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Best Gaming CPU Bang for your Back in $200 range

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June 11, 2010 3:42:43 AM

well according to the chart here they recommend

Core i5-750

but by checking the chart here

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

it would seem that amd might be a better deal?

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor




so which of the 2 would be better for gaming?
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June 11, 2010 3:44:05 AM

The i5 750 would perform better in gaming, the Phenom II X6 does slightly worse in gaming than the Phenom II 955/965 which perform similarly to the i5 750.
June 11, 2010 3:49:00 AM

if I am upgrading from a C2D 8400 (3ghz) and radeon HD4870 512mb, would that upgrade to i5 750 make a noticeable performance difference or not?
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June 11, 2010 3:54:53 AM

just oc the thuban to 3.4ghz and itll perform equally to the i5 and 965 in gaming, and probably beat them in rts's or any other very multi threaded game. Overclocking the thuban wont be hard, you wont even have to increase voltage. So all in all the 1055t is the best 'band for your back.'
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June 11, 2010 3:57:54 AM

Both processors are more than you need to properly game. All you really need is an Athlon II x3 ( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3-440-ga... ).

The cost for the two processors is about the same, but I would still go for the Phenom. The upgrade path on AM3 is much better, and AMD motherboards are cheaper at the moment. Either way, you will need a new motherboard. With AMD, you could get an AM2+ motherboard that supports DDR2 and keep some components. The 1055t also has a slightly higher native clock speed. If you have a large budget, by all means, get the i5, which has more logical cores, and is a more efficient (32nm) chip.

If you are just upgrading the CPU, you will see very little difference in most games, which have a larger graphics bottleneck than a CPU bottleneck. I would upgrade my graphics before my CPU if I had a capable CPU like yours. Just my $0.02.

Good luck choosing a processor for your build.

June 11, 2010 4:10:52 AM

user 18 said:
Both processors are more than you need to properly game. All you really need is an Athlon II x3 ( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3-440-ga... ).

The cost for the two processors is about the same, but I would still go for the Phenom. The upgrade path on AM3 is much better, and AMD motherboards are cheaper at the moment. Either way, you will need a new motherboard. With AMD, you could get an AM2+ motherboard that supports DDR2 and keep some components. The 1055t also has a slightly higher native clock speed. If you have a large budget, by all means, get the i5, which has more logical cores, and is a more efficient (32nm) chip.

If you are just upgrading the CPU, you will see very little difference in most games, which have a larger graphics bottleneck than a CPU bottleneck. I would upgrade my graphics before my CPU if I had a capable CPU like yours. Just my $0.02.

Good luck choosing a processor for your build.

The i5 doesn't have hyperthreading so it doesnt have more logical cores. The quad core i5s are also 45nm, only the dual cores are 32nm.
June 11, 2010 4:14:26 AM

i5 750 and 965 be would both be fine choices. Unless you're looking to go multi GPU, I don't think HT would mean anything. Also, any quad core will do you well and unless you play games like ARMA II or SupCom, your CPU isn't a big issue so long as it's a quad. I'd personally go with the AMD because I have a sneaking suspicion that the 1156 socket will be phased because of intel's annoying tendency to change sockets....
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June 11, 2010 4:16:49 AM

Sorry about that - I did read somewhere that they did have HT, thanks yannifb for the correction. In that case, my post should read:

Both processors are more than you need to properly game. All you really need is an Athlon II x3 ( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3-440-ga... )

The cost for the two processors is about the same, but I would still go for the Phenom. The upgrade path on AM3 is much better, and AMD motherboards are cheaper at the moment. Either way, you will need a new motherboard. With AMD, you could get an AM2+ motherboard that supports DDR2 and keep some components. The 1055t also has a slightly higher native clock speed. If you have a large budget, by all means, get the i5, it's a great chip.

If you are just upgrading the CPU, you will see very little difference in most games, which have a larger graphics bottleneck than a CPU bottleneck. I would upgrade my graphics before my CPU if I had a capable CPU like yours. Just my $0.02.

Good luck choosing a processor for your build.


Edit: Broken Link
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June 11, 2010 4:26:10 AM

ladic said:
if I am upgrading from a C2D 8400 (3ghz) and radeon HD4870 512mb, would that upgrade to i5 750 make a noticeable performance difference or not?



DO you overclock ? can you overclock ? if so get a graphics card with more memory. sell the 4870 get a 5850.
Turn up the GHZ on the E8400 you are all done. don't bother upgrading CPU for games
June 11, 2010 1:23:18 PM

don't OC, not sure how, and I find those guides a bit confusing when I've tried.

From what I read the 5850 actually performs worse in some cases thatn a 4870, but it has the advantage of being directx11
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June 11, 2010 3:05:20 PM

If you were willing to spend ~$200 on a CPU, you should be willing to spend a similar amount on a GPU, and will get more gaming performance for your money. If you want to spend a bit less or more, you could read this article on best gaming GPUs for the money:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-gefor...

Very nicely divided based on price increments of $20 to $40 in the sub-$250 category.


One word of caution. If you do buy a high-quality card like a 5700-5900 series, make sure your PSU can support it. A generic brand will do no good, and you will definitely need to have at least a 500w supply for a powerful card. Also, make sure you have the right power connectors either by molex adapter or direct from the PSU.
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June 12, 2010 12:33:11 AM

Unless you are spending $500-600+ on the GPU(s), go for a Phenom II 955 and OC the crap out of it. Anything faster won't show a significant gain in most games without a monster GPU setup.

If you're spending under $200 on the GPU you could probably get away with Athlon II.

To answer the main question, the i5-750 is the best gaming CPU @ ~$200.
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