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Cheapest CPU for either the GTX 760 or GTX 660?

I've been working on the specs for my new PC for a month now (slowly, over time; I'm in no hurry). Originally my plan was to get a i3-3220 and GTX 660, because the GTX 660 is the most expensive GPU I can afford, while the i3-3220 is among the cheapest CPUs that still should not bottleneck this GPU.

However since then, the GTX 760 has come out. Since it's about $60 more expensive but has very impressive specs, I've been thinking of getting that instead. But, I feel that the i3-3220 might bottleneck it. Is that the case? If so, then what CPU should I get instead that's still cheap? Any of the higher-level i3's, or low-end i5's?

This is for a purely gaming PC; it's not used for anything else. Which is why I plan on putting most of the money in the GPU rather than the CPU. Also, out of the benchmarks that I've browsed over the past weeks, I noticed that the Intel CPUs actually performed admirably better than the AMD CPUs of similar prices, especially since a lot of games are still not able to take advantage of the quad cores that AMD often offers at low pricepoints.
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  1. the gtx 760 is close to a gtx 670 and an i3 would indeed bottleneck it. honestly to reach a 760's full potential you need a quadcore from intel, or an octacore from AMD's FX line. I would go for either fx8350 or something like the i5 4570
  2. Best answer
    Personally, if it was me, I would use the extra money for a quad core i5 (something inexpensive like the 3350P) and then grab the GTX 660. Although to be more honest, I''ll spend a little out of budget and grab both an i5 and the GTX 760. I still think it's the better move to purchase a good quad core CPU so that it'll give me some more headroom for a GPU upgrade later. This is my opinion though, I know not a lot of people would agree with me.
  3. If you're looking for a cheap solution to team up with your 760/660, I'd suggest a FX4350 from AMD. Pricing is close to Intel's i3 3220, but with higher gaming performance in new titles that can take advantage of quad-core CPUs.
  4. +1 ^
  5. Okay thanks for the responses guys. I guess at the very least I should aim for a quad core CPU rather than stick with the dual core i3's? At the moment, as I said, in benchmarks the dual core Intels perform about the same or better than the quad core AMDs, but for the near future I imagine that new games will take better advantage of quad core AMD CPUs?
  6. Yes, new games will take advantage of even 8 core CPUs in the future. Yet Intel only give 4 cores at max for desktop environment.
  7. Madn3ss795 said:
    Yes, new games will take advantage of even 8 core CPUs in the future. Yet Intel only give 4 cores at max for desktop environment.


    I wouldn't conclude it just yet. If I were to go 6-8 core for gaming, I'd wait for games for the next gen consoles
    to come out to the PC before I draw that conclusion. Then we'll see whether more cores play a huge role for gaming.
  8. vmem said:
    the gtx 760 is close to a gtx 670 and an i3 would indeed bottleneck it. honestly to reach a 760's full potential you need a quadcore from intel, or an octacore from AMD's FX line. I would go for either fx8350 or something like the i5 4570


    Do you think I could use an AMD A8 5600k Black Edition with a gtx 760, its a quad-core
  9. BoSoxFan98 said:
    vmem said:
    the gtx 760 is close to a gtx 670 and an i3 would indeed bottleneck it. honestly to reach a 760's full potential you need a quadcore from intel, or an octacore from AMD's FX line. I would go for either fx8350 or something like the i5 4570


    Do you think I could use an AMD A8 5600k Black Edition with a gtx 760, its a quad-core


    Don't, since 1/3 the price of the 5600k is for the IGP ( HD7560D ), which you won't use any at all. Plus FM2 is becoming a dead socket soon.
  10. EzioAs said:
    Personally, if it was me, I would use the extra money for a quad core i5 (something inexpensive like the 3350P) and then grab the GTX 660. Although to be more honest, I''ll spend a little out of budget and grab both an i5 and the GTX 760. I still think it's the better move to purchase a good quad core CPU so that it'll give me some more headroom for a GPU upgrade later. This is my opinion though, I know not a lot of people would agree with me.


    Well i agree... It makes your gaming pc last longer. Get a mid gpu now and in 2 years you dont need to fully upgrade. Just get another mid gpu for 2 years.
  11. PC-MAN said:
    EzioAs said:
    Personally, if it was me, I would use the extra money for a quad core i5 (something inexpensive like the 3350P) and then grab the GTX 660. Although to be more honest, I''ll spend a little out of budget and grab both an i5 and the GTX 760. I still think it's the better move to purchase a good quad core CPU so that it'll give me some more headroom for a GPU upgrade later. This is my opinion though, I know not a lot of people would agree with me.


    Well i agree... It makes your gaming pc last longer. Get a mid gpu now and in 2 years you dont need to fully upgrade. Just get another mid gpu for 2 years.


    My point exactly
  12. gary king said:
    Okay thanks for the responses guys. I guess at the very least I should aim for a quad core CPU rather than stick with the dual core i3's? At the moment, as I said, in benchmarks the dual core Intels perform about the same or better than the quad core AMDs, but for the near future I imagine that new games will take better advantage of quad core AMD CPUs?


    Did you decide on which cpu you would get? :)
  13. PC-MAN said:
    gary king said:
    Okay thanks for the responses guys. I guess at the very least I should aim for a quad core CPU rather than stick with the dual core i3's? At the moment, as I said, in benchmarks the dual core Intels perform about the same or better than the quad core AMDs, but for the near future I imagine that new games will take better advantage of quad core AMD CPUs?


    Did you decide on which cpu you would get? :)


    I'm running an NVIDIA GTX 660 2 GB with an Intel i3-3220 3.3 GHz right now. Works great so far, at least compared to my previous computer, an i3 3.2 GHz with an ATI Radeon 5670 512 MB.

    I was able to run games like BioShock Infinite at the lowest resolution (1280x720) and settings for EVERYTHING at just 30 FPS or so. Now, I can run at my native 1080p resolution (1920x1080) and Ultra for about 50 FPS. This was a huge upgrade for me, and I'm very pleased! The entire PC was about $850, so I'm hoping this will last at least three years before I have to upgrade the CPU/GPU again.
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