What would be a worthwhile processor upgrade for this setup?

I currently have the ASRock H61M-HVS motherboard which has the Socket 1155 LGA. The current processor is the Intel Core i3-3220 @ 3.30 GHz ; 3 MB cache; Code name "Ivy Bridge". I'm trying to decide what would be a worthwhile upgrade, preferably without spending 300$ + to do it. The processor is the only piece of hardware I don't replace often so I would appreciate some advice.

I found this list of supported processor chips compliant with my board and its specific socket type: http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/H61M-HVS/?cat=CPU and while looking I thought maybe the i7-2600K would be a good upgrade - do you disagree or have a better suggestion? let me know. This list may/may not be outdated and be missing other current supported chips but I figured it was a good place to start. To my knowledge, upgrading from a dual-core to a quad-core at the same frequency or higher is a substantial upgrade, isn't this correct? That is what I base my opinion on.

Thanks for any help!


The two biggest consuming tasks I do on this computer are high-end gaming and Computer-aided drafting (CAD). My current graphics card is decent [GTX 970] and usually maxes out the frames out most games, so this is not my main concern. I just notice occasionally when playing a processor intensive games with vast open worlds (such as Space Engineers) the game game might run a little sluggish unless I reduce the "view" radius. I have 16 GB of RAM and is almost never maxed out.

Update 2:

On the other hand,my drafting usually runs fine but seeing as it's more processor intensive than anything else I predict its performance would be considerably improved - which is a nice plus but games are the main concern. After upgrading all other components I took a look at my aged processor and figured "why not upgrade the last part?" only problem is, I don't have the greatest experience identifying the best processor, I only know the basics. Maybe my price limit is unreasonable, I don't know

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Going from dual core to quad core can make a difference but it really depends. For all intents and purposes, a quad core CPU has four separate physical processors, all running at the same clock speed; compared to a dual core CPU that only has two processors. You might think "sounds twice as fast", well sort of, but not completely. There are other factors at play here. As far as clock speeds go, the 2600k is a little bit faster, but not in any majorly noticeable way. The 2600k is able to handle more information at the same time, but that all depends on whether the software is programmed to take advantage of multiple cores and how will it can do so. The biggest difference between the two is the amount of Cache Memory. The 2600k has more than twice the amount of L3 Cache than the 3220 which can give you a pretty noticeable boost in performance in some situations. Please don't expect to see massive, earth shattering increases in speed with an upgrade like this, but you will notice a difference. All that being said, it really comes down to what you are using the computer for. If you are just using it for daily internet browsing and video streaming, then there is really no need to upgrade. Anything more than this and we have to consider some more specific details to balance your budget compared to the desired performance. Let me know in a comment what you are using the PC for and I will set you in the right direction.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    It all depends on how you want to use your computer. The 1155 socket is quite old in the sense of how technology ages. Finding an unused CPU that is compatible will be kinda pricey. However, if you can find a new i7-2600k for a cheap price, you should be fine. It'll be on the same level as a mid-high end i5 CPU from the current generation. Good luck.

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