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Worth upgrading CPU?

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  • Overclocking
  • GPUs
  • CPUs
  • Intel i5
  • Gaming
Last response: in CPUs
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July 1, 2014 11:49:15 PM

I'm currently running on a i5-2400 which served me well for quite a while, last year I've upgraded GPU to MSI 780 Lightning and was thinking about upgrading CPU this year to the i5-4690k model (which I would OC this time, unfortunately I've made a mistake by not picking the i5-2500k model).

Now my question is, what kind of difference in performance would this give me? I'm mostly interested in gaming situations, especially in CPU intensive games (for example Guild Wars 2, where my GPU is running at half speed and I drop down to 10-15 fps when a lot of action is going on)?

Would this be really significant or is it something more like 10-15% and my GPU would still end up being bottlenecked?

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July 1, 2014 11:58:37 PM

Your i5-2400 uses socket 1155. The i5 4690k uses the newer 1150 socket. You won't be able to upgrade to the newer processor without upgrading the motherboard as well.
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July 2, 2014 12:01:42 AM

I am sure some people will call me crazy, but I simply don't see your CPU as "weak". It is most certainly adequate for any gaming situation except for dual graphics card situations with 4K which might require overclocking and even faster CPUs.

I suspect that you might have overheating issues, sir, but please first provide the following:

1) your exact PSU model
2) your CPU cooler
3) your motherboard model
4) your CPU and GPU temps while gaming

Then we might see what is going on here.
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July 2, 2014 12:02:41 AM

What motherboard do you have? RAM? I doubt you will see much of a difference by getting a 4690K unless you immediately overclock it. Stock for stock, though, a Sandy Bridge i5 is, like you estimated, probably only about 10-15% slower than a Haswell i5. Plus, you need to get a new motherboard which is more money. If you already have a Z-series motherboard, you could sell the 2400 and get a 2500k. If not, and you plan to OC, then getting a 4690k and a new Z87 or Z97 is actually worth it.
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July 2, 2014 12:09:07 AM

Also, as an addition to my previous comment, I have to say that Guild Wars 2 uses quite badly-coded game engine (console port?), which is an extreme CPU hog for no apparent reason. Just look all over the internet, people with CPUs twice as powerful as yours are having the same issues. They need to fix this in software, that's not the fault of your CPU.

However, if you are experiencing this with many other games as well, feel free to proceed with answering ;) 
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July 2, 2014 12:36:15 AM

I am aware that I would have to upgrade mobo as well, I would most likely go with MSI Z97 Gaming 5 or something similar in that case. Current mobo is MSI P67A-C45.

The PSU is Seasonic G-Series 650 80Plus Gold (upgraded it along with the GPU). 2x4GB DDR3 1600Mhz.

And Guild Wars 2 (while not being a console port) was just the most CPU intensive game I could think of, and also one that caused me some major problems fps-wise. I think I'm gonna do some more research on GW2 forums and subreddit about this particular case because an upgrade of 15% is not really worth the trouble for me. Will also take a look at the CPU temps, never really paid much attention to it as it was not even OCd.
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July 2, 2014 12:42:54 AM

Yeah mate, no reason for upgrade here. This game is just badly coded, nothing you can do about it. Who knows, maybe developers will release a patch one day to resolve the issue. And checking for temperatures from time to time is always a good thing. All CPU's can overheat when dust clogs the heatsink, OC's or not. Take care.
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July 2, 2014 2:28:06 AM

No Spoon said:
I am aware that I would have to upgrade mobo as well, I would most likely go with MSI Z97 Gaming 5 or something similar in that case. Current mobo is MSI P67A-C45.

The PSU is Seasonic G-Series 650 80Plus Gold (upgraded it along with the GPU). 2x4GB DDR3 1600Mhz.

And Guild Wars 2 (while not being a console port) was just the most CPU intensive game I could think of, and also one that caused me some major problems fps-wise. I think I'm gonna do some more research on GW2 forums and subreddit about this particular case because an upgrade of 15% is not really worth the trouble for me. Will also take a look at the CPU temps, never really paid much attention to it as it was not even OCd.

If I had your rig, I would try overclocking the CPU for a slight performance boost even though it is still a very good CPU stock. You have a motherboard that will let you do that. If you are still using the stock Intel cooler, your best investment right now would be a 120mm tower cooler like the Hyper 212+ or Evo or a closed loop liquid cooler. You should be able to get that CPU up to around 3.8-3.9 GHz by simply raising the multiplier. That should put you close to the performance of a stock 3570 or 4670. Or, if you can find a cheap 2500k and get at least $150 for your 2400, you can OC that chip a lot higher. You would still have a slight performance loss because your beast 780 GPU is running on a last gen PCIe 2.0 slot. The difference between 2.0 and 3.0 will be minimal, though. You are probably only losing about 2% max because of it compared to 3.0. I'd definitely keep that rig since it should give you several more years of excellent performance in AAA games especially with your GPU. If you ever decide to go SLI you probably should upgrade to a newer chip set because a) your board doesn't support more than one GPU and b) your CPU doesn't support PCIe 3.0; two 780's in SLI will see a much bigger bottleneck than a single 780 would in a PCIe 2.0 slot.
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July 4, 2014 1:46:24 PM

Thanks for the advices. I ended up replacing the stock CPU fan with 212 EVO as suggested and OC'd the CPU to 3.8 (3.6 on all cores). Also replaced the rear case fan that was apparently dead. The temperatures on CPU went from over 90-95°C (without OC) down to 60°C (after OC) under stress test. After two days of testing in GW2, it turns out that the framerate issues I was having were most likely caused by overheating, as it feels much better now. I'm definitely keeping this rig as it is now :) 
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