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Still Going Strong in 2023: The 5 Best LGA 1150 CPUs for Modern Tasks

The LGA 1150 socket may have made its debut way back in 2013, but the CPUs that slot into this aging platform still have some kick left in them. While modern processors have long since moved on to fancier tech like DDR4 memory and higher core counts, the trusted LGA 1150 chips continue to deliver surprisingly solid performance over a decade later.

In this guide, we‘ll showcase the 5 best LGA 1150 CPUs that are still worth procuring in 2023 and beyond. We‘ll detail how these aging processors can save you money while still meeting the demands of internet browsing, office workloads, 1080p gaming, and more. Let‘s take a trip back in time and rediscover why the LGA 1150 platform refuses to die!

Why Consider an LGA 1150 CPU in 2023?

Good question! With modern platforms like Intel‘s LGA 1700 and AMD‘s AM5 now in the spotlight, why bother with the ancient LGA 1150 socket and DDR3 RAM? Here are a few compelling reasons:

Affordability: LGA 1150 motherboards and DDR3 RAM are plentiful and dirt cheap these days on the second-hand market. This allows you to piece together an entire PC for a fraction of what a modern build would cost.

1080p Gaming Potential: While no longer top dog, an overclocked LGA 1150 CPU paired with a fast graphics card like NVIDIA‘s RTX 3060 can deliver smooth 60+ fps gaming at 1080p resolution. Great bang for buck!

Upgrading Fun: Breathing new life into old hardware and matching it with modern components can be supremely rewarding for PC enthusiasts. The LGA 1150 platform has fantastic overclocking potential too.

Low-Demand Work: For basic office work, web browsing, media streaming etc, an LGA 1150 chip has tons of muscle left. The savings can be put towards a nicer GPU instead!

Now let‘s examine the 5 best LGA 1150 processors that are still worth tracking down and plugging into a build…

#1 Pick: Intel Core i7-4790K (4C/8T)

When it comes to extracting the highest performance possible from the LGA 1150 platform, no other CPU comes close to matching the legendary Intel Core i7-4790K. This chip was the pinnacle of the socket‘s development, with an unlocked multiplier that enabled easy and stable overclocking on supporting Z97 motherboards.

Even at stock speeds, the i7-4790K‘s 4 cores and 8 threads deliver excellent performance in games, especially when combined with fast DDR3 memory. The 91W TDP leaves plenty of thermal headroom for overclocking too. Expect around 4.7 – 4.8Ghz on decent air cooling!

When paired with a modern GPU like NVIDIA‘s RTX 3060, this overclocked chip can deliver 1080p gaming at 90-144 fps in many popular titles. Sure, you may have to dial back some settings in demanding games, but performance remains smooth nonetheless.

The only catch is that used i7-4790K chips still sell for a premium online given their enduring popularity. But if your budget allows, there‘s no better LGA 1150 CPU to build around right now. It continues to age like fine wine!

Recommended If: You plan to use fast DDR3 memory/overclocking to maximize gaming performance at 1080p.

#2 Pick: Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 (4C/8T)

Our next recommendation offers i7 levels of multi-threaded grunt at a more affordable price point. Meet the Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3, a server-focused chip compatible with LGA 1150 boards.

For less than the cost of the i7-4790K, the Xeon gives you the same sandy bridge 4C/8T design with clock speeds reaching 3.8Ghz boost. You miss out on overclocking features, but the Xeon series supports crucial server-grade instruction sets. This results in excellent performance for media encoding/streaming.

When paired with a GPU like the RTX 3060 Ti, you can expect around 75-100 fps gaming at 1080p high settings in AAA titles. For eSports games like Fortnite, counts of 120-144 fps are within reach! Just be sure to install fast DDR3 memory to avoid bottlenecking.

So if you want workstation-class performance at a reasonable used price, the Xeon E3-1231 V3 is a smart choice that will handle modern games and applications with ease. No overclocking, but still plenty quick at stock speeds!

Recommended If: You want excellent multi-threaded performance to match high-end GPUs, but don‘t plan to overclock the CPU.

#3 Pick: Intel Core i7-4790 (4C/8T)

The i7-4790 delivers the same Haswell architectural design as the mighty i7-4790K featured earlier. The key difference here is lack of an unlocked ratio multiplier for easy overclocking. But otherwise, performance between the two is quite similar when both chips are running at stock speeds.

The i7-4790‘s quad-core design sports a 3.6Ghz base clock and 4Ghz boost speeds. This dependable frequency range allows the chip to keep pace with something like an RTX 3060 GPU at 1080p, targeting 60+ fps in demanding titles. You can expect a 15-20% performance uplift versus the popular i5-4690K.

Since it wasn‘t billed as an overclocking chip, the i7-4790 tends to sell for noticeably cheaper online versus the K-SKU variant. Given the minor performance differences when not overclocking, opting for the affordable i7-4790 makes good financial sense.

Just make sure your LGA 1150 motherboard has decent power delivery and cooling so that turbo boost kicks in reliably during gaming sessions. Avoid pairing this chip with high-end GPUs to prevent bottlenecking.

Recommended If: You want i7-class performance without paying a premium for overclocking you won‘t utilize.

#4 Pick: Intel Core i5-4690K (4C/4T)

The venerable i5-4690K quad-core chip might ‘only‘ sport 4 CPU threads, but it continues to offer plenty of 1080p gaming goodness in 2023. This processor features an unlocked ratio multiplier and overclocking-friendly TDP, making it a longtime favorite of PC enthusiasts.

When paired with fast DDR3 memory, expect around 4.5 – 4.7Ghz when overclocking on decent air/AIO cooler solutions. This extra frequency headroom leads to excellent 1080p gaming speeds similar to the pricier i7 models when combined with mid-range GPUs.

However, while the i5-4690K overclocked leads the i5 pack by a decent margin, its 4 threads are less future proof versus the 8 threads found with i7 models. So if your budget allows, I‘d recommend ponying up for an i7 instead.

But on a tight budget, a used i5-4690K purchased online can definitely still game well at 1080p. Overclock it as far as your cooling permits, then pair it with a modern GPU like the RTX 3060/RX 6600 XT to enjoy smooth 60+ fps during intensive gaming sessions.

Recommended If: You‘re on a strict budget but still want to overclock, maximizing 1080p gaming speeds with a mid-range GPU.

#5 Pick: Intel Core i5-4690 (4C/4T)

The final LGA 1150 entry brings us back to the venerable i5-4690. Unlike the K-series featured earlier, this particular model lacks any form of overclocking. But its 65W TDP allows the quad-core chip to boost reliably to 3.9Ghz during gaming sessions.

Overall performance is still quite peppy and the i5-4690 avoids bottlenecking mainstream GPUs like the RTX 3050/RX 6600 at 1080p. However, more powerful graphics cards may start to expose the limitations of its mediocre single-threaded speeds and quad-core design during demanding games.

Still, if snagged online at a low used price, the no-frills i5-4690 continues to offer decent 1080p speeds over a decade past its prime. Just be sure to pair it wisely with a GPU that doesn‘t overwhelm its aging resources.

You can expect around 50-60% of the premium i7 gaming performance outlined earlier when the i5-4690 is coupled with fast DDR3 memory modules. Factor in far cheaper pricing for a nice value proposition!

Recommended If: You‘re on a strict budget and want just enough 1080p gaming power without any overclocking.

Challenges of Revisiting LGA 1150 in 2023

While the LGA 1150 CPUs featured above continue to impress despite their age, returning to this outdated platform in 2023 poses some definite challenges:

  • Limited stock: DDR3 motherboards and memory are getting harder to find these days as retailers focus on modern platforms. Hunt local classifieds or eBay for best chance.

  • No IGPU: LGA 1150 boards lack integrated graphics. So your CPU budget needs to also factor in purchasing a dedicated graphics card.

  • Cooler Compatibility: Using fancy modern CPU coolers may be difficult or impossible. Stick to air cooling for guaranteed LGA 1150 compatibility.

  • PCIE Lanes: Most LGA 1150 boards only offer PCIE 2.0 slots. Thankfully 3.0 GPUs are still backwards compatible, but may lack bandwidth for top-end cards.

Sample LGA 1150 Gaming Builds

Here are some example gaming PC builds around the LGA 1150 chips highlighted earlier. Expect smooth 60+ fps 1080p gameplay from these configs in most popular titles!

Budget 1080p Build

  • Intel Core i5-4690K (overclocked)
  • Z97 Motherboard, 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA RTX 3050 or AMD RX 6600
  • 650W 80+ Gold PSU

Mainstream 1080p Build

  • Intel Core i7-4790K (overclocked)
  • Z97 Motherboard, 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti or AMD RX 6700 XT
  • 750W 80+ Gold PSU

Premium 1080p Build

  • Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3
  • H97 Motherboard, 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 or AMD RX 6800
  • 850W 80+ Gold PSU


While obviously no longer state-of-the-art in 2023, the aging LGA 1150 platform and DDR3 memory continue to provide shockingly solid performance over a decade later. CPUs like the Core i7-4790K and Xeon E3-1231 V3 can still run modern games at 1080p with ease.

So if you‘re trying to build a PC on a tight budget, or simply want to revive some classic hardware, choosing one of the 5 CPUs above will reward you with a surprisingly capable gaming rig. Just be mindful of potential compatibility hurdles when matching new graphics cards and storage with this outdated platform.

With the right component pairings and some overclocking TLC, your LGA 1150 processor can keep on ticking well into 2023 and beyond!