Upgrading to e8xxx, i5, or i3

I'm planning on upgrading my 3 year old desktop, more or less, just my CPU.

I currently have an ancient e6300 running at 2.01Ghz, on an unknown ECS 570i motherboard, which explains the lack of overclocking ability. 2Gb of DDR2 667 RAM and a 8800GT GPU.

I think my GPU is fine, not worth upgrading in my price range yet, but I know I need a new CPU. I use my PC mostly for gaming, but also interested in getting a BD player/burner and a 1900x1080/1200 monitor, up from my 1440x900. I also use CAD occasionally and rarely some video editing. Plus casual music and internet.

Elaborating on the gaming, I don't just play old RPG's, I like to run the best-looking at the highest settings I can. So keep that in mind.

Anyway, I had been looking at the e8400 for $170 at Newegg, but the new i7 and i5's are cheap quad-core options. Not so much the i7, because they're above my price range, but the i5-750 is $200 at the same place. But there's also the dual-core i5's, which is $195 for the i5-650 also at NE. And on top of that, the i3's are suppose to be cheap and very "over-clockable".

I don't have a problem overclocking, I've done a bit of it, but I'm not going to go hardcore. I have a crappy case that I'm replacing with a 900-2, which will help keeping things cool, in addition with an aftermarket heat sink and all that. I believe ineffective cooling and airflow had a big role in my inability to overclock much. With that said, what CPU would be best for my uses and price range of up to $200 or a little over: e8400, i5-750, i5-6x0, an i3-5x0? Can be something else similar, but has to be Intel. I guess I'm a fan boy :??:

Also, suggest a motherboard for the CPU, price limit: $150. Preferably, on Newegg. Thnx in advance. ;)
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  1. I'd skip the Core 2 line and just consider the new ones. The i5 750 is a great chip which I would higly recommend if you can afford. I'm afraid I don't know much about the new i5's and i3's, though I think if you plan on keeping this computer for a while, a Quad core would be a good decision.
  2. well, my guess is that the motherboard you have is junk so that would be the main priority here, replacing that. That being said, i would go for the i5 750, it is a great CPU and will require a motherboard & RAM upgrade but it is worth it.

    The E8400 may be able to go into the current motherboard you have but i would double check that. If it does, it will be a cheaper option than upgrading the Motherboard/RAM/CPU but it will only be a minimal gain if it does indeed fit into that motherboard. (motherboard may need BIOS update to support the E8400)

    Basically if you could OC the E6300 to 3.0, it would be on par with the E8400, not quite as close, but close enough.
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