Looking for CPU upgrade suggestions

Hi guys,

I'm running an i7-860 @ default clocks: 2.8 ghz

I've had this computer for a little over 3 years and am contemplating upgrading the cpu.

What cpu / motherboard combos these days would you suggest?

I use the computer for gaming (fps & mmorpg) as well as some blu-ray video processing/compressing.

Budget ~ $400

Windows 7/64-bit
Case: Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced
CPU: i7-860 @ stock 2.8 ghz
MB: Gigabyte P55a-Ud4p
Graphics: Sapphire 7850 OC @ stock clocks
Ram: 8 gb G.Skill ripjaw
Harddrive: 1 TB west.digitial
Power Supply: Antec earthwatts 650w
LG Blu-ray burner
LG Dvd burner
LG 23" Led monitor

9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu upgrade suggestions
  1. Thats pretty modern tech, you wont see "huge" improvements from upgrades, hang in there and see what broadwell and skylake generations bring to the board.

    But if you absolutely have to. Then the best you could get would be a haswell i7 and a compatible non-z series motherboard (lga1150 socket)
  2. $400 budget for mobo & cpu upgrade from an i7-860 is actually not that easy transition. That is because even though i7-860 is older, it still has 8 threads, and if you go with IVB or Haswell K without HT, you may lose a bit of performance using high thread apps, which you may be interested in. AND It won't be easy getting IVB or Haswell K HT chips WITH decent mobo under that budget. If you were to get IVB or Haswell K without HT, here is what you can expect:

    i7-860 stock vs 3570K stock = 3570k is ~5~40% faster, depending on thread count.
    i7-860 stock vs 4670K stock = 4670K is ~15~55% faster, depending on thread count.

    My recommendation would be to purchase aftermarket heatsink (i.e. Hyper212 EVO for ~$30) and OC i8-860 as much as possible, which will get you performance much closer to stock IVB or Haswell. And wait for a combo deal to buy Haswell 4770K & decent mobo at once (saving up money while waiting). Great combo deals do come up once in a while, so if you keep your eyes open, you could find one under $400.
  3. Hmm, ok maybe I should cool my heels. So going from 2.9 (i7-860) to 3.9 ghz (i7-3770) wouldn't really knock my socks off?
    As you can tell, I'm not a cpu overclocking guy. I've only ever over clocked the gpu. So I'd be running off stock clocks.

    Edit: ok, thanks for the ~ % perf. increase. Looks interesting. 5 to 40 % increase depending on thread usage seems like a pretty healthy increase.
    I could try overclocking cpu I guess, but i'm concerned I'd blow it to bits, or improperly glue the cpu to the heatsink ;)
  4. Don't go on about loosing performance. Cosidering this cpu is at stock, I'd guess they aren't interested in overclocking.

    So you can already get a full price i7-4770 and a bseries 1150 mobo for $402 which would be gain only across the board :P. But not a large enough gain to me for $400, I'd hang on to it and keep saving for a new set up in 2-3 more years :P
  5. Marc999 said:
    ok, thanks for the ~ % perf. increase. Looks interesting. 5 to 40 % increase depending on thread usage seems like a pretty healthy increase. I could try overclocking cpu I guess, but i'm concerned I'd blow it to bits, or improperly glue the cpu to the heatsink ;)

    5~40% increase means 5% when utilizing all 8 threads, 40% when utilizing 4 threads or less. For certain workload, you would feel the performance difference, but majority of tasks that runs 8 threads or more (i.e. video editing, multitasking), you won't feel any difference. If you want to feel performance change, I recommend installing an SSD as boot drive first, before jumping to another cpu+mobo.

    You can probably research i7-860 OC for two hours and learn to change BIOS settings to moderately overclock it, and THAT is a performance change you WILL FEEL immediately. There are certain risks, but it is generally much lower than people think. First time could be difficult, but it gets much easier after that. AND you won't "break" any component unless you mess with voltages aggressively.
  6. If I do decide to upgrade the motherboard and cpu some day, I'm hoping those universal restore programs work? I have EaseUS Todo Backup which is supposed to recover image to dissimilar hardware, including a new motherboard. Similar to Acronis Universal Restore. I'm not entirely sure how that's possible though, or how Windows would deal with wrong mb chipset drivers and so on...

    How do you guys approach an upgrade issue like this? Complete reinstall, including Windows, Ms-Office etc?
    Just weighing out my options. The logical one so far seems just to make an attempt at overclocking the existing cpu. Or screw it and just wait until the cpu is truly bottlenecked 1-3 years down the road and get/build a complete new computer then.


    I have an OEM system builder Windows 7 dvd that came with the computer, so I don't think I can even use that to reinstall Windows.
  7. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($171.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $391.97
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-04 02:47 EDT-0400)
  8. Dont opt for a haswell over ivy
    1. Only 5-10% marginal increase in haswell from ivy
    2.haswell produces more heat than 6 core sandy bridge e processors so ivy cpu would b better overclocker
    3.there is no news that the 1150 socket would support further generation processors as broadwell would be bringin ddr4 most probably so it will be a new mobo

    And an i7 would cost u much more
  9. Best answer
    Fresh install, otherwise your clogging up a system with old junk.

    You can try your luck with an OEM disc, just phone microsoft when you reactivate and say your motherboard burnt out and you needed to replace it.

    Works a bit more than two thirds of the time :P
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