The LGA 1150 CPU line fits into a specific style socket and must be replaced with an equivalent processor.
Motherboards and CPUs are designed to go together, and if you have a motherboard with an 1150 socket and are looking to upgrade your processor, you need to make sure you purchase another one that fits into the same style socket.
In this post, we review a few different options for socket 1150 CPUs and recommend the best upgrade option for your needs.
LGA 1150 CPU comparison
|Intel Core i7-4790K||Intel Core i7-4790||Intel Xeon E3-1230V3||Intel Core i5-4690K|
|Base Clock||4.0 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.3 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|Max Clock||4.4 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.9 GHz|
|Integrated Graphics||HD Graphics 4600||HD Graphics 4600||No||HD Graphics 4600|
|Memory Support||32 GB||32 GB||32 GB||32 GB|
|Max Power Consumption||88 W||84 W||80 W||88 W|
Best LGA 1150 CPU
The best LGA 1150 CPU discussed here today is the Intel Core i7-4790K. It has a base clock speed of 4.0 GHz out of the box, supports overclocking up to 4.4 GHz, supports hyperthreading with four cores and eight threads, and is designed to run with the Z-series motherboards offering support for the overclocking capabilities of the processor itself.
1. Intel Core i7-4790K
The quad-core Intel Core i7 4790K is an upgrade to its predecessor (the 4770K) and offers improved CPU and GPU performance, better power consumption and overclock capability.
Architecture and compatibility
Using 22nm processes, the Core i7-4790K has better temperature control than the Ivy Bridge series and also addresses some of the limited overclocking abilities consumers complained about with its predecessor. The chip runs hotter and uses more energy than the i7-4770K, so it will need proper cooling to run effectively.
The Core i7-4790K is a LGA 1150 processor compatible with the socket LGA 1150 motherboards. It is designed to run with LGA 1150 motherboards that use the Intel Z97, but will also work in older Z87-based motherboards. If you go with a Z87 motherboard, you may need to update the firmware (BIOS) for it to run properly, and if done improperly could cause issues with the rest of the system.
The Intel Core i7-4790K is a few years old now, but at launch it was the top of the Intel line. The “K” in the name of the CPU indicates it has an unlocked multiplier, allowing you to overclock it. This was the first Intel CPU with the ability to run at 4 GHz across all four cores out of the box without any additional boosting. You can take the clock speed even higher, but make sure that you have proper cooling for the processor so it doesn’t overheat.
The 4790K uses the same Intel HD Graphics 4600 you will find in its predecessor the i7-4770K. The 4790K processor has a 20 unit graphics core which is a small step up from the i7-4770K. It doesn’t deliver impeccable performance compared to newer chipsets, as there is significant potential for improvement. You can still play your favorite games if you can deal with slightly lower graphics quality and resolution, depending on your dedicated GPU
The 4 GHz base clock speed is great for gaming, and the CPU does have hyperthreading with 4 cores and 8 threads. This boosts the multitasking ability of the chipset allowing it to excel in multi-threaded applications which is ideal if you plan to use it for producing music or editing video. It also has the same 8MB Level 3 cache as the i7-4770K, which is shared equally between the processors.
Intel i7-4790K for Gaming
More cores with more threads are becoming the default for processor manufacturing, but game developers are not similarly increasing the demands of the games they are putting out.
Most gamers still use 4 cores for gaming with no issues and the use of more cores is largely limited to enthusiasts. 4 cores and 8 threads are ideal for building a gaming PC, even in 2019, and they will be able to run the games coming out in the next few years without any need to upgrade, just make sure that you have a graphics card to take care of the intensive graphics processing required by modern games.
2. Intel Core i7-4790 Processor
The Intel Core i7-4790 is one of Intel’s highly efficient processors using the 22nm Haswell architecture.
Architecture and compatibility
This is the “locked” version of the 4790K mentioned above. You cannot overclock this processor but it has similar specifications to the “K” version, running on the same 22nm Haswell silicon architecture. As with the i7-4790K, make sure there is adequate cooling for the processor.
The CPU can boost to 4 GHz (the base clock of the i7-4790K) but the base clock speed is a bit lower at 3.6 GHz. As with the 4790K, there is support for 32 GB of RAM which will more than accommodate any modern gaming. The CPU cannot be overclocked, so you can save some money by not needing to purchase a fancy Z-series motherboard and get any mainstream motherboard that supports the CPU.
The i7- 4790 CPU does have hyperthreading with 4 cores and 8 threads. This allows enhanced multitasking of the chipset, excelling in multi-threaded applications ideal for producing music or editing video. It also has the same 8MB Level 3 cache as the i7-4790K and i7-4770K, which is shared equally between the processors.
Intel Core i7-4790 for Gaming
Base clock of 3.6 GHz is still a decent clock speed for gaming. More cores with more threads are becoming the default for processor manufacturing, but 4 cores and 8 threads are ideal for building a gaming PC, even in 2019, and they will be able to run the games coming out in the next few years without any need to upgrade.
3. Intel Xeon E3-1230V3
The Intel Xeon E3-1230 v3 belongs to the Xeon range of processors and has a CPU performance that was unrivaled at the time of its launch.
Xeon CPUs are not typically used by consumers and are not designed for gaming, but they can be used to build a gaming PC. The Intel Xeon E3-1230V3 features the same LGA 1150 socket and comes with 4 cores and 8 threads, just like the i7 variants listed above, and also supports four extra PCIe 3.0 lanes.
Because most chips spend a lot of their time idle, and the Intel Xeon E3-1230V3 has the lowest TDP of all the CPUs we compare here, you can expect the lowest overall power consumption from this processor.
Architecture and Compatibility
The Xeon E3-1230V3 CPU also uses the 22 nm lithography of the Haswell series. Like the rest of the CPUs discussed here, it fits the socket LGA 1150 motherboards. Because it is designed for industrial use, it supports a number of advanced Intel technologies including Turbo Boost, vPro Platform, Virtualization technology, nd TSX-NI.
The Xeon E3-1230V3 CPU supports 32 GB of RAM like the other SKUs we look into here.
The power requirement is the lowest of all the CPUs compared here. Xeon CPUs are made for industrial use where they will run around the clock, so they consume less power and have a lower base clock of 3.2 GHz and boosted clock speed of 3.7 GHz.
The Xeon E3-1230V3 CPU does have hyperthreading with 4 cores and 8 threads, and the same 8MB Level 3 cache as the i7-4790 and 4790K. This allows enhanced multitasking of the chipset and when combined with TSX-NI it allows for intelligent multi-threading, excelling at producing music or editing video.
The Xeon E3-1230 V3 was specifically designed to distribute loads over the entire core count and is especially beneficial to people who want to use it for content creation instead of just gaming. It’s an ideal choice for multithreading applications, offering performance and reliability similar to what the mainstream i7 consumer processor can offer.
Intel Xeon E3-1230V3 for Gaming
The support for 32 GB of RAM makes it an effective choice for gaming, though it lacks somewhat in clock speed. The Turbo Boost allows speeds up to 3.7 GHz, and it has no integrated graphics, so you will need a dedicated graphics card to handle any and all graphics processing. It can be used effectively for gaming even though it was not designed to be a gaming processor.
4. Intel Core i5-4690K
Part of the line of products which are codenamed Devil’s Canyon, the Core i5-4690K is a processor from Intel. The Intel Core i5-4690 was and still is a decent mid-range CPU for the average consumer and gamer. It still has 4 cores like every other processor listed here, but instead of 8 threads, it only has 4.
Architecture and Compatibility
The Intel Core i5-4690K CPU also uses the 22 nm lithography of the Haswell series. Like the rest of the CPUs discussed here, it fits the socket LGA 1150 motherboards. The The “K” in the name of the CPU indicates it has an unlocked multiplier, allowing you to overclock it.
The Intel Core i5-4690K has the lowest base and overclock speed of the consumer CPUs discussed in this post. The Xeon is lower, but that is to be expected from an industrial processor. The base clock is 3.5 GHz and the overclock speed is 3.9 GHz, which is less than the base clock speed out of the box for the i7-4790K.
This is the only processor discussed in this post which does not support hyperthreading. This means that the processor has four physical cores and four logical cores. It cannot run multiple processes on the same core like the i7-4790 and 4790K, or the Xeon. This level of performance is still plenty for the average consumer and the average gamer who does not require heightened performance for audio and video encoding.
Intel Core i5-4690K for Gaming
This processor still supports 32 GB of RAM, more than sufficient for gaming. The CPU has a base clock of 3.5 GHz and can boost to 3.9 GHz.
The clock speeds are higher than the Xeon SKU and you will get impressive performance in games especially if you are only going to play your games at a resolution of 1080P. The CPU does not support Hyper Threading, having only 4 logical cores instead of the 8 you get with other processors, but you do get the integrated Intel Graphics 4600 like you would with the more expensive i7 line.
The HD 4600 engine is generally good for average users who are looking to get good performance with modern gaming. It can support most of the popular games, but you will not be able to play them at the highest settings. It will also let you perform graphics-intensive tasks such as video encoding, but ideally if you are gaming or encoding, you will want a dedicated graphics card.
* Fastest LGA 1150 CPU
The fastest processor discussed here today is the Intel Core i7-4790K. It has a base clock speed of 4.0 GHz out of the box, supports overclocking up to 4.4 GHz.
* 1150 CPU for Gaming
If you need the ability to run other intensive programs in addition to high-performance gaming, the Core i7-4790K is an Intel 1150 CPU offering the best speed in addition to hyperthreading for better reliability when mixing audio or rendering video.
If you want to get the best performance and overclocking for your 1150 CPU then the Intel Core i7-4790K is the one for you.
If you would rather have stock speeds and save money by using a regular motherboard not designed for overclocking, then the Intel Core i7-4790 is the clear winner.
If you are on a budget and looking for the best value, then the Intel Core i5-4690 is a great option. It comes with 4 cores and 4 threads, with a smaller price tag and works with mainstream LGA 1150 motherboards if overclocking is optional for you.