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What is the best gaming CPU for the price ?

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May 30, 2009 5:24:39 PM

I plan on building a high-end PC basically for gaming. I've decided that I would build it revolving around what CPU I chose. For a limit of roughly 200.00$ and under, what would my best bet be. I consulted the CPU charts for Crysis but I figured I'd ask anyways. Thanks.

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a c 83 à CPUs
May 30, 2009 5:31:10 PM

Phenom II X3 720BE is one of the best price/performance processors around right now. Phenom II X4 940 is offering good price/performance as well if you don't mind sticking with DDR2 memory. I'll let someone else make Intel recommendations as I'm not as familiar with them.
a b à CPUs
May 30, 2009 5:53:28 PM

At the budget you stated ($200) either the E8500 or the Phenom2 x4 940. Pair the E8500 with a crossfire capable P45 motherboard or the 940 with a 790GX/FX 750SB crossfire capable motherboard. Use either the Intel chipset or AMD chipset. The Phenom2 X3 720 or the E8400 are also good, lower priced options with the same motherboards.
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May 30, 2009 6:30:40 PM

One quick note, Intel does quarterly price adjustments and next week they're officially releasing new processors (i7 950, some folks already have them). They usually do a price adjustment simultaneously so if you wait till next week to order you may shave a few dollars off the cost of the rig.

The e8500 will probably give you the best performance, but you won't be able to really upgrade the system much. Since Intel is going all schizo over its chip interfaces, I'd give up a little performance and swing the Athlon route with an AM3 motherboard in order to avoid having to swap out motherboards on the next processor upgrade. I'd grab a phenom x3 720 (well really I'd personally go for the phenom x4 945 but it's $225 thought that may change in a week or two as AMD responds to intels cuts)

That is unless, you don't mind clocking the e8500 to 3.6-4ghz :) 

ETA: don't forget you can try to unlock the extra core on the Phenom x3 720
May 31, 2009 11:28:40 PM

Phenom II 940 BE is about $180-190..

3.0GHz Clock, 4 x 512KB L2 Cache (512KB each core), 6MB L3 Cache, UNLOCKED MULTIPLIERS (serious OC potential)....

An i7 is about $280 now (920)...I would go for any of the Phenom II BEs if your on a budget...even if its triple core.
June 1, 2009 12:51:24 AM

will the prices of the i7 920 fall with the release of the 950?
June 1, 2009 12:59:50 AM

davebacca the i7 920 is being discontinued. I'd get one while I can if you're in the market for it, especially if you plan on overclocking it.

I didn't mention this in the post because it was over the $200 price point he's looking at.
June 1, 2009 1:19:42 AM

Go for a Ph2 940. It may not kick the ass of the e8500 now, but it will when more quad-threaded games come out. Just look at GTAIV benchmarks.
June 1, 2009 1:29:58 AM

Get a Core i7 920 while you can, which beat almost everything else except higher Core i7. Intel is doing us a deservice again by killing cheaper i7 and forcing everybody to LGA1156.
a b à CPUs
June 1, 2009 11:24:44 AM

For gaming, try the E7xxx series or E8xxx if you want even better performance.

Dual-Core is fine for gaming. Games just don't scale on more than 2 cores right now.
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