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Best ~$200 CPU for Gaming?

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April 27, 2010 5:53:26 PM

Hey everyone, quick question here.

I'm in the home-stretch of my first PC build; all that's left are the CPU and motherboard.

My build so far:

Case
Drive
HDD
PSU
RAM
Video Card

It's going to be predominantly for gaming.

My ~$200 CPU choices:

i5 750 - $180
i7 860 - $200
i7 930 - $200

Tiger Direct is offering $50 on both procs (both sold out though):
Phenom II X6 1055T - $150
Phenom II 1090T BE - $250

Honestly, I'm thinking an Intel i5 or i7 would be the better choice; I was really hoping AMD's X6 lineup would have performed better in terms of gaming.

Your thoughts? I'm open to your suggestions/opinions.

Thanks!

EDIT:

I'd like to add though that all the parts listed under "My build so far" have already been purchased.
So, given my GPU, which of the above procs would be best?

I've read this review, BTW:
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T And 890FX Platform Review: Hello, Leo

- Anthony

More about : 200 cpu gaming

April 27, 2010 6:15:18 PM

If i were you i would DEFINITELY go for the i7 930, it it without doubt the best cpu there, look at pretty much any benchmarks, and it will beat all the other 4, but i7 are extremely overclockable.
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April 27, 2010 6:36:51 PM

keytthom said:
If i were you i would DEFINITELY go for the i7 930, it it without doubt the best cpu there, look at pretty much any benchmarks, and it will beat all the other 4, but i7 are extremely overclockable.


Oh please stop talking garbage. The i7 930 is soundly beaten by the 1090T and even the 1055T beats it in a lot of stuff.

@OP look at the gaming results, the actual fps not where the chips are on the table.

example -



The 1090T 'loses' by 1.74 fps to a $1000 chip. That's not even one percent slower yet it's enough for it to be a bad gaming cpu?
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April 27, 2010 6:53:39 PM

jennyh said:
Oh please stop talking garbage. The i7 930 is soundly beaten by the 1090T and even the 1055T beats it in a lot of stuff.

@OP look at the gaming results, the actual fps not where the chips are on the table.

example -

http://media.bestofmicro.com/E/D/245461/original/Left%204%20Dead%202560.png

The 1090T 'loses' by 1.74 fps to a $1000 chip. That's not even one percent slower yet it's enough for it to be a bad gaming cpu?


I have to agree with this, there are also a few other places that are more favorable towards the 1090T in their benches.
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April 27, 2010 7:29:04 PM

yellowsnow4free said:
Hey everyone, quick question here.

I'm in the home-stretch of my first PC build; all that's left are the CPU and motherboard.

My build so far:

Case
Drive
HDD
PSU
RAM
Video Card

It's going to be predominantly for gaming.

My ~$200 CPU choices:

i5 750
i7 860
i7 930
Phenom II X6 1055T
Phenom II 1090T BE

Honestly, I'm thinking an Intel i5 or i7 would be the better choice; I was really hoping AMD's X6 lineup would have performed better in terms of gaming.

Your thoughts? I'm open to your suggestions/opinions.

Thanks!

- Anthony

1) i7-750 is the perfect candidate for a sub $200 gaming processor. For the Motherboard,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

2) The PSU you have chosen is overkill for your system. Even a decent 500 W will do. Go for Corsair, Antec or OCZ
However, if you are crossfiring the 5770s, then your choice is ok.
3) Go for this RAM :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) @jennyh
Plz show me atleast 5 instances where the 1090T or 1055T beats the 930; & then i'l accept that the latter is "soundly" beaten by either of the two.

Referring to you graph of the Left 4 Dead FPS, first of all, the fact that all the chips are performing so closely is due to the game being GPU bound at those settings. Now did you notice that the Phenom 965 BE is above the 6 core Thuban? What does that mean? That the 965 beats the 1090T (no matter how small the margin is). Now the 965 costs $100 less than the 1090T & beats the latter on all the games. What does this mean? That the 1090T gives miserable value for games compared to the 965.
Don't say that the $285 1090T gives only a frame less than the $1000 980X. Look for the fact that the 1090T costs more than the 965 & performs worse than the latter in games. That's what makes it a "bad gaming cpu"
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April 27, 2010 7:31:06 PM

My apologies. In (1), I mean the i5 750,
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April 27, 2010 7:39:50 PM

ksampanna said:
4) @jennyh
Plz show me atleast 5 instances where the 1090T or 1055T beats the 930; & then i'l accept that the latter is "soundly" beaten by either of the two.


Sure, how about the first 5 benchmarks on hexus?











The 1090T wins them all. Why? Because it's a faster chip than the i7 930. Even the 1055T beats or equals the i7 930 in most of those.
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April 27, 2010 8:04:02 PM

ksampanna said:
2) The PSU you have chosen is overkill for your system. Even a decent 500 W will do. Go for Corsair, Antec or OCZ
However, if you are crossfiring the 5770s, then your choice is ok.

3) Go for this RAM :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for the reply.

I forgot to mention that I've purchased all the parts listed under "my build so far".
700W is overkill, but for the price it was great.

BTW, w/o the CPU/mobo I've only spent ~$400 (after tax, shipping, and MIR's) :) 
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April 27, 2010 8:06:29 PM



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April 27, 2010 8:20:49 PM

ksampanna said:
1) i7-750 is the perfect candidate for a sub $200 gaming processor. For the Motherboard,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

2) The PSU you have chosen is overkill for your system. Even a decent 500 W will do. Go for Corsair, Antec or OCZ
However, if you are crossfiring the 5770s, then your choice is ok.
3) Go for this RAM :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) @jennyh
Plz show me atleast 5 instances where the 1090T or 1055T beats the 930; & then i'l accept that the latter is "soundly" beaten by either of the two.

Referring to you graph of the Left 4 Dead FPS, first of all, the fact that all the chips are performing so closely is due to the game being GPU bound at those settings. Now did you notice that the Phenom 965 BE is above the 6 core Thuban? What does that mean? That the 965 beats the 1090T (no matter how small the margin is). Now the 965 costs $100 less than the 1090T & beats the latter on all the games. What does this mean? That the 1090T gives miserable value for games compared to the 965.
Don't say that the $285 1090T gives only a frame less than the $1000 980X. Look for the fact that the 1090T costs more than the 965 & performs worse than the latter in games. That's what makes it a "bad gaming cpu"


So for one you have your i5 and i7 confused there is no i7 750 hence what are you talking about. Now instead of looking at only one review try looking at a few so you actually know what you are talking about. http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cpu_mainboard/amd_10...

Do you know and understand what accuracy is? There is no way that they are accurate to any more then +/- 1 FPS and that is pushing it. You have to understand that within a few % is just about the same considering everything is experimental.
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April 27, 2010 8:24:45 PM

There is no reason to go Intel for your needs, unless you want SLI. Many Intel boards can use SLI. This is major because nVidia motherboards are absolutely terrible and sadly is the only option open for AMD. Perhaps nVidia will release some updated motherboards soon, but not likely.

A Phenom II 955 will satisfy all your needs and then some, especially when overclocked. If you want future proof or you just want some excellent performance, the 1055T will give you all you need while besting or matching i5s and i7s.

Edit:
Great choice of GPU, do you plan to crossfire? 2 of those in crossfire and overclocked absolutely shred games.
http://www.overclock.net/ati/683034-bo_punk-review-msi-...
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April 27, 2010 8:28:58 PM

AMW1011 said:
There is no reason to go Intel for your needs, unless you want SLI. Many Intel boards can use SLI. This is major because nVidia motherboards are absolutely terrible and sadly is the only option open for AMD. Perhaps nVidia will release some updated motherboards soon, but not likely.

A Phenom II 955 will satisfy all your needs and then some, especially when overclocked. If you want future proof or you just want some excellent performance, the 1055T will give you all you need while besting i5s and i7s.

Edit:
Great choice of GPU, do you plan to crossfire? 2 of those in crossfire and overclocked absolutely shred games.
http://www.overclock.net/ati/683034-bo_punk-review-msi-...

Very well put. [:tapko:3]
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April 27, 2010 8:48:56 PM

AMW1011 said:
There is no reason to go Intel for your needs, unless you want SLI. Many Intel boards can use SLI. This is major because nVidia motherboards are absolutely terrible and sadly is the only option open for AMD. Perhaps nVidia will release some updated motherboards soon, but not likely.

A Phenom II 955 will satisfy all your needs and then some, especially when overclocked. If you want future proof or you just want some excellent performance, the 1055T will give you all you need while besting or matching i5s and i7s.

Edit:
Great choice of GPU, do you plan to crossfire? 2 of those in crossfire and overclocked absolutely shred games.
http://www.overclock.net/ati/683034-bo_punk-review-msi-...

Thanks for the props on the GPU choice :) 

No plans to crossfire yet, but I'd like to have the option down the road (right now I'm on a budget).

I definitely like the idea of a somewhat "future proof" processor. I like the 1055T, but I do wish it performed better when it comes to gaming.



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April 27, 2010 8:54:28 PM

yellowsnow4free said:
Thanks for the props on the GPU choice :) 

No plans to crossfire yet, but I'd like to have the option down the road (right now I'm on a budget).

I definitely like the idea of a somewhat "future proof" processor. I like the 1055T, but I do wish it performed better when it comes to gaming.


If you overclock you won't notice anything different then what you will get with an i5 750, games rarely care about CPUs, but GPUs are another story.
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April 27, 2010 9:01:16 PM

yellowsnow4free said:
Thanks for the props on the GPU choice :) 

No plans to crossfire yet, but I'd like to have the option down the road (right now I'm on a budget).

I definitely like the idea of a somewhat "future proof" processor. I like the 1055T, but I do wish it performed better when it comes to gaming.

1) @ Jenny
Ok, you can scoure all the sites & there'l be atleast one where the 1090T will best intel. But since you are on Tom's, why not check their results? I'm sure you must have read them already, but do take a relook. The i7 9xx generally outperform the 1090T

2) I don't have my i5s & i7s confused. That was a typo, & i did clear that in the subsequent post.
& I know that a few % diff in fps doesn't really matter. But if you take a high end gpu worth a few hundred dollars, pair it with a 1090T & generally get bested all the time by the 920/930 w/ the same gpu, would you not be pissed off?

3) after having read the last post, no further comments ...
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April 27, 2010 9:44:20 PM

ksampanna said:
1) @ Jenny
Ok, you can scoure all the sites & there'l be atleast one where the 1090T will best intel. But since you are on Tom's, why not check their results? I'm sure you must have read them already, but do take a relook. The i7 9xx generally outperform the 1090T


Do you mean in gaming? If so, then what you are seeing is a bunch of cpu's performing *exactly* the same, ie gpu bottlenecked.

If the intels have 0.25 higher fps in a game, it really doesn't matter - even though it's enough to make sure the intel cpu is higher placed on the graph, but in real terms it's utterly meaningless.

There are no gaming benchmarks anywhere that show the X6 to be a weak gaming cpu. It's the same as or better than the X4, which was already as good as or better than the i7's in gaming.
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April 27, 2010 10:05:14 PM

jennyh said:
Do you mean in gaming? If so, then what you are seeing is a bunch of cpu's performing *exactly* the same, ie gpu bottlenecked.

If the intels have 0.25 higher fps in a game, it really doesn't matter - even though it's enough to make sure the intel cpu is higher placed on the graph, but in real terms it's utterly meaningless.

There are no gaming benchmarks anywhere that show the X6 to be a weak gaming cpu. It's the same as or better than the X4, which was already as good as or better than the i7's in gaming.

1) No, I don't just mean gaming benchmarks. You look across all the graphs, make an algebraic total (I know it's kind of weird because even the units don't match, but still), & tell me which processor comes out tops- the i7 930 or 1090T
2) The 965 matches/exceeds the i7 in gaming ?? :heink: 
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=108#
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April 27, 2010 10:09:11 PM

ksampanna said:
1) No, I don't just mean gaming benchmarks. You look across all the graphs, make an algebraic total (I know it's kind of weird because even the units don't match, but still), & tell me which processor comes out tops- the i7 930 or 1090T
2) The 965 matches/exceeds the i7 in gaming ?? :heink: 
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=108#


That is a horrible way to compare gaming. The truth is that the 1055T and the 1090T, when they are are outpaced, it is by an insignificant and unnoticeable amount.
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April 27, 2010 10:09:27 PM

Dear god not again.

Ok you use your limited Anandtech benchmark for proof, I'll use legionhardwares multiple gaming benchmarks at multiple clock speeds.

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/cpu_scalin...

Conclusion :-

Quote:
In games such as Wolfenstein, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X, BattleForge and Far Cry 2 the Phenom II X4 processors were actually faster when clocked up near 4GHz! This is quite amazing as out of the 9 games tested, the Phenom II X4 series was faster than the Core i7’s in 5 of them. Although the margins were very limited, the Phenom II X4 was found to be faster, and had it just managed to match the Core i7 series with the Radeon HD 5970, we would have been impressed.


What is a true indication of gaming performance - Anand's limited low resolution cpu-benchmarks with intel ads all over his site, or a truly independent review encompassing many benchmarks at different clock speeds, high settings?

I know what is more believable. :) 
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April 27, 2010 10:11:34 PM

ksampanna said:
1) No, I don't just mean gaming benchmarks. You look across all the graphs, make an algebraic total (I know it's kind of weird because even the units don't match, but still), & tell me which processor comes out tops- the i7 930 or 1090T
2) The 965 matches/exceeds the i7 in gaming ?? :heink: 
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=108#


In that review Anand used an AM2+ motherboard with DDR2 ram. I think nowadays anyone who builds a new rig would buy AM3 and ofc DDR3 ram.
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April 27, 2010 10:13:12 PM

AMW1011 said:
That is a horrible way to compare gaming. The truth is that the 1055T and the 1090T, when they are are outpaced, it is by an insignificant and unnoticeable amount.

Yeah right ... & when they outpace the i7s, it is by a "significant" amount, right?
btw, why is the benchmark horrible? I was comparing the 860 & 965, going off jenny's previous remark.
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April 27, 2010 10:16:31 PM

ksampanna said:
Yeah right ... & when they outpace the i7s, it is by a "significant" amount, right?
btw, why is the benchmark horrible? I was comparing the 860 & 965, going off jenny's previous remark.


No they don't outpace the i7s by anything remotely significant. Like with the X4s, they are right behind the i5s and i7s, but not by anything significant, noticeable, or useful.
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April 27, 2010 10:19:27 PM

jennyh said:
Dear god not again.

Ok you use your limited Anandtech benchmark for proof, I'll use legionhardwares multiple gaming benchmarks at multiple clock speeds.

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/cpu_scalin...

Conclusion :-

Quote:
In games such as Wolfenstein, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X, BattleForge and Far Cry 2 the Phenom II X4 processors were actually faster when clocked up near 4GHz! This is quite amazing as out of the 9 games tested, the Phenom II X4 series was faster than the Core i7’s in 5 of them. Although the margins were very limited, the Phenom II X4 was found to be faster, and had it just managed to match the Core i7 series with the Radeon HD 5970, we would have been impressed.


What is a true indication of gaming performance - Anand's limited low resolution cpu-benchmarks with intel ads all over his site, or a truly independent review encompassing many benchmarks at different clock speeds, high settings?

I know what is more believable. :) 


"The Phenom II X4 results were quite different to those recorded when testing with the Core i7 processors, though this was not necessarily a bad thing. When operating at lower clock speeds, the Phenom II X4 did not fair all that well, as we saw a sharp decline in performance."

Why didn't you also put this in quotes?
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April 27, 2010 10:21:51 PM

Because that was them talking about the phenom 2 at 2.0ghz....
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April 28, 2010 1:30:24 AM

Go I5 750 or save money and go Phenom II X4 955. Wouldn't go I7 930 because you already have bought 4 GB ram which would be dual channel and the 1366 I7 benefit from a triple channel kit. So unless you want to buy another 2 gigs of ram....
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April 28, 2010 1:53:29 AM

just have to say that the $50 rebate and bing cashback make those phenom ii x6 killer priced
thats ~$125 for 1055t and ~$215 for 1090t
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April 28, 2010 3:27:10 AM

1tym said:
Go i5 750 or save money and go Phenom II X4 955. Wouldn't go i7 930 because you already have bought 4 GB ram which would be dual channel and the 1366 I7 benefit from a triple channel kit. So unless you want to buy another 2 gigs of ram....

Well, if I buy the i7 930 I could always buy 2 GB more of RAM. I read a review saying you didn't see much of a performance difference between dual channel and triple channel anyway.
lvlrdka22 said:
just have to say that the $50 rebate and bing cashback make those phenom ii x6 killer priced
thats ~$125 for 1055t and ~$215 for 1090t

:o  I forgot about Bing cashback...
very nice!

In reply to everyone though, I think I'm gonna go the Intel i5 750 or i7 route.

If the X6 showed better performance, I'd consider it. But seeing as I can get an i7 for ~$200, I can't see spending $200 on the 1055T.
I'm not necessarily an Intel fanboy, but the X6 isn't the choice for gaming right now.
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May 3, 2010 3:27:02 PM

yellowsnow4free said:
Well, if I buy the i7 930 I could always buy 2 GB more of RAM. I read a review saying you didn't see much of a performance difference between dual channel and triple channel anyway.

:o  I forgot about Bing cashback...
very nice!

In reply to everyone though, I think I'm gonna go the Intel i5 750 or i7 route.

If the X6 showed better performance, I'd consider it. But seeing as I can get an i7 for ~$200, I can't see spending $200 on the 1055T.
I'm not necessarily an Intel fanboy, but the X6 isn't the choice for gaming right now.

If you go by one review you will be mislead because no review is completely correct and there will always be variations. It is completely your choose, but to me i5 wouldn’t even be an option.
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May 3, 2010 7:40:48 PM

Quote:
If you go by one review you will be mislead because no review is completely correct and there will always be variations. It is completely your choose, but to me i5 wouldn’t even be an option.


Ya well, to hell with your option. Who's asking you ...

Quote:

In reply to everyone though, I think I'm gonna go the Intel i5 750 or i7 route.

If the X6 showed better performance, I'd consider it. But seeing as I can get an i7 for ~$200, I can't see spending $200 on the 1055T.
I'm not necessarily an Intel fanboy, but the X6 isn't the choice for gaming right now.


Great choice. You won't be disappointed.
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May 3, 2010 8:28:44 PM

ksampanna said:
Quote:
If you go by one review you will be mislead because no review is completely correct and there will always be variations. It is completely your choose, but to me i5 wouldn’t even be an option.


Ya well, to hell with your option. Who's asking you ...

Quote:

In reply to everyone though, I think I'm gonna go the Intel i5 750 or i7 route.

If the X6 showed better performance, I'd consider it. But seeing as I can get an i7 for ~$200, I can't see spending $200 on the 1055T.
I'm not necessarily an Intel fanboy, but the X6 isn't the choice for gaming right now.


Great choice. You won't be disappointed.

Oh you are soooo awesome, you show up to threads to bash people only and have no idea what you are talking about…..

I’m pretty sure the op would not have posted if he was not looking for input. The problem is you have Intel so deep in you that that’s all you can think about. Have fun being a fan boy and not opening your eyes.
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May 17, 2010 5:10:06 PM

This thread is stupid.
Most benchmarks mentioned us either a radeon 5850 or a 5870. Even with those, all CPUs mentioned performed the same. There are margins of error and anyone who thinks that by looking at a graph and seeing "oh the i7 980x is outperformed by 5FPS by the Phenom IIx6 so it must be better for gaming" is stupid. All you need is a CPU capable of keeping up with the graphics cards.
I recommend you save your money. If you don't want to spend the extra money to get the radeon 5870 then why would you want to spend the extra money to get a core i7?
I have a radeon 3870 and and Athlon IIx4. I did some testing. With 4 cores for modern warfare II, there was no drop in framerate with all settings maxxed out except AA at 1920x1080 until I hit 1GHz. The GPU is old, but it gives you an idea.

I recommend the following:
-Athlon IIx3 440. About $80. Excellent performer. Albeit missing cache, it has high stock clock speeds and is more than capable. Plus has 3 cores, the amount most games can utilize these days. Especially console ports like MW2
-Core i3. If you want to go intel, this CPU is good. High clocks. It only has 2 cores though.
-Phenom II 955. For bragging rights. Or for playing the unusual games that can use more than 3 cores. And the 965 is not worth $20 more over the $160 955.
-Core i5 750. Because it is the least expensive quad core you can get on the 1156 platform.
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May 17, 2010 5:29:52 PM

LOL I really love it when people here get so heated about CPU when it comes to gaming. Should really be spending their energy over at the GPU section and save this MEANINGLESS argument:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-33.html

*sigh* bunch of kids these days... well I guess I was there once, thinking everything revolves around gaming, people grow up eventually. and starts seeing PC as a tool for other things other than gaming. with that said, best CPU for gaming?!? LOL SERIOUSLY? pick any CPU over 2-cores and OC the living shiz out of it will be good enough for gaming, if you have money to burn, do a crossfire 5970 setup. buy a better cooling system, or hell, buy a better looking case with flashing LEDs. quit whining over half a FPS for god sakes.

if you are like most grown-ups with a profession ($$) who ACTUALLY uses the CPU to its full potential, then id say go for the 6-core either the 1055T / 1090T for the budget oriented or 980X if you got too much money to burn. seeing as most people havent developed past their high-school stage yet, id say stay away from the 980X since its way out of their league
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May 17, 2010 5:39:12 PM

i5 750 is a great choice for that price range. Performs really well gaming and otherwise. Obviously pure gaming going with better cores won't make a big difference, but it's doubtful you'll only be gaming. Going with an i7 is mostly overkill however given that you can get the 930 for the same price... probably worthwhile. But there's other differences, p55 vs x58 chipsets, dual vs triple channel memory... the i5 750 will save you on those other components. AMD cpus are also very adequete for just gaming and can save a bit of money, but since you're looking at around $200, imo the i5 750 is the best... and Tom's Hardware agrees for the $200 price point. (see yellowsnow4free's link above)

Of course, it also depends on your GPU for FPS. Going with a 5770 you won't use up all your CPU at stock speeds on any of those. Crossfire them and you might get there tho, but a little OCing gets you back up to par.
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May 17, 2010 5:40:43 PM

Enzo and arterius are correct. If you want to spend your money on an i5 go for it, but you will not get anything more for spending the extra money. Also the charts listed are not exactly spot on, it is more of one reviewers feeling.
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May 18, 2010 4:28:05 PM

Best answer selected by yellowsnow4free.
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