A few months ago I bought an i7-4790 with the hopes of overclocking it. Now I've got a pretty good cooler with the CPU running at 40 degrees celsius at max. workload. I soon realised, I needed the K-version to overclock it.

Is it worth buying the i7-4790K with the hopes of overclocking it to 4.4 GHz? Or should I buy a newer version? I want to stick with the socket and mainboard if possible. Mainboard is MSI Z97 Gaming 3.

  • The 4790K already has a 4.4 GHz max turbo... Unless you can return your current CPU, I doubt it'll be a worthwhile upgrade.
    – timuzhti
    Apr 20, 2017 at 6:30
  • If it already has 4.4 GHz turbo, wouldn't it be more when overclocking it?
    – RenX
    Apr 20, 2017 at 16:08
  • 1
    That would be correct, but nonetheless, I would not expect you to raise the frequency much further without hitting thermal or voltage ceilings. The HWBot average overclock for the CPU under water cooling is just 4.8 GHz. It does depend on how well you do on the silicon lottery though. I also do not expect you to gain much performance: Unless you use very CPU heavy applications, your computer is unlikely to be CPU bound.
    – timuzhti
    Apr 21, 2017 at 3:49
  • A rule of thumb, any "K" model processor is way easier to overclock than standard chips.
    – GipsyD
    Jul 22, 2017 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


To answer your question: "Is it worth it?"

Probably not.

It depends on the specific value you'd get and the difference in cost. You can probably sell your Non-K chip to cover over 50% of the unlocked processor, likely even more.

If you're interested in tinkering for its own sake then overclocking can be fun and challenging - the kicker is that the only place you'll really see a benefit (aligned with what Alpha mentioned) is in synthetic benchmark software and CPU temperature values.

Maybe you are somebody who stands to benefit greatly from marginal gains in maximum CPU clock speeds. If this is the case I would suggest you scrap your current build and start anew with Kaby Lake or Ryzen (depending on specific application usage).

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