I'm thinking of upgrading my Overclocked E5300 (3.6ghz) to an i3-2100. Do you think its gaming improvement(If there is any) would justify the cost? Take note that there's no overclocking with the i3-2100. It will run @ stock which is 3.1ghz.
3.6ghz e5300 upgrading to 3.1ghz i3-2100 for $125. Is it worth it?
It's paired with an nvidia gts 250 512mb videocard and a 1440x900 resolution monitor.
The i3-2100 will potentially blow the e5300 out of the water, especially at lower resolutions like yours; BUT how much difference you actually see will depend on the games you're playing and the FPS you're getting now.
This "upgrade" is more like a rebuild though, since you'll have to replace your mobo and RAM (and re-install Windows) as well; it won't cost just $125.
My upgrade will be $125-150 because I'm going to sell my old Proc, mb, rams, heatsink if I upgrade(rebuild). Right now I just play NBA 2k11 at around 50+fps. But I want to play dirt 3, diablo 3, battlefield 3 in the future.
A new graphics card would help much more in games. Even if it is bottlenecked by your cpu you will get better fps than the 250. Then you could upgrade the rest of the pc later. A 250 should play those games on med/high just fine so I think you should wait til you play to see how much fps you get.