so I have a limited budget but would like to build a gaming rig. I have a pretty good idea of what I need, but am behind the times on what components are at the top of the bell curve in terms of price and value.
What I need is:
1x *the best gaming cpu I can afford* - and this is the biggie in terms of where I'm looking for input. I don't know if I should settle for an I5 and plan on upgrading in a year or two (an option I'm not opposed to) go for an I7 or just skip directly to the hexacores. As I said I'm looking for the best ratio between price and performance AND am on a limited budget. Ideally I'd like to purchase both a CPU and MB for less than $300. I just don't know if it's possible to do that and stay relatively current.
Cooling system for CPU/computer
1 x motherboard (crossfire compatible - have 2x HIS IceQ Radeon 7820s)
8gb or more of RAM
1 x copy of windows 7 64bit
1 x power supply (capable of running the CPU, MB, 2x video cards, 2x HD's, 2x DVD drives and all the associated cooling systems)
1 x 1+ TB hard drive
AND a 24" monitor (the partridge)
If you are looking for an i5 and motherboard for under 300 dollars, that pretty much limits you to a non-"k" Cpu. I'd just suggest getting an i5 4670k Cpu, and a solid z87 motherboard however, which will run you about 350 dollars or so. You don't need an i7 for gaming, period. Only a few games take any advantage of the additional hyperthreading cores, and it's even of limited use then. The hexacores aren't worth the extra money you'll be spending, so don't even worry about those.
You didn't list a budget, so I'm going to go with a fairly good build without going overboard on prices.