Im looking to upgrade my current cpu ( Intel dual core e5200) for better gaming.

so far i've come up with three options:

1. buy a new Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz and replace my old cpu

2. buy a new Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz and a new mobo to put it in (need a good recomendation, price range is about 100 not including cpu)

3. buy a new AMD Phenom II X3 720 Heka 2.8GHz (or similarly priced amd cpu) and a new mobo to put it in (also need suggestion same price range as above)

so i am just wondering which would be the best option in terms of being "future proof"/ performance
I am also open to suggestions, my price range is around 200 dollars for bot the new cpu and mobo.

thanks for the help, greatly appreciated!

(right now i am running an ATI 5770 in my pci slot so i think i am covered as far as good gpu's go)
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  1. One thing you possibly haven't considered is that the i3 upgrade would also require upgrading to DDR3 RAM. No LGA 1156 motherboards support DDR2 RAM. The modern AMD AM3 motherboards also require DDR3 support. I suppose you could get an AM2+ motherboard with the AMD CPU, but that limits your "future proof" requirement since DDR2 isn't used by any modern systems.
  2. thanks for the heads up
  3. I don't know if your $200 budget is very flexible, but here's a nice CPU, motherboard, and RAM upgrade: $149.98 - $10 MIR (AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz + GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 combo)

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT $91.99

    Total - $241.97 - $10 MIR = $231.97
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