Does Buying a Last Generation CPU Make a Difference?

Last updated on September 13th, 2023 at 12:49 am

Whether you’re buying or upgrading your old CPU you might consider buying a last-generation CPU but aren’t sure what the drawbacks are, or if it’s worth spending the extra money on a CPU that was released this year.

Old Gen CPU Ryzen 7 1700

Is the performance difference between this year’s CPUs and last year’s CPUs really that different?

If it is, then is it still worth buying a last-generation CPU?

These are the questions I am about to answer in this article.

Does Using a Last-Gen CPU Really Make a Difference?

Every year new CPUs are released with the newest technology, but are the newest CPUs even worth buying, or should you just stick to purchasing a last-generation CPU?

There is not a significant difference between last-gen, and new-gen CPUs, as they are very close performance-wise. However, a new-gen CPU does make a difference, although very small. The performance increase is not very noticeable and last-gen CPUs will still perform very well.

Yes, if you want to have the best performance increase for your system then using the most up-to-date CPU will give you the best benefits, but you should remember that the difference between a last-gen and newer-gen CPU is very small to the point where it is not noticeable to the average user.

The only real way you can notice the difference between this generation of CPUs and the last generation of CPUs is by testing them side-by-side.

If you are playing a game or running a program then you won’t see a big improvement in performance if you decide to upgrade your CPU from the last generation to this generation.

This is because CPU manufacturers are starting to hit a wall in which the performance difference every year is increasing ever so slightly, where it is not noticeable.

An example of this is how in the past couple of years AMD was able to catch up to Intel performance-wise with their Ryzen series CPUs.

The reason why this happened isn’t that AMD made a huge performance increase, it’s because Intel hit a wall that they can’t get past.

Now that AMD is on par with Intel’s performance when it comes to CPUs, they have also started to hit a wall, and you can see that the performance increases between their CPUs move up very little every year by less than a GHz of CPU speed.

Last-generation CPUs could be running at 4.8 GHz, while this-generation CPUs are running at 5.0 GHz.

That is a 0.2-speed difference which isn’t even noticeable.

If you are looking to get the best performance difference out of your CPU you are better off buying the last generation I7 Intel CPU than this generation I5 Intel CPU.

Although this generation’s Intel i5 CPU is newer, last year’s Intel i7 CPU is still more powerful.

I have also written an article on How To Increase CPU Performance, that will give you tips on how to increase your CPU performance without having to buy one of the newer-gen processors.

You should also check out: “Intel 11th gen vs 12th gen CPUs: What’s The Difference?”

How Long Does a CPU Usually Last?

CPUs are one of the most reliable parts of a PC and can last about 7-10 years or more. You will start to see other parts fail before your CPU does. Also, take into account overclocking as it makes the CPU produce more heat which can cause overheating and shorten the CPU lifespan.

Here is an article on Managing CPU Heat.

As you know CPUs are very reliable and although on average they last 7-10 years. There is a good chance that it can last even longer than that if taken properly care of.

This can be done by using the proper cooling and fixing any broken components as soon as they get damaged.

Doing this will increase the longevity of your CPU and allow you to use it for a very long time.

As you have read above taking care of your CPU is very important because it can save you a lot of money, and even if your CPU is old it’s most likely that it is still able to perform on par with some of the newest CPUs made these days.

First Generation CPU

I still use a first-generation AMD Ryzen CPU for my build and that is considered old.

The CPU I use is a Ryzen 7 1700, which right now is a 5-year-old CPU, and it runs just fine. It still outperforms some of the latest CPUs such as the Ryzen 5 5600X.

My Ryzen 7 1700 is an 8 core processor, whereas the Ryzen 5 5600X is a 6 core processor.

My Ryzen 7 1700 is overclocked to 4.3 GHz and the Ryzen 5 5600X runs a base clock at 4.6GHz.

That is only a 0.3 GHz difference, and yes you can overclock the Ryzen 5 5600X to around 5GHz but even still that isn’t going to make that much of a difference compared to my overclocked Ryzen 7 1700 that’s 5 years old.

This shows that CPUs can last for a long time as I am still using my 5-year-old CPU and am looking to get a couple more years out of it before I upgrade again.

Is It Worth Upgrading Your CPU?

Depending on what you are doing with your computer it may or may not be worth upgrading your CPU and here is why.

As you read above CPUs can last upwards of 10 years. This means if your CPU is still fairly new as in a couple of years old. Then, there is no need to upgrade.

However, if you started using your PC for more CPU-intensive tasks such as 3D rendering, or programming, and you are running a low core count CPU, such as an AMD Ryzen 3.

Then, it might be worth upgrading to a CPU with faster speeds and higher core count such as an AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel i7 processor.

These CPUs will have faster speeds and much more cores to work with.

However, although there is a speed difference between the newer and older CPUs the difference is not that noticeable. Unless the speed difference is more than 1GHz then there really is no need to upgrade unless you are upgrading for the benefit of having more cores.

Instead of upgrading your CPU for a speed enhancement, you might just be better off overclocking your CPU to the faster speeds you would get from upgrading to a newer generation CPU.

This can get you the speed and performance you want for free. This option of upgrading your CPU can be much better than buying a new one.


How Often Should Your CPU Be Replaced?

Your CPU should be replaced every 7-10 years but can last longer depending on how you take care of your CPU. Other computer parts will start to fail before your CPU fails.

How Do You Know If Your CPU Is Dying?

You can tell your CPU is dying if you start to see your screen stuttering or glitching. You should keep in mind that if you are playing a game or using a program that is stuttering it can be due to FPS throttling.

However, if your screen continues to stutter or glitch when out of these applications, then it could be a sign that your CPU is dying.

Another sign of a dying CPU is frequent black screens. This is usually due to your CPU overheating, which is very bad for your CPU because it can damage it, and cause your CPU to die.

The solution to this is to have a better cooling system and keep note of your CPU temperature to make sure it stays at a stable temperature.

Are 9th Gen CPUs Still Good?

9th Gen Intel CPUs are still good to use they aren’t really outdated because they still offer speeds that are on par with the latest generation Intel CPUs.

Even though they are a little bit slower than these newer generation CPUs the performance difference is not that noticeable and a 9th Gen Intel CPU is still a very viable option today.

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