Is now a bad time to buy an intel cpu?

Is now a bad time to buy an intel cpu with Meltdown and Spectre issues?

Will future chips be hardware corrected for these issues rather than software hacked for current generations? And is there anything on the horizon worth waiting for?

What’s your thoughts on this?

I have a 4790k but thinking of upgrading to a 8700k and overclock it from 3.7 to 4Ghz to match the speed of the 4790K…

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It takes a very long time to push out a new cpu design. I don’t think Intel CPUs will have a hardware fix to the vulnerability until something like 2021.

As for is it a bad time to buy an intel cpu. I mean, its not horrible, its not great either. The 8700k is finally at msrp and its the first i7 with 6 cores and 12 threads, which is nice.

With the way CPUs are progressing especially for gaming, you no longer really need to worry about buying a CPU and a year later it being dated. So imo it has more to do with everything other than the CPU. RAM prices are high, current motherboards still use pcie 3.0, when 4.0 is around the corner and intel has been stuck on the same fabrication process for like a decade or something and will finally be moving to 10nm next gen.

I mean, say you spend $380 on the 8700k, you spend $220 on a good motherboard, and $200 to get 16gb of ram. Thats $800 and you might average 4 fps better than your 4790k? You’re better off spending $700 on a 1080ti FE from Nvidia. And in the not too distant future you’re probably going to rant to buy more than 16gb of ram as well. I know it feels wrong, but at least for gaming, there is no need to buy a new CPU. Just maybe buy a good cooler and do a very moderate overclock, maybe something like 4.5Ghz should be fine.

I have a 2600k and i just overclocked it to 4.7Ghz and i’m just going to ride the high ram prices out, see whats up in 2019. Maybe even wait until 2021 for hardware fixes for meltdown and specter.

Stick with your 4790K, spend your money on a GPU instead.


I agree stick to the 4790k,

if your not rendering something that takes longer than 1 hour more than 1 per week then you have no reason to upgrade.

hell I’m still rocking a Fx8120 @ 4.5Ghz

If your itching to spend money then spend it on a new GPU NVME or RAM
(NVME would be my choice since GPUs are outrageous right now)

EDIT: We still don’t know the full range of issues that Meltdown and Spectre have to offer, so no one really knows “How Bad” it really is.

I would wait until the whole matter have calmed down a bit, as we have still not passed the initial hurdle. Intel still haven’t fixed the microcode update which causes CPUs to reboot. Linus is shouting at people because of messy Linux patches, and we still haven’t really heard of any long term plans from the CPU manufactures.
So until we haven’t heard of when hardware will address the concerns of Spectre, I would wait unless you really need an upgrade now. Once you know what they plan on doing, you are more likely not to waste your money. I would expect we will soon (as within a year) see at least some fixes in hardware, perhaps just speed improvements to the software patches, because I don’t think Intel can get away with it, without showing they are trying to do something about the issues. But a full fix? That will probably be years…

Why do you want to upgrade now and when are you willing to spend money on a new CPU again? I think that is essential to ask before deciding on what to do.

Also, I do not think AMD CPU’s are as safe as AMD try to make them. (I’m am using a Ryzen myself btw.) The only info I have heard from them that it is not vulnerable to Meltdown due to architectural differences, but the Meltdown paper clearly states that they show the buggy behavior, they just haven’t been able to exploit it (yet). Without any proper evidence that they are safe, I wouldn’t go out and buy an AMD CPU either.

EDIT: Quote from paper:

We also tried to reproduce the Meltdown bug on several
ARM and AMD CPUs. However, we did not manage
to successfully leak kernel memory with the attack described
in Section 5, neither on ARM nor on AMD. The
reasons for this can be manifold. First of all, our implementation
might simply be too slow and a more optimized
version might succeed. For instance, a more shallow
out-of-order execution pipeline could tip the race
condition towards against the data leakage. Similarly,
if the processor lacks certain features, e.g., no re-order
buffer, our current implementation might not be able to
leak data. However, for both ARM and AMD, the toy
example as described in Section 3 works reliably, indicating
that out-of-order execution generally occurs and
instructions past illegal memory accesses are also performed.

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most likely you wouldn’t suffer to much for your use case(im guessing gaming, and maybe some personal use).
But the amount of patches etc, you’ll have to suffer because the flaws hits the enterprise landscape like a freightrain, would be unbareable.
For all we know next patch would completely cripple Intel, or make AMD beyond superior, either way it is volatile.
Id either go AMD or wait until this whole debacle cools down, and Intel finally gets a hold of the situation.
Even going AMD would be volatile since these patches “fix” accross the board, and not specifically Intel right now.

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Does your pc not perform a task the way you want?
Or is it just new hardware envy?

I wouldn’t bother, the 4790k is still a solid cpu. Intel’s offerings have been a series of tiny improvements, so small in fact that the additional cost of upgrading to the new platform isn’t justified by the pitiful improvement. Remember, You’ll have to buy a CPU, Cooler, Motherboard, and RAM (which is ridiculously expensive right now anyway). And for what? To have a Motherboard you won’t be able to reuse because Intel likes to change Chipsets and Sockets every generation or half generation and a couple of extra cores? If you really need the cores, go ryzen since it beats the Intel offerings in basically every category besides gaming anyway. But I say stick with what you’ve got, it’s plenty good. And right now is literally the worst possible time ever to upgrade your computer.

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You arent exactly slumming it with that cpu

and it was fairly easy to get mine to 4.5ghz on bog standard air cooling… which would give you a nice performance bump for relatively little cost compared to the price of the new system.

Sounds like you’re forgetting the i7-970, 980, 980X, 3930K, 3960X, 3970X, 4930K, 4960X, 5820K, 5930K, 6800K, 6850K and 7800X. Pretty sure those were all launched before the 8700K

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^ if you are dead set on upping core count then pick one of these that is still ddr3 based, then all you need to worry about is board / cpu

still think your best bet is to oc a little for now (minimum outlay of just better cooling) and just wait for dust to settle, mine was good for 4.5 locked on all cores 24/7 with relatively modest cooling… and the only reason I replaced it was because the 1700 was just too … shiny shiny.

Never been a worse time, based on what we know. Retrospectively, the last 20 years have been a bad time to buy Intel CPUs but I don’t hear a lot of people saying that.

I’d hope the answer is yes, but I’m not sure Intel appreciates how bad this is. What’d I’d like to see is that any new processor they make without Meltdown fixed in hardware, gets 0 sales. That might make them wake up, because, from what I’ve seen, Intel doesn’t sound all that concerned - at least not concerned enough to pull products in the pipeline already.

Dude, you know that 4790ks can hit 4.4GHz on air without any trouble whatsoever. Probably closer to 4.6. I got 4.8 with a AIO on my 4790k. Just overclock it. Hell, you don’t even need to overclock it. You certainly don’t need to replace it.

Ryzen 2 is coming out in a couple months. But you don’t need to upgrade yet.

We’re just at the beginning of a multi-year fallout from Meltdown. We don’t even know what else is going to be discovered now that security researchers have been given something to look for. It wouldn’t surprise me if Intel was spending more money looking for errata in AMDs CPUs than trying to fix theirs.


I would buy whatever you think you want to by, since this Meltdown thing is 80% anti-hype and nobody knows how to fix it on AMD either so I wouldn’t worry about what you can’t change and buy whatever you want.

ok lots of info there, thank you… My responses…

  1. I was thinking it’s been a while (3 years since 4790k was released and is it still a kick ass cpu, i think it is and the bench marks are still good, but some youtube bench scores show games faster with it, which for some reason I doubt… Most games wont use all the cores)

  2. This rig is primarily a work machine (Web Developer), so will be mostly grinding out code, bit of photoshop, illustrator, audio editing, FLStudio, some after effects with a dash of video conversions form time to time. Then maybe some gaming… lol

  3. I just had a motherboard die, right after a HD partition died a few days ago… Baaaa! So though… Is it time to do a full overhaul (got a spare mobo in my case now)

  4. As for GPU, I’m waiting for the GTX1180ti, I currently have the 980 and it’s more than fine. Oculus rift works in it, but shame the rift is such poor quality (but thats a different discussion

Not the best time then, wait for pcie 4.0, next gen fabrication process, and I hope they keep a base clock of 4ghz, I’m not a fan of overclocking. I might do 200 to 400mhz if really really needed but would rather do none… And I never overclock a GFX card, dont see the point there 10fps better if your very lucky, nope…

Thanks for the info all :slight_smile: Very informative :smile:

amd is better…

That’s not going to do much if anything, at least as far as gaming is concerned (since that’s what I’m familiar with, I can’t speak to its impact on doing actual work) since we’re just now seeing a benefit on top end GPUs from 2.0 to 3.0 for gaming loads.

As for the rest of it, that’s all understandable. Many people would say Overclock, it can help a fair bit and free performance is always nice. But I can also understand it’s scary. I personally don’t overclock but that’s because I’m too lazy to do it lol.

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I guess the real question @isglider1 is asking is it time to abandon their current system. The answer In my humble opinion is it depends if his current system does fulfill their needs then no, but If their motherboard is damage (as they mention above ) and it is hard to find replacements than in my humble opinion it makes more sense to abandon the Intel platform and switch to AMD. I have that opinion not because I truly believe AMD is any more secure than Intel it might be I don’t have any proof that it is, but because of the horrible way Intel is handling the Meltdown and Spectre problem. In other words, I have lost all trust in Intel just as I have in Microsoft.

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I’d say you would be better off getting Ryzen anyways even without the Meltdown issue (Both AMD and Intel have Spectre, but only Intel has Meltdown).

So yeah, not a good time to buy Intel CPUs right now. I may stick with my i7 5820K a while longer but I already replaced my laptop CPU. You could still stick with the i7 4790K, probably the wisest choice with these retarded RAM prices.

And the i7 5820K costed $320 at Microcenter back then, it was the Mobo prices that were expensive.

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Another thing to consider if you are running Windows, will your motherboard get the BIOS update? If it is too old it might not be updated, and you would be less protected against Spectre. If you are running Linux the microcode update can be done at boot time, so as far as I understand you don’t need to update your BIOS.