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Help with upgrading a 4690k


Hello boys. I am here to ask you guys for some help regarding upgrades to my PC. The gist of it is that I am interested in upgrading my i5 4690k.

Some general info:

  • I used the “Sweet Spot” build from the Jan 2016 build guide to make my PC last year.
  • I have upgraded the 960 from the guide to a 1070.
  • The i5 4690k is OC’d to 4.2 GHz.
  • I am using dual monitors with my main monitor being a 144hz monitor.

For the most part, my games run just fine with no real issue; I can hit 150 fps for the majority of games I play. The issue is that when I try to stream gameplay using OBS Studio, my games tend to get hit real hard. They’ll get real stuttery, and the video output ends up real stuttery as well. Even in Minecraft, the damn game shits itself to 20-30 FPS just by having OBS open. It’s also not just having OBS open, but having a stream playing while I’m in a CPU intensive game like Overwatch or PUBG will drop my frames tremendously.

I can only assume that having two monitors, including one that must run games at 144hz, is pushing my 4690k too hard and that I’ll need an upgrade. After some research, it seems that the general consensus would be to upgrade to a 4790k so that I won’t have to upgrade my motherboard. It also apparently doesn’t have much of a performance boost going from a 4790k to a 7700k. I ain’t too big with the computer know-how which is why I’m referring to you guys. With the new 8000 series and the Ryzen chips out, what should I do? Do I just go upgrade to the 4790k or should I upgrade it all and get a newer chip? I don’t want to spend too much, but would it be completely worth it to save up the money and upgrade to the best or would this 4790k do me just fine for years to come? Help.


Hey there Hitsu123. When not running OBS and encountering frame drops, could you have your task manager open and see what cores are showing high usage? Do you see this on the first core, or all four cores? If only on the first core, you could try changing the CPU affinity for either the highest CPU user or your browser to not use the first core.

For frame hits with OBS are you using NVENC or have you tried it? Does that reduce your frame hit and still maintain your stream quality to your liking?


Thanks for the reply!

Messing with the the usage per program actually does help so I can watch stuff on the other monitor and I feel stupid for not realizing that.

As for OBS, I do use NVENC since x264 is impossible to use for me to use. I still get the stutters and frame drops while playing which is another big reason why I believe it might be best for me to think about upgrading soon. I don’t stream much and just do it occasion but I don’t want to spend hours messing with OBS over and over again. Sometimes I can get it working and sometimes it doesn’t like me.


Going to a newest generation CPU is going to be costly due to the fact that you’ll need both a new motherboard and DDR4 memory. The latter is very expensive right now. I’d say for your needs upgrading to a 4790k is likely the best bet.

The performance increase in games with a 7700k or 8700k will be fairly small as games are mostly GPU bound. Multi-core performance will be better with a newer chip supporting DDR4 like 7700k or 8700k, but may not be worth it for you since your main multi-threaded use is streaming games.

Here’s a great video highlighting the gaming performance of systems with the i7 chips from 3770k up to 7700k. Likely the performance difference is due to the inclusion of DDR4 for the most part, because the chips using both DDR3 or DDR4 are even closer.

If you’re interested in upgrading the mobo and ram, i’d suggest going with Ryzen 7 1700 and B350 with DDR4 3000. The single core performance of Intel will be better, but since games aren’t affected a ton by CPU speed, you won’t notice much difference. The 1700 is a mult-core performance monster for the money compared to 8700k. So, if streaming performance means a lot to you, go that route. This combo looks very good for ~ $200 US more than a 4790K alone, and much cheaper than building with a 7700K or 8700k (if you can snag one).

Another big plus to Ryzen for me is that AMD plans to support AM4 through 2020, meaning you should have a future upgrade path for your CPU.


Another thing you can do to help with the bottleneck on the CPU with OBS is if you have a second NVIDIA GPU, even an older one, you can set the GPU affinity to that GPU freeing up your primary card for handling the game. It isn’t a save all, but has helped me in gaming performance while streaming.


Hey thanks for the info guys!

@Wheelz Yeah I was mainly interested in trying to upgrade to the 4790k to cut costs. Was curious if the performance would outweigh the cost of getting a new mobo and all. The Ryzen series has looked very appealing though.

@sanguisangelus Unfortunately I sold my older 960 to help get the 1070. I think the biggest factor is trying to hit that 144hz for my monitor while streaming. I don’t think my 4690k can handle that, but downgrading to 60 just to stream is too much of a hit on my own gaming.


A 4790k will provide you with a better streaming experience. The addition of hyperthreading will assist, but I am not sure that the cost of that chip, if you can find it, is worth it compared to the leaps and bounds made since the release for the Haswell Refresh chips.

The 144hz is not impact you, either. Sure, you won’t hit it with that level of stress, but your PC isn’t working any harder to get it. If you have a 1440p monitor, then that would impact the overall performance because it is trying to push more pixels.

As we move into 2018 we see even more improvement coming. Intel is shrinking the die further (from the current 14nm) and AMD will be updating their Ryzen stack. Samsung has also dedicated themselves to producing more RAM, which should help to lower those prices. I that sounds like a long time, but I feel like holding out a bit would be cheaper in the long run.


The only store I checked was Newegg US, and they’re in stock at what seems to be retail price.


I see them at 392. To compare the 7700k is 339. I am sure that when 8700k stock evens out the price will be between those two. I paid 359 for mine.


Okay, so that’s a little more.

I’d recommend he upgrade to Ryzen since he’s on a budget. I think the increase in performance for the money is a better bet IMO than buying a 4790K, and much cheaper than going the 8700K. The support of AM4 through 2020 is also a major advantage.


In the video you linked to Gamers Nexus I am pretty sure they show that if you want to stream AND maintain good FPS, then an 8700k is actually better than the AMD variants inthe same price range (and with more cores). While having the AM4 platform solidified until 2020 aounds great, I almost certain that anyone moving to an 8700k right now won’t be upgrading in the next 2-3 years.

Ryzen won’t actually save you much money, either. A decent X370 will still set you back 120 bucks at minimum and the Ryzen pricing to compete withan 8700k is going to be about as much.

Ryzen may be a good choice and if you had asked me in August, I would have recommended it. In my opinion, AMD offers nothing compelling to a gamer and only marginally for a streamer. At the end of the day, the 4690k has to go and with it a mobo and RAM. Choosing Ryzen or Intel of current generations will give WAY more juice than upgrading to an older i7 for 400 bucks.


They’re both great platforms and you can’t really go wrong either way.

The FPS concern only seems to be when talking much greater the 120HZ anyway, so I don’t think it’s a huge deal breaker.

As for pricing, I disagree. On Newegg right now a Ryzen 7 1700 is $120 cheaper than an 8700K, and you can get a solid B350 board for < $100.