LGA 1150 Sockets are not dead, there’s a ton of CPUs in the market that utilizes this socket despite the fact that it’s been about 7 years since they were initially released.
With these fourth-generation Intel Core CPUs, you could build a very powerful gaming PC. Couple one of these bad boys with something like a GTX 1650 and you could play the Witcher 3 all day long, the graphics would still be amazing and the gameplay would be just as smooth.
So, if you’ve already got a motherboard compatible with LGA 1150 Socket, and don’t want to spend a lot of money getting into the newest generation of CPUs; good news everyone! Because, I’ve searched around and got a list of all the best Intel CPUs that would go along with an LGA 1150 socket. We also have here for LGA 1151 and if you need help on how you can safely remove a CPU from a motherboard, we have a guide here.
A CPU is not a simple component that you just slap on your PC. After first considering the GPU, the CPU is what many tend to focus on, those two components are the most crucial and expensive components of any PC build.
So, if you’re planning to get a good CPU for your LGA 1150 compatible mobo, there are some specifications that you need to keep in mind so that you can make a more informed decision.
Number of cores
This isn’t the old days where single core CPUs were all the rage. Nowadays the multi core CPUs have become the mainstream. Advancements in technology have made it possible to pack several cores inside a single processor, this makes it possible to share the workload, and in return makes processing much faster and efficient.
In the modern day and age, we’ve got the option to utilize about eight cores in our conventional consumer class CPUs. However, all of those cores won’t mean anything if the software you are using it for, is not programmed to take full advantage of these cores.
So when you’re trying to find a good CPU, remember to take note of how many cores you will actually need for your applications, whether it’s for gaming, video editing, or programming.
The frequency is a direct measurement of how fast the CPU is at performing calculations. In the past this can be directly correlated to performance but now, with the introduction of different architectures, this metric has become somewhat unreliable. However, It is still widely used to compare CPUs which are in close proximity to one another.
Most video games and softwares use the frequency as one of their specs, but in order to avoid confusion, they also include an example of a CPU. For example, Red Dead Redemption 2’s minimum CPU requirement is the Intel Core i5-2500K, which has a base clock of 3.3 GHz. This spec allows you to easily recognize that you need a CPU that’s faster than 3.3 GHz and more performance heavy than a second generation Core i5.
Thermal Design Power
CPUs are high-performance electronic components and they also generate large amounts of heat. The Thermal Design Power spec is used to let the user know how much heat this CPU is expected to give off. The reason for including this spec is to get an idea about the power requirements of the CPU along with the ability to make a decision on sizing up a suitable CPU cooler.
So if you need to get a proper CPU cooler to match your new CPU, I’d suggest you size up the cooler based on the TDP spec.
This is something that most users neglect, especially budget gamers, owing mostly due to the fact that CPUs with integrated graphics without this feature are a little bit cheaper.
An external GPU will be more than enough to maintain the graphical side of things and most often, an integrated GPU will never be utilized. It will come into play only during the off-chance that the external GPU breaks down, for whatever reason.
So if you’re ever in the market for a CPU and wondering if that extra money for an integrated GPU is going to be worth the investment, I’d highly recommend you go for it because then it will be able to burden the simple daily tasks. The PC will only let the external GPU kick in during intense graphically demanding sessions such as gaming. Besides, having an integrated GPU adds an extra layer of safety.
This isn’t very useful for gamers but it’s better to know about the cache memory. Basically it’s an even faster version of the RAM but it’s a very small storage space, about 6 to 8 MB.
The cache is located in the processor itself and therefore, the CPU can retrieve the data stored in this cache much faster, about 10 to a 100 times faster than the RAM. It’s an optional spec to look out for, only useful for the most detail-oriented of users.
The numbers Mason, what do they mean?
So the LGA 1150 Socket only supports Intel Core series CPUs and Intel has this weird numbering system when it comes to their beloved CPU series. What I learnt the hard way was that the Core i7 did not feature 7 cores. This “knowledge”, if I’d have known it sooner, could have saved me a lot of embarrassment.
Intel has an in-depth guide on what these numbers mean, so without going back there, here’s a quick guide to those numbers.
Before we start, let’s assume that we are trying to find the details for an “Intel Core i7-4790K”
Brand: The first couple of names is the brand of the CPU. These can take anything from “Intel Pentium”, “Intel Celeron” and so on. Intel refers to this as the “Overall product line the processor was created for”. In our example, this processor belongs to the “Intel Core” series.
Brand Modifier: This is the i3, i5 and i7 variants. They define how performance heavy they are, compared to their lower numbered cousins. Most of the higher numbers, like the i7s, can also include additional features such as hyperthreading. In our example, the brand modifier is the “i7”.
Generation Indicator: The first two digits in the four digit number represents the generation that the CPU belongs to. In this situation we have a fourth generation Core i7 processor.
SKU numeric digits: The last two numbers aren’t that important for consumers, but if you want to know: it is used to represent the order in which those processors are developed in the product line.
Product Line Suffix: The last part of the name indicates some of the processor’s key features. Such as U; to indicate processors built for power-efficient laptops, F; to indicate processors that do not have any onboard graphics, XE; for extreme edition maximum performance processors and, in our case, K; for processors that can be overclocked. There’s a ton more suffixes, but for us, these will be enough.
So, I’ve covered a lot of ground regarding CPUs; Intel Core series CPUs to be exact. In the following section I’ll list out four CPUs that you could consider buying, along with the best option which I believe, provides the most value for your money.
This CPU stands above them all, the 4th generation Core i7 4790K delivers top-notch performance and is only rivalled by it’s newer generations. It’s got several advanced features that allow it to keep everything running smoothly even during the most intensive computational tasks.
The Core i7 4790K is a top-of-the-line CPU. It’s very well received by the community and boasts several key features, such as the unlocked clock multiplier that allows users to easily overclock the CPU. Overclocking allows the CPU to reach higher performance capabilities, especially when faced with very demanding tasks. In that regard this CPU is very resilient and it is ideal for gamers. Provided that they have the budget for it.
Not just for gaming, but for other tasks such as video editing and the like, this CPU doesn’t hold back. It was very well received by the community and rose to the top very quickly, so much so that most people used this CPU as a benchmark when comparing other processors.
The temperature performance on this thing is insane, the packaging on the i7-4790K provides superior thermal insulation, alongside a heat spreader which works in tandem, to maintain a very reliable performance.
What We Like
High Performance - The capabilities on this CPU are amazing. It’s got more than enough processing power for most conventional tasks while still remaining steadfast against more demanding, high-performance applications as well. Overall, I prefer to use this CPU just for the sheer amount of advanced features such as the overclocked 4.8Ghz turbo boost clock frequency and excellent thermal dissipation.
Know Before Buying
Higher Price - The price is a bit steep for this CPU, although it’s not unjustified. The performance that this component brings to the table far outweighs the price. But for most conventional applications, I do not recommend buying this CPU, especially for budget gamers or casual PC users.
If you’re strapped for cash, but still stuck with an 1150 LGA socket compatible motherboard, don’t worry, as the Core i5-4570 provides good value for money without compromising too much on performance. This is a definite must-have if you’re looking into a budget gaming PC build.
This CPU won’t look that impressive in terms of performance, but it’s got the best value if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option. It’s sought out by many entry level gaming PC builders and also for office desktops that perform under the same calibre.
The power consumption and overall performance under intense loads is quite impressive, the stock cooler is more than capable of ensuring that this processor can maintain it’s rated speeds without any issue.
The core count and number of threads are still respectable as it can hold its own against the demands of most modern video games and softwares, albeit running at its minimum requirements.
What We Like
Low Price - The Core i5-4570 is a worthy contender, it’s very cheap and suitable for most budget builds. I don’t recommend going lower than this CPU in terms of a LGA 1150 because then you’ll be missing out; as most modern video games would recommend this CPU. If you’ve already spent a considerable chunk of your cash on other components including a mobo that’s compatible with the LGA 1150 socket, then I’d wholeheartedly recommend this CPU.
Know Before Buying
Low Performance - This CPU is not by any means a performance-heavy CPU. The 3.2GHz clock speed without any ability to overclock is a major killer for me. It’s less than the bare minimum in most video game system requirements.
The Core i5 4690K strikes a delicate balance between price and performance. It’s overclocking potential and the appraisal from many gamers makes it a much better option. If you're trying to find the perfect middle ground for an LGA 1150 socket compatible CPU this is okay, for now.
Slightly better and more favored than the Core i5-4570, this CPU is a “best-of-both worlds”, with it’s reasonable price point and corresponding performance. It’s overclocking potential is definitely worth it as you can power through into 3.9Hz territory easily, with the help of it’s turbo boost.
These CPUs are in very high demand and the market is always shifting for them as most mid-level PC builders and casual builders are constantly seeking them out. These CPUs have received a significant following and remain as the go-to standard for a slightly older mid range gaming CPU.
What We Like
Intermediate Price - The price of this CPU is slightly higher than the Core i5-4570, owing to the fact that this CPU is a newer entry and that it boasts overclocking features. If you don’t mind waiting until you get a few more extra bucks then this is what I’d recommend over the i5-4570.
Know Before Buying
Slightly Lower Performance - Despite its apparent superiority over the i5-4570, it still lags behind in performance in what I would prefer to call most mid-range CPUs. Despite the fact that LGA 1150 sockets are already outdated, in this current day and age I’d only recommend sticking to this CPU if you’ve already got a compatible mobo that you cannot easily parth with.
Another balanced entry, the Core i5-4460 provides stable performance at a reasonable price. Although it lacks overclocking it is still relatively new and it’s very well accepted by the community for it’s resilience.
The Core i5-4460 despite lacking overclocking features is still a beloved CPU. Because of its affordability and stable performance it occupies a much larger demand on the current market.
With this type of mid-level CPU, you can run most modern video games and software, but at the bare minimum specs, as it is still an outdated socket. So, if you’re looking for something with an extra “oomph” than the Core i5-4570 but still needs to stay way under the high price tag of the Core i5-4690K, then this is the CPU I would recommend. You can’t get any more “Mid-Range” than that.
What We Like
Lower Price - Slightly higher than our budget pick but considerably cheaper than our other mid range CPU, this one is just Malcolm in the middle, it’s price is okay, and at that performance specs I wouldn’t mind having to use one of these for a quick round of Valorant.
Know Before Buying
Lower Performance - Compared with the overclocked Core i5-4690K, this CPU is not that great, it’s fine for most casual applications but don’t expect to use one of these for a high-performance workstation.
My best pick for the most suitable LGA 1150 Socket compatible CPU. It’s better overall because of its affordability and the high performance it brings to the table. It’s absence of an overclocking feature; a small price to pay for salvation.
This is by-far the most optimal solution to our problem, the Core i7-4790 is much more affordable than it’s overclocked counterpart yet somehow manages to provide stable performance.
The 3.6GHz clock speed is more than enough for most modern video games. It’s 40% cheaper and provides a higher value for money. The low TDP is a plus; although it’s not very significant. And the ability to reach 4GHz at maximum turbo frequency keeps it at the top spot.
What We Like
Price And Performance - Relative to the Core i7-4790K, this CPU is very cheap and most users would recommend this CPU. This makes the Core i7-4790 the most viable option and it could easily run 1080p games at a 144Hz refresh rate when coupled with a good GPU.
Know Before Buying
Not Future-Proof - LGA 1150 Sockets are no longer in circulation, they are outdated and hence if you chose to get this CPU there’s no upgrading from this point onwards, you will have to make the move to another modern mobo with a newer CPU socket, so, buyer beware!
Although it’s retirement is coming closer, the LGA 1150 Compatible CPUs are still sought after by many entry-level gamers and casual PC users alike. The CPUs have a fair share in the market and they can still withstand some of today’s video games and applications, but don’t expect to be playing at ultra graphical settings unless you move on for a serious upgrade.
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