On the subject of CPU Longevity

Hey Tek Forums,

I'm in the market for a new CPU and MOBO combo.
What i really want to know is that, how much do Intel Processors change with their refreshes.
I get that the manufacturing processes are usually improved to get a lower amount of nanometer layout and that TDP usaully go down as well. But what i want to know is that if I get, say for example an i5 4690k or an i7 4790k, when will they really start to be obsolete in terms of running games and performing CPU heavy tasks. Or does the CPU not matter unless games require more VRAM or a better version of Direct X, then you need a good GPU to run them.

Just want to pick the brains of other people


If you do an apples to apples comparison between CPUs, then you are really only getting about a 10% performance improvement over each generation.

A i5 2500K can play games just as well as a i5 6600K.

The real difference comes from platform changes.

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Yeah. The major difference in between them is that the 6600K established DDR4

And DDR4 honestly isn't all that much faster than DDR3, less than a few percentage points in many cases. I mean DDR4 does have the upside of using less power and has the potential to be faster in the future, but as of right now it's more or less equivalent to DDR3.

mmmm the fact that skylake has 20 pci lanes is probably the most attractive thing.

You can have SLI and an M.2 drive without too many issues.

And DDR4 is a more future forward investment for $5-10 more per stick. In general, I'd say that's the bigger advantage over DDR3 at the moment. While "future proofing" is a falsehood in tech, all future platforms will be using it for a bit most likely. When the price tag is so close there are merits to the purchase.

Not only that, but we are also now starting to see kits with very high speed and lower latency at greater density.

In about a year or so, I think DDR4 will start to show us its true colors. Much higher speed, much greater bandwidth, and the same or lower prices.

Video games are one of those things where it's all subjective to what you're playing. Usually most things in a game are handled by your GPU, from it being capable of handling a higher load then your CPU, but things like simulation games and some very high performance games like crisis or Battlefield usually tend to be smoother if your CPU is more capable. In all though, there is only a 10% improvement from generation to generation, so you won't see anything to massive going from haswell to skylake

The same thing was said of DDR3 when it was first announced. It just takes time for the speed and timings to get better. Once the manufactures get used to making it, the processes will improve and we'll see those speed increases we wanted to see at launch.

Honestly I'd make the switch to DDR4 simply for the power saving...but that's just me.