the game I doubt I would be able to tell unless I was studying the game vs playing the game.
A new video card would likely help you out but it would need to be a higher end card and to me the cost wouldn’t justify its performance, your answer could be different since we likely have different expectations.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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The 10900k can be hard to cool. Also, Ryzen 4000 series come out very soon, if you can wait I would go that route.
agree with mark this time :p id hold out and buy the monitor first and then the cpu as late as you can. Of course my choice for monitor would be https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/lg/cx-oled

next id buy the new 3000 series nvidia, by then id hope some new motherboard / cpu would be out but possibly you can hold out until 2021 when things really get exciting upgrading your hd to nvme etc. No idea what your budget is tho. seems like 55" and 48" are the same price of 1500$
 

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