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Is my CPU bottlenecking my newly bought MSI gtx 770 graphics card?

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December 10, 2013 2:39:25 AM

Hello!

I have recently bought a MSI gtx 770 OC edition as an upgrade from my previous graphics card , gtx 550 ti. When i loaded Dota 2, to test it, I didn't see any improvement at all in terms of FPS. Furthermore, I think my FPS is the same as earlier, when I used my Gtx 550 ti. This doesn't make any sense to me. Why haven't I gained any FPS? Unfortunately, it seems like my FPS is staying the same while playing. Generally, I just want better performance while playing video games.

Im afraid that my two-year-old CPU (AMD Phenom II X4 Processor) is bottlenecking my GPU. I can't see other possibilities :( 

My PC specs:
Windows 7 (64 bit)
Motherboard: ASUS M4A87TD Evo
GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 770 Twin Frozr Gaming OC Edition
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Processor (X4840 version), 3,2 Ghz quad core, 2.0 MB Total Cache
RAM: 16GB
Power supply: 850W

Any suggestions/ideas for what is wrong or what i need to do is highly appreciated! :) 
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December 10, 2013 2:41:39 AM

Yuppers, CPU bottleneck. You can verify this by reducing the resolution, if framerate remains close to the same thats your issue.
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December 10, 2013 2:44:22 AM

Yes, I have tried to reduce the resolution and the framerate stays the same. What do i need to do?
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December 10, 2013 2:45:53 AM

Thanks for your reply, cookybiscuit@! :) 
Since i know what's wrong, how can i prevent this from happening? Do i need to buy a new CPU?

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December 10, 2013 2:58:06 AM

New cpu will work but you will need a new mobo/memory as well. You can try OCing if you have a decent cpu cooler but will not be as good as new cpu/mobo/RAM.
-Bruce
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December 10, 2013 2:59:35 AM

I dont see this as a bottleneck, your cpu sounds goood enough for games. Plus if for dota 2 i dont think you need a 770 just for it. But its proabably your cpu, i dont see anything else that could cause problems for your games. Just buy a better cpu, do u have a budget or no?
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December 10, 2013 3:01:16 AM

Thanks for your reply :p 
I'll try to OC my CPU, cause I have a quite good cooler :p 
If it doesn't work, should I then buy a new CPU or a new Motherboard? Or both things ? :p 
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December 10, 2013 3:04:29 AM

Antimetrics said:
I dont see this as a bottleneck, your cpu sounds goood enough for games. Plus if for dota 2 i dont think you need a 770 just for it. But its proabably your cpu, i dont see anything else that could cause problems for your games. Just buy a better cpu, do u have a budget or no?


Thanks a lot for replying to my thread! :D 

I bought my graphics card to achieve more FPS in various games, in general. :p  What you've said makes sense, because my Graphics card is really high-tech, but my CPU is two years old and quite bad compared to my graphics card. As a matter of fact, I do have a quite big budget :p  But I don't wanna spend too many money on a new CPU than necessary. Do you have any suggestions for a good CPU I should buy ? :p 
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December 10, 2013 3:06:34 AM

dish_moose said:
New cpu will work but you will need a new mobo/memory as well. You can try OCing if you have a decent cpu cooler but will not be as good as new cpu/mobo/RAM.
-Bruce


Hey man! Thanks for your very nice comment/ suggestion :D 
But why do you think I should buy a new Motherboard and a new CPU? Why both? :p 
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a c 92 à CPUs
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December 10, 2013 3:08:25 AM

depend on your current motherboard..
if your board have newer bios for support fx class cpu, then you not need to buy a new motherboard..

X4 955BE right..?
well, actually this is still a decent processor..
will touch 3.8-4ghz easily..
and at that clock you'll notice performance boost than your stock clock..
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December 10, 2013 3:12:59 AM

Quaddro said:
depend on your current motherboard..
if your board have newer bios for support fx class cpu, then you not need to buy a new motherboard..

X4 955BE right..?
well, actually this is still a decent processor..
will touch 3.8-4ghz easily..
and at that clock you'll notice performance boost than your stock clock..


Thank you for comment =)
Actually my CPU is a X4840 version. I have a really good cooler, but for some reason I can only overclock my cpu to 3,6 ghz, or i'll get BSOD.
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December 10, 2013 3:18:16 AM

tobidreng said:
Antimetrics said:
I dont see this as a bottleneck, your cpu sounds goood enough for games. Plus if for dota 2 i dont think you need a 770 just for it. But its proabably your cpu, i dont see anything else that could cause problems for your games. Just buy a better cpu, do u have a budget or no?


Thanks a lot for replying to my thread! :D 

I bought my graphics card to achieve more FPS in various games, in general. :p  What you've said makes sense, because my Graphics card is really high-tech, but my CPU is two years old and quite bad compared to my graphics card. As a matter of fact, I do have a quite big budget :p  But I don't wanna spend too many money on a new CPU than necessary. Do you have any suggestions for a good CPU I should buy ? :p 


I think you should get fx 6300

6 cores plenty for dota.

Around 120 bucks u can find it cheaper for sale maybe like 100 bucks.

If u live in America http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if u live in Australia http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Obviously Australia is a rip off country, the country i live in so i hope u live some where else.

if u are willing to spend 200 bucks then the fx 8350 will be nice. 8 cores plenty of cores for u to work with
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December 10, 2013 3:24:02 AM

Antimetrics said:
tobidreng said:
Antimetrics said:
I dont see this as a bottleneck, your cpu sounds goood enough for games. Plus if for dota 2 i dont think you need a 770 just for it. But its proabably your cpu, i dont see anything else that could cause problems for your games. Just buy a better cpu, do u have a budget or no?


Thanks a lot for replying to my thread! :D 

I bought my graphics card to achieve more FPS in various games, in general. :p  What you've said makes sense, because my Graphics card is really high-tech, but my CPU is two years old and quite bad compared to my graphics card. As a matter of fact, I do have a quite big budget :p  But I don't wanna spend too many money on a new CPU than necessary. Do you have any suggestions for a good CPU I should buy ? :p 


I think you should get fx 6300

6 cores plenty for dota.

Around 120 bucks u can find it cheaper for sale maybe like 100 bucks.

If u live in America http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if u live in Australia http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Obviously Australia is a rip off country, the country i live in so i hope u live some where else.

if u are willing to spend 200 bucks then the fx 8350 will be nice. 8 cores plenty of cores for u to work with


Thanks for your reply :) 
I'll look into buying one of your suggested CPU's very soon :)  when I have tested my FPS once I've overclocked my CPU :) 
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December 10, 2013 3:25:25 AM

tobidreng said:
Antimetrics said:
tobidreng said:
Antimetrics said:
I dont see this as a bottleneck, your cpu sounds goood enough for games. Plus if for dota 2 i dont think you need a 770 just for it. But its proabably your cpu, i dont see anything else that could cause problems for your games. Just buy a better cpu, do u have a budget or no?


Thanks a lot for replying to my thread! :D 

I bought my graphics card to achieve more FPS in various games, in general. :p  What you've said makes sense, because my Graphics card is really high-tech, but my CPU is two years old and quite bad compared to my graphics card. As a matter of fact, I do have a quite big budget :p  But I don't wanna spend too many money on a new CPU than necessary. Do you have any suggestions for a good CPU I should buy ? :p 


I think you should get fx 6300

6 cores plenty for dota.

Around 120 bucks u can find it cheaper for sale maybe like 100 bucks.

If u live in America http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if u live in Australia http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Obviously Australia is a rip off country, the country i live in so i hope u live some where else.

if u are willing to spend 200 bucks then the fx 8350 will be nice. 8 cores plenty of cores for u to work with


Thanks for your reply :) 
I'll look into buying one of your suggested CPU's very soon :)  when I have tested my FPS once I've overclocked my CPU :) 


No problem, glad i could help in some way
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December 10, 2013 3:53:37 AM

6300 is completely inadequate for a 770, you want an 8350 or i5.
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December 10, 2013 4:06:17 AM

tobidreng said:
Yes, I have tried to reduce the resolution and the framerate stays the same. What do i need to do?


cheap solution

1. buy a good $30 cooler from newegg or your online shop of choice (evo 212 series, find the most recent revision for decent price).

2. use your wonderful Asus motherboard (had that exact one) to see if you can hit the big 4.0 ghz. it should not take more then 1.5v core to achieve this. either way don't go above 1.55vcore or let the cpu get above 60C, honestly 55C when overclocking (much easier to find a stable point).

3. push your fsb/core-to-ram-htt to 2800 if you can, 2600 is sufficient but the closer you can get it to 3000mhz the better

4. watch as your cpu breaths life into your new video card.

more costly solution

I would recommend you go out and find a good deal on a intel 3750K+mobo and overclock that with a good $40-$60 air-cooler (check toms and frostytech for coolers).

or if your really looking to push ur proc at the bare minimum grab something like a thermal-take pro 3.0 <-thick rad. generally these are in the same price range as high end air coolers, they are slightly better then all but the best air coolers but not necessarily worth their price compared to fully custom water loops.

point being a TTW Pro 3.0 is usually $60 ish. serious contenders with custom water loops start at around $200 and can only go up depending on what you want

so also seriously consider going with something along the lines of a swiftec H220 series. because for the price of these kinds of LCS (generally $200 ish), you basically get the whole deal. custom water loop, high quality parts (tubing, pumps, water blocks) and you get a coolant reservoir with these kinds of water coolers, a feature that all sealed designs (asetek) do not have.

new cpu+mobo+price/efficient $30-$40 air cooler, would be the best route. I would find a motherboard that is sli capable. do not worry about those gazillion+ PCIe slot mobos.

just look for a good brand (asus, gigabyte est) that has at least 2 full speed 16x PCIe 3.0 slots so you have some future proofing with your video card. but again don't go crazy 4 PCIe slots are already more then enough

I do think that it is better to have just 2 or 3 PCIe slots. but they must be the most recent revision and both full speed (IE PCIe 3.0 16X slots, no split mode 8X or anything like that) so that if you do get more or newer video cards down the road. your good to go.
also why i recommend going with a good intel I5 or I7, preferably a K for overclocking. because you could build up from it and it would last you many years before truly bottle-necking even sli setups.

you can use your current power supply for a long time and would be decent enough for sli (if its a real 850W, brand is everything concerning qualities with PSU's, I recommend FSP group/Forton "FSP aurum series" personally), and even your ram hdd/ssd etc would still be useful and could be retained with your upgrade.
How to Select the right CPU
In order to discuss this, let's bring you up to speed on the terms first: CPU - Central Processing Unit, this is the chip that makes all your components work together. Clockspeed - The frequency at which a CPU comes rated at from the OEM. ... See full content
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December 10, 2013 4:13:23 AM

cookybiscuit said:
6300 is completely inadequate for a 770, you want an 8350 or i5.


it will at mad overclock..:D 

but actually OP should try to overclock his current processor..

and if OP still get some bottleneck, well, then upgrading processor is a must consideration..

but i think he still get 60+ fps at any games with that graphic card..

why you want to upgrade if you're still in good fps..?
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December 10, 2013 4:16:55 AM

I had the same problem as you have on these cpu demanding games. I'm quite sure that it is the cpu bottle necking my gpu.

Check the GPU usage, if the GPU usage on your gtx770 is lower than 99%, that almost means your cpu is bottlenecking your gpu. You can double check this with a free software called "Procexp" - it is an advanced task manager. Once you have the software, open it, go to your dota2 process, right click on it, select "property", go to "Threads" tab, check the CPU column. I'm not sure what the cpu cap for each core/thread for a amd cpu, but as a quad core w/o hyperthreading, i assume it would be something like 25%. So if a single thread, normally it should be either dota2.exe or nvd3dum.dll reaches 25% cpu usage, it could mean a cpu cap.
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December 10, 2013 4:20:51 AM

garrett1986 said:
tobidreng said:
Yes, I have tried to reduce the resolution and the framerate stays the same. What do i need to do?


cheap solution

1. buy a good $30 cooler from newegg or your online shop of choice (evo 212 series, find the most recent revision for decent price).

2. use your wonderful Asus motherboard (had that exact one) to see if you can hit the big 4.0 ghz. it should not take more then 1.5v core to achieve this. either way don't go above 1.55vcore or let the cpu get above 60C, honestly 55C when overclocking (much easier to find a stable point).

3. push your fsb/core-to-ram-htt to 2800 if you can, 2600 is sufficient but the closer you can get it to 3000mhz the better

4. watch as your cpu breaths life into your new video card.

more costly solution

I would recommend you go out and find a good deal on a intel 3750K+mobo and overclock that with a good $40-$60 air-cooler (check toms and frostytech for coolers).

or if your really looking to push ur proc at the bare minimum grab something like a thermal-take pro 3.0 <-thick rad. generally these are in the same price range as high end air coolers, they are slightly better then all but the best air coolers but not necessarily worth their price compared to fully custom water loops.

point being a TTW Pro 3.0 is usually $60 ish. serious contenders with custom water loops start at around $200 and can only go up depending on what you want

so also seriously consider going with something along the lines of a swiftec H220 series. because for the price of these kinds of LCS (generally $200 ish), you basically get the whole deal. custom water loop, high quality parts (tubing, pumps, water blocks) and you get a coolant reservoir with these kinds of water coolers, a feature that all sealed designs (asetek) do not have.

new cpu+mobo+price/efficient $30-$40 air cooler, would be the best route. I would find a motherboard that is sli capable. do not worry about those gazillion+ PCIe slot mobos.

just look for a good brand (asus, gigabyte est) that has at least 2 full speed 16x PCIe 3.0 slots so you have some future proofing with your video card. but again don't go crazy 4 PCIe slots are already more then enough

I do think that it is better to have just 2 or 3 PCIe slots. but they must be the most recent revision and both full speed (IE PCIe 3.0 16X slots, no split mode 8X or anything like that) so that if you do get more or newer video cards down the road. your good to go.
also why i recommend going with a good intel I5 or I7, preferably a K for overclocking. because you could build up from it and it would last you many years before truly bottle-necking even sli setups.

you can use your current power supply for a long time and would be decent enough for sli (if its a real 850W, brand is everything concerning qualities with PSU's, I recommend FSP group/Forton "FSP aurum series" personally), and even your ram hdd/ssd etc would still be useful and could be retained with your upgrade.


Thanks for your very nice reply! :D 
Since im not familliar with overclocking, I think im gonan buy one of the CPU's that you have recommended me :p . I really don't wanna harm my system by overclocking, I dont feel like it's safe - but that's only because Im worried about ruining something in my computer :S. However, I might buy an intel i5/7 or an AMD
FX-8350 Black - AM3.
Because I don't have plans to overclock, then what CPU would you recommend me ? =P P.S. I do have a big budget, I'm able to spend around 150-250 euros :p  or maybe a little more :p 
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December 10, 2013 4:26:08 AM

Quaddro said:
cookybiscuit said:
6300 is completely inadequate for a 770, you want an 8350 or i5.


it will at mad overclock..:D 

but actually OP should try to overclock his current processor..

and if OP still get some bottleneck, well, then upgrading processor is a must consideration..

but i think he still get 60+ fps at any games with that graphic card..

why you want to upgrade if you're still in good fps..?


I have double checked, and my FPS is litterally the same as before. It hasn't changed, and it's stil around 30-60. Remember: my CPU is two years old, and my graphics card is brand new. Like you said, it might be a good ide to try to overclock, but im not familiar with overclocking, and i dont want to risk ruining hardware in my computer by doing so. I really believe that my CPU is bottlenecking my GPU, thats why im considering to buy a much better CPU :p .
I would really like a good CPU, and it musn't bottleneck my GPU. :p  Do you have any suggestions for a good CPU i should buy? :) 


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December 10, 2013 4:27:34 AM

Anthony J said:
I had the same problem as you have on these cpu demanding games. I'm quite sure that it is the cpu bottle necking my gpu.

Check the GPU usage, if the GPU usage on your gtx770 is lower than 99%, that almost means your cpu is bottlenecking your gpu. You can double check this with a free software called "Procexp" - it is an advanced task manager. Once you have the software, open it, go to your dota2 process, right click on it, select "property", go to "Threads" tab, check the CPU column. I'm not sure what the cpu cap for each core/thread for a amd cpu, but as a quad core w/o hyperthreading, i assume it would be something like 25%. So if a single thread, normally it should be either dota2.exe or nvd3dum.dll reaches 25% cpu usage, it could mean a cpu cap.



Thanks for your comment :) 
I'll check my GPU usage, and will post my results later. But im almost 100% sure that my CPU is bottlenecking my GPU, but i'll check anyway :p 
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Best solution

a c 92 à CPUs
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December 10, 2013 4:36:43 AM

Well, with this combo, you'll be bottleneck free..

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($140.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $355.97 ~ 259 euros
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December 10, 2013 4:40:21 AM

^ he needs memory as well.
-Bruce
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December 10, 2013 4:40:25 AM

Quaddro said:
Well, with this combo, you'll be bottleneck free..

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($140.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $355.97 ~ 259 euros


Thanks for replying :-)
But isn't my CPU the issue here? Why do i need to upgrade my motherboard as well? :o 

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December 10, 2013 4:41:24 AM

dish_moose said:
^ he needs memory as well.
-Bruce


Thanks for commenting!
But why do you think I need memory, since I have 16g? :p 
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December 10, 2013 4:51:16 AM

tobidreng said:

Thanks for replying :-)
But isn't my CPU the issue here? Why do i need to upgrade my motherboard as well? :o 


unfortunately, your board support just limited to phenom II class processor..:no: 

even if you get the strongest thuban family, and overclock it until hit the brick wall of phenom architecture, you still can't extract all of 770 performance :lol: 

You want something bottleneck free right..?

then you should go with intel i5/i7 class, or downgrade your graphic card..:) 
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December 10, 2013 4:59:10 AM

Quaddro said:
tobidreng said:

Thanks for replying :-)
But isn't my CPU the issue here? Why do i need to upgrade my motherboard as well? :o 


unfortunately, your board support just limited to phenom II class processor..:no: 

even if you get the strongest thuban family, and overclock it until hit the brick wall of phenom architecture, you still can't extract all of 770 performance :lol: 

You want something bottleneck free right..?

then you should go with intel i5/i7 class, or downgrade your graphic card..:) 


So if I want to extract all the performance from my gtx 770, then I need to buy a much better CPU, right? :p  If i buy an intel i5, can my board still support it?
To make things short: I have the money, I want good performance, but is it ok just to upgrade my CPU to prevent bottlenecking and get good performance? Nothing else required ? :-P :D 
Then i might go for an intel i5 CPU :p 
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December 10, 2013 5:11:04 AM

tobidreng said:

So if I want to extract all the performance from my gtx 770, then I need to buy a much better CPU, right? :p  If i buy an intel i5, can my board still support it?
To make things short: I have the money, I want good performance, but is it ok just to upgrade my CPU to prevent bottlenecking and get good performance? Nothing else required ? :-P :D 
Then i might go for an intel i5 CPU :p 


well, you can't put intel processor to amd board...:D 
you'll need a new mobo to do that..
lga 1150 with z87 chipset, that's what you need to run i5 4670k / i7 4770k..

to extract all performance..?
yes, mighty cpu (i5 4670k / i7 4770k) will solve your problem..
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December 10, 2013 5:16:04 AM

Quaddro said:
tobidreng said:

So if I want to extract all the performance from my gtx 770, then I need to buy a much better CPU, right? :p  If i buy an intel i5, can my board still support it?
To make things short: I have the money, I want good performance, but is it ok just to upgrade my CPU to prevent bottlenecking and get good performance? Nothing else required ? :-P :D 
Then i might go for an intel i5 CPU :p 


well, you can't put intel processor to amd board...:D 
you'll need a new mobo to do that..
lga 1150 with z87 chipset, that's what you need to run i5 4670k / i7 4770k..

to extract all performance..?
yes, mighty cpu (i5 4670k / i7 4770k) will solve your problem..


Just to be 100% sure: If I for example buy an I5 4670k, it won't work, because like you said; " you can't put intel processor to amd board". Do I then need to buy an AMD processor, because an Intel processor won't work with my AMD board?

Sorry if i'm confusing, I just want to be sure before I buy something :p 
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December 10, 2013 5:20:37 AM

Your Ram is DDR3 1333MHz? It will do - not the fastest for newer cpus.
You need to get a new mobo regardless of new AMD or Intel. Your mobo is old and does not support new AMD cpus.
-Bruce
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December 10, 2013 5:34:59 AM

dish_moose said:
Your Ram is DDR3 1333MHz? It will do - not the fastest for newer cpus.
You need to get a new mobo regardless of new AMD or Intel. Your mobo is old and does not support new AMD cpus.
-Bruce


Thanks for your reply, I will take this into serious consideration :p . Btw, what mobo would you recommend me? :p  And you're right, my Ram is DDR3 1333MHz.

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December 10, 2013 8:53:12 AM

Thanks for helping me folks :p  Even though i've chosen one answer as the "correct one", all your answers/commens have been equally helpful :D !
When I first signed up on Tom's Hardware and decided to create my own thread, I didn't expect so many people to write solutions and possible reasons for my problem :p  You guys are awesome!

Thank you for taking your time to help me, I really appreciate it :-) - and i like I mentioned before, EACH of your comments have contributed to solving my problem :) 

Have a good day!
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February 25, 2014 7:24:40 AM

tobidreng said:
dish_moose said:
Your Ram is DDR3 1333MHz? It will do - not the fastest for newer cpus.
You need to get a new mobo regardless of new AMD or Intel. Your mobo is old and does not support new AMD cpus.
-Bruce


Thanks for your reply, I will take this into serious consideration :p . Btw, what mobo would you recommend me? :p  And you're right, my Ram is DDR3 1333MHz.



If I had to recommend a motherboard, I would say the msi z87-g43, not the gaming z87-g45, etc. since those have killer network interface cards (NIC's) that comes with proprietary software to control network traffic by setting games to run at high priority, it has shown to work but there are also alot of people having difficulty with the drivers and later uninstall the Killer NIC drivers. One pays a premium for this NIC and then it probably won't even work correctly.

Another fact I should mention is that I have read information on the fact that a mechanical harddrive bottlenecks your system as well because the i5 4670K, for example, is able to process information at a rate much faster than the rate at which the harddrive is capable to supply that information to the CPU. Thus, I would advise getting a solid state drive (SSD) to install your operating system and most played games on, so that the power of your CPU is better utilized. Best SSD's to look at is the samsung 840 pro 256GB ssd (selling for around 200USD on amazon) or samsung 840 EVO 250GB (Samsung produces their own in-house SSD controllers, which is good) Crucial also makes good SSD's. I mention the >200GB ssd's because it is best because of the nature of how SSD's work, to leave open about 30%-50% free space (Samsung even built in a tool in its Magician's software so that you can increase this open space) as this will cause the write amplification to be less. It's thus best to only utilise about 70%-50% of your SSD's space and therefore the need for the bit larger SSD. There is much more information on this subject, but I am going to leave it at that for now.

With an SSD you will see in the Windows Experience Index (WEI) [the WEI is not indicative of much, but one thing it definitely does allow one to see, is the fact that a mechanical harddrive bottlenecks a computer system] increase from around 5.9 with a mechanical drive to around 7.6-7.9 with an SSD in Windows 7.

Your CPU utilization will increase, thus creating more heat (like when people overclock their CPU's), so it is best to still get an aftermarket cooler like the cooler master 212 evo to keep temps down.

Like mentioned before in an indirect manner, each CPU generation comes with its own unique socket (i5 4th generation have the LGA 1150 socket) and thus the need to almost always upgrade the motherboard when upgrading to a new generation of CPU...I think you weren't clear on that fact.

To sum things up, think of getting the following:
CPU: i5 4670K
Motherboard: MSI Z87-g43
SSD: Samsung 840 pro 256GB or Samsung 840 evo 250GB

Regards

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