Budget Gaming PC Dilemma

I want to build a gaming PC which I'll probably upgrade in 2 years or so but I'm stuck between buying a i3-3220 with a 7870 or a i5-3330 with a 7790. I'm limited on money so I can't get the i5 with the 7870 which I would love. I was wondering if it is worth me getting the i3 for now and then upgrading to an i5 later or getting the i5 now and then upgrading my graphics card later.

I would want to run games at 2nd highest settings, probably not maxed on my 1600x900 monitor with at least 40-50 FPS. No matter what I go with it will be a huge jump from my current PC that can't even play Minecraft at a stable 30 FPS. ;P

I will probably play games like Minecraft, Borderlands 2, BF3 (maybe 4), Call of Duty, Saints Row 3/4, Sleeping Dogs and Crysis 2/3 (if they work).

or could you recommend something better for £400 or under...

This is the set-up

Graphics Card










Power Supply (Corsair Builder Series CX 430 Watt ATX/EPS)


Motherboard (Asus P8H61-MX)


RAM (Corsair 4GB)


Computer Case (CiT Vantage)

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  1. Best answer
    Personally, I would go with the i3 / 7870 combo. While modern games at high resolutions might be hamstrung by that CPU, at the settings you're talking about, it definitely won't be an issue. And as you said, you can always drop in a more potent CPU down the road.
  2. Thanks for the quick answer.

    Here's the build...

    Do you know anywhere that hyper-threading will be useful?

    Im asking because I've seen people say it doesn't help much in games because most of them aren't coded for threading except for some of the latest titles but actual cores are still better for them.
  3. Hey, sorry for the delay on that. After looking over your build, I noticed one thing. I would definitely swap that single 4GB stick for a 4GB kit of 2 2GB sticks. Allows for double the memory bandwidth. Also, as far as hyper-threading, the benefit varies from game to game. Generally the more modern engines, the software behind the scenes that actually does the heavy lifting as far as providing the AI, graphics, terrain generation, etc., benefit more from having more threads available. In your case, hyper-threading is presenting additional virtual cores to the game, allowing for better CPU utilization. In short, there is a definite benefit to having the i3 vs. the Pentium equivalent, though exactly what that proves to be in the specific games you play will vary.
  4. Thanks for the tip on the RAM. I'm going for 2x4GB.

    I was also thinking about getting an AMD FX-6300 with an ASRock 880GM motherboard. Is it a better buy for gaming?

    I mean a game coming out this year "Battlefield 4" recommends more than a dual-core.


    Complete Build (For £10 extra why not get a 660ti)

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