CPU advice?

After releasing my first full game on steam from a different engine I decided to take the plunge into UE4. I’ve been working in the engine for about 3 months, and my CPU is basically drowning to death building lighting and compiling shaders. I am spending a TON of my dev time sitting around staring at Unreal Engine, because if I click on too many things it crashes.

I tried upgrading my RAM from 16 to 32 GB in hopes that it might help out, but it didn’t.

I am currently running a 7th gen intel i5 6600k CPU @3.5ghz. It has 4 cores and 4 threads: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/core_i5/i5-6600k

I’ve priced out CPU upgrades, and in order to get into a big juicey i9 I will need to replace my motherboard as well and can’t afford that at this time. With my current mother board, the best CPU I can get is the intel i7 6600k CPU @4.5ghz with 4 cores and 8 threads: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/core_i7/i7-7700k
Would doubling my thread count effectively halve my build and compiling times?

Is it worth a few hundred dollars to upgrade from an i5 to an i7? Will it be like twice as fast? or should I wait to get a new mobo and a new i9?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

With an I7-7700K you would get a 50% boost compared to what you have today. To effectively halve the build time you would need a 100% boost plus it rarely scales 1:1 since the motherboard RAM speed and disk drives could also slow down the compile times.

So lets say your light build with your I5 takes 30 minutes I’d guess the I7 would do it in 23-25 minutes.

You should save your money and buy a new PC with a Ryzen 3800X which is 300% faster than your current I5. If you get a fast SSD drive and some fast RAM your 30 minute compile times could be done in less than 10 minutes.

Probably not much worth it. When it comes to gaming, more threads are better. The only advantage of i7 over i5 is Hyper-Threading, essentially a way of doing more tasks simultaneously – that, together with more cache memory (for storing system data where it can be quickly accessed), gives them an advantage over Intel i5 chips.

At work we use the i7-11800H with and we are running without issues and at home I still have the i7-4790 which has 8 thread and I did not have problems developing with it (4Ghz). For compilation time going to an i7 should speed up actually.