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Best CPU upgrade options?

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January 22, 2010 5:07:26 PM

Here is the current incarnation of my current system:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Vid: XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PS: Antec TruePower 2.0 TP2-550 EPS12V 550W ATX12V http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor: Samsung 19in WS 1400x900

I currently only do moderate gaming on my PC that doesn't really tax my system (WoW, Titan Quest, Civ IV). My windows index lists my CPU as being the weakest link with a score of 5.2. I would like to do a series of upgrades to keep this build going before I have to do a complete rebuild. I assume the CPU based on my window index scores should be the first part to be upgraded, but I am unsure of what to upgrade to. If I can, I'd like to keep the price under $130ish.

Looking around the various forums, the Phenom II 720 BE seems to be a popular choice for many people who are on a budget. How critical is it to have a CPU with a L3 cache on some of the newer game releases. I would like try out Dragon Age with out having my system chug through parts of it. If I go the budget route again, are the newer Athlon X3 and X4s worth wild? Which core version would work out best from a gaming perspective. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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a b à CPUs
January 22, 2010 5:18:41 PM

First, the windows index is junk, so toss that out the window, it may be right about your CPU being the weakest link but it is still junk.

Second, start here, this will help determine the best route, if you're still not sure, google some benchmarks, they may help as well.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,252...

Third, i would either go with either of the following:
Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition
Athlon II X4 630
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a c 131 à CPUs
January 23, 2010 3:25:53 AM

Ignore windows index crap.

Now, in your games, you are not happy with the framerates/settings? upgrading your cpu will increase performance slightly better but also leave room for a more powerful video card to run at maximum efficiency when you do get it.
I recommend:
$99 Athlon IIx4 620 or if you want pay a little more
Phenom IIx3 720 BE.

If you are willing to go $15 over budget, this is well worth it:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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