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Best CPU and Motherboard combo for under 300?

My current PC specs are :

- AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor
- Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard
- Kingston HyperX Beast 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
- Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 4GB Dual-X Video Card
- Corsair CX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
- Cooler Master Hyper T4 70.0 CFM Rifle Bearing CPU Cooler

I am wondering what would be the best CPU and Motherboard combo for me to upgrade. I am only looking to spend up to $300. I just want to get an upgrade that will last for a while. Also I would like to have a full sized ATX motherboard so I can fit my CPU cooler on there since my ram is too big and the cooler is pretty big too.
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu motherboard combo 300
  1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you do want to overclock, right?
  2. I couldn't find an i5-4690k + good motherboard for 300 dollars so this my next suggestion for 300 USD:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($206.93 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Killer ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($95.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $302.92
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-12-21 19:20 EST-0500

    Edit: updated

    Important info: If you buy the i5-4690k you can OC the H97 Fatal1ty Killer.
  3. RCFProd said:
    I couldn't find an i5-4690k + good motherboard for 300 dollars so this my next suggestion for 300 USD:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($198.75 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: ASRock B150 Gaming K4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($98.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $297.74
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-12-21 19:17 EST-0500

    Edit: Wait, you need a mobo with DDR3 RAM. Mobo needs change.


    If you don't mind dropping the cash on extra RAM, this is a good setup, but you won't be able to overclock.
  4. That's not the best value though, is it?. Paying too much extra over the FX-8320 for the 8350 whilst It's the same CPU but just overclocked. Also 108 dollars for a 970 Chipset motherboard is not very good.

    With best possible mobo + Better CPU Cooler:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($134.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: RAIJINTEK THEMIS 65.7 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme6 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($133.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $296.96
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-12-21 20:12 EST-0500
  5. He mentioned that he already had a cpu cooler, but yeah, that's a good point, you probably should go with the 8320 and just overclock it.
  6. Anonymous said:
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you do want to overclock, right?


    No. I'd prefer not to. I am not too good at overclocking and I would probably just screw it up. I might later though.
  7. Anonymous said:


    Do you get good frames on there? Like at least 30 to 50 on medium to high settings?
  8. Well, I have a gtx 980 Ti, and a 144Hz monitor with GSync, and I easily maintain over 100FPS on ultra settings on most games at 2k. So as far as bottlenecking goes, you shouldn't run into any issues with a 270X
  9. Best answer
    With 30-50 fps on medium settings you're quite low on expectations. They say the frame timings are better on AMD processors where a game truly supports up to 8 cores/threads. That is the only benefit you can have with AMD CPU's.

    Other than that you'll see better/more results frames wise with i5-4690 + H97 Fatal1ty depending on your GPU, which is still the route I'd suggest.

    R9 270X can be improved with a much better GPU ofcourse.
  10. RCFProd said:
    With 30-50 fps on medium settings you're quite low on expectations. They say the frame timings are better on AMD processors where a game truly supports up to 8 cores/threads. That is the only benefit you can have with AMD CPU's.

    Other than that you'll see better/more results frames wise with i5-4690 + H97 Fatal1ty depending on your GPU, which is still the route I'd suggest.

    R9 270X can be improved with a much better GPU ofcourse.



    Okay. So what you are saying is that I will see better performance with the i5 overall than the AMD? And how long do you think this upgrade will last and still have good frames?
  11. Can never pin point the future, but if you upgrade the GPU in 1 year time it should do you well for a while. Like 3 years with a GTX 970.
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