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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Buying a new motherboard for an old CPU? (looking for advice)

I'm helping out a friend of mine inherited an older gaming PC (~5 years). He found out that he needs to replace the motherboard. For now he has upgraded the GPU but wants to keep using the existing CPU (which is about as old as the PC itself, 4th-gen Intel Core). He's never built a PC before so I'm helping him with some component choices, but I've never done a motherboard upgrade so I'm looking for some advice regarding compatibility.

In my mind I see two choices for him:

I'm leaning toward the second choice, but that's the one I'm unsure of -- is it possible to get a newer motherboard that supports an older generation CPU? The current CPU is 4th-gen Intel Core and uses LGA 1150 socket; the current motherboard uses the Z87 Express chipset. Will any newer Intel motherboard with the 1150 socket support his CPU, or does the chipset need to match too? Similar question for memory speeds -- he's probably got older 1300MHz or 1600MHz RAM in there; are newer motherboards typically good with compatibility of older/slow RAM speeds?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 08:48 PM
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Any 1150 board is fine. Grab a Z97 if you want.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 08:48 PM
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What is the exact CPU?

It's often hard to find "new" motherboards for old processors. I tried to replace an ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 (also about 5 years old) and could only find used boards and just didn't know what to trust with used and the used prices were generally ridiculous which seemed a false economy and came with an uncertain lifetime too (capacitors in particular can wear out over time).

What is the motivation for keeping the older processor? Just trying to save money?

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by jfriend00 View Post
What is the exact CPU?

It's often hard to find "new" motherboards for old processors. I tried to replace an ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 (also about 5 years old) and could only find used boards and just didn't know what to trust with used and the used prices were generally ridiculous which seemed a false economy and came with an uncertain lifetime too (capacitors in particular can wear out over time).

What is the motivation for keeping the older processor? Just trying to save money?
Yeah I think I'm having a similar problem (it's hard to find the original motherboard in new condition, and used ones seem surprisingly expensive). What did you end up doing? Did you buy a newer motherboard that was compatible with the old CPU or just buy new mobo and CPU?

I'll get the exact CPU model from him shortly. He's never been a PC gamer; another friend donated an older PC to him but it only worked for a week or so before it crapped out. So yeah he's just trying to keep costs low for now and get something working so that he can start gaming with us.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Benz145 View Post
Yeah I think I'm having a similar problem (it's hard to find the original motherboard in new condition, and used ones seem surprisingly expensive). What did you end up doing? Did you buy a newer motherboard that was compatible with the old CPU or just buy new mobo and CPU?

I'll get the exact CPU model from him shortly. He's never been a PC gamer; another friend donated an older PC to him but it only worked for a week or so before it crapped out. So yeah he's just trying to keep costs low for now and get something working so that he can start gaming with us.
I ended up just living with the problem for a little while (motherboard would not wake up from sleep) by just not letting it sleep. And, then I ended up just upgrading motherboard, CPU and DRAM to invest for another 5 years rather than put more money in for just another year or so.

[email protected] (-1 AVX offset) on ASRock Z390 Taichi with Noctua NH-D15 air cooler
CPU offset voltage of -25mv, runs VRVout 1.240-1.313V on full AVX load, 1.225-1.275V on non-AVX load
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by jfriend00 View Post
What is the exact CPU?
Finally got the info from him: it’s an Intel Core i7-4770.

Aside from a fitting socket, I really don’t have any idea of what exactly I should be looking for in terms of other board except for the basics like a PCI-E slot and enough RAM slots. Are there significant differences between performance of each motherboard based on price? Have any price-conscious recommendations?

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 11:43 AM
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If the processor isn't an overclockable K variant, then I wouldn't even consider worrying about a higher end board. The extra expense isn't worthwhile. A ~$50 mATX board with 1 PCI-E slot and 2 RAM slots (assuming the current rig only uses two sticks, probably not worthwhile to buy a more expensive board + RAM for an old socket) should do everything that most people need. If he already has 4 sticks and needs all of that RAM, it will be harder to find a 4 slot board at a reasonable price. Even if it is a 4770K, finding a new board or trusting a used board that may have been beat to death plus paying a premium for it probably isn't worthwhile. Evidence - the board that died which now needs to be replaced.

It might be a good idea to add up all of the costs on things he wants to buy in order to have a good system with the old CPU, and then add that number to what you can get by selling the old CPU + RAM and see what you could get new in that price range. You could always get a lower tier new processor with similar performance to that 4770 and upgrade the processor at a later date, selling the stopgap processor to recoup costs. As a totally arbitrary example, I grabbed my 2400G APU for $130 and here is how it compares to the 4770:

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/33/...7_i7-4770.html

Better than the 4770 in almost every metric, current socket, good built in graphics (more of a point for resale), and can be bought for about the same price as I see the 4770 selling for on Ebay. Plenty of other options upgrade wise, I just mention the 2400G because I recently looked up how it compared to i7's of that generation.

Spending upwards of $200 on an old system, potentially with a used motherboard, doesn't sound like a smart investment. Under $100 to get the system back in action for a year or two is much more reasonable.

EDIT - I just saw a deal on Newegg that I believe only works if you sign up for their emails, but it is a full ATX ASRock board for about $50 with promo code EMCTVVC36. You would be hard pressed to find a better deal on a new board for that processor. Says the deal is good till 11:59 PST tomorrow (Feb 28).

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 01:15 PM
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I couldn't find a decent priced new motherboard for that processor. This is a challenge for consumer motherboards. Most manufacturers stop making them as soon as the volume for the processors they support drops which makes replacements hard to find. It's probably that "hard-to-find" issue that makes some used ones cost more than the mobo was when new. There are a lot of used Z97 motherboards on eBay, including some for under $80, but you'd be getting an unknown quantity.

I'm with Kleer Kut here. If there's no cheap way to get things up and running for a few years, then don't waste your money because you will never get that money back and you'll be running an old system with unknown reliability.

It may be much better to consider an inexpensive modern system that can maybe be upgraded in the future in a couple years when you're willing or able to spend more money.

For a non-overclocked motherboard, here's pretty much what you look for:

1. An ATX motherboard with the right CPU socket with your specific CPU on the supported list.
2. The right size to fit your case.
3. Brand you trust that has a decent BIOS and uses decent components in their build (Gigabyte, ASUS, ASRock and MSI all fit that bill). A non-branded mobo will have an unknown reputation for component selection.
4. The right ports you need (USB, SATA, etc...)
5. If you using integrated graphics, the mobo needs to have the right video connection for your monitor and support the appropriate screen resolution.
6. The right PCI slots (if any are needed)
7. The right number of DIMM slots for what you're planning on using and support for the speed memory you will be using.

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CPU offset voltage of -25mv, runs VRVout 1.240-1.313V on full AVX load, 1.225-1.275V on non-AVX load
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Kleer Kut View Post
If the processor isn't an overclockable K variant, then I wouldn't even consider worrying about a higher end board. The extra expense isn't worthwhile. A ~$50 mATX board with 1 PCI-E slot and 2 RAM slots (assuming the current rig only uses two sticks, probably not worthwhile to buy a more expensive board + RAM for an old socket) should do everything that most people need. If he already has 4 sticks and needs all of that RAM, it will be harder to find a 4 slot board at a reasonable price. Even if it is a 4770K, finding a new board or trusting a used board that may have been beat to death plus paying a premium for it probably isn't worthwhile. Evidence - the board that died which now needs to be replaced.

It might be a good idea to add up all of the costs on things he wants to buy in order to have a good system with the old CPU, and then add that number to what you can get by selling the old CPU + RAM and see what you could get new in that price range. You could always get a lower tier new processor with similar performance to that 4770 and upgrade the processor at a later date, selling the stopgap processor to recoup costs. As a totally arbitrary example, I grabbed my 2400G APU for $130 and here is how it compares to the 4770:

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/33/...7_i7-4770.html

Better than the 4770 in almost every metric, current socket, good built in graphics (more of a point for resale), and can be bought for about the same price as I see the 4770 selling for on Ebay. Plenty of other options upgrade wise, I just mention the 2400G because I recently looked up how it compared to i7's of that generation.

Spending upwards of $200 on an old system, potentially with a used motherboard, doesn't sound like a smart investment. Under $100 to get the system back in action for a year or two is much more reasonable.

EDIT - I just saw a deal on Newegg that I believe only works if you sign up for their emails, but it is a full ATX ASRock board for about $50 with promo code EMCTVVC36. You would be hard pressed to find a better deal on a new board for that processor. Says the deal is good till 11:59 PST tomorrow (Feb 28).
Thanks a lot for this input. So you're saying that the 1150 socket is out of date, and so buying an 1150 socket board would mean it wouldn't be compatible in the future with most modern CPUs if he wanted to upgrade later down the road?

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 09:16 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Benz145 View Post
Thanks a lot for this input. So you're saying that the 1150 socket is out of date, and so buying an 1150 socket board would mean it wouldn't be compatible in the future with most modern CPUs if he wanted to upgrade later down the road?
Correct. The 1150 socket is compatible with the Haswell and Broadwell processors which are the 4th and 5th generation of the Core i3/i5/i7 product line. The current Coffee Lake processors are the 9th generation and use the 1151v2 socket. So, the 1150 socket is 4 generations of the Core i3/i5/i7/i9 back.

While you can still buy processors from those older generations, those processors are significantly far behind the current generation of processors in performance per chip and as you see it's hard to buy motherboards for them.

Intel changes the physical layout of the socket (adds pins) or changes the tech requirements of the socket every so often which then requires a new motherboard to go with the latest processors. So, you can't just keep buying a new processor and plugging it into your existing motherboard. In addition, your Intel Core i7-4770 uses DDR3 memory which is not compatible with the current motherboards/processors (which use DDR4 memory). DDR4 memory uses lower voltages and can go faster than DDR3 memory. DDR5 memory will be coming in a few years too and will again go faster and use lower voltages (less power).

[email protected] (-1 AVX offset) on ASRock Z390 Taichi with Noctua NH-D15 air cooler
CPU offset voltage of -25mv, runs VRVout 1.240-1.313V on full AVX load, 1.225-1.275V on non-AVX load
2x8GB [email protected] at 1.45V, G.Skill F4-3733C17Q-32GTZKK (XMP rated [email protected])
EVGA GTX 1060 6GB OC with Corsair RMx 750W power supply
Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe boot SSD and four other drives all in a Fractal Design R6 Case
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