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Budget Gaming, can't decide on CPU/Mobo options, advice?

I have a $1000 budget, and reserved around $375 for all parts needed except video card, cpu, mobo. For now, leaving out details, because cpu/mobo is my greatest concern at the moment.

Use: Gaming, CAD*, Engineering Modeling*, Watching Movies, Surfing Net
*may or may not happen in ~2 years.
Will OC later, but for now, staying stock

Choice is:
MSI Z68MA-ED55 (B3) and Intel Core i5-2500K totaling $360
or
mobo ASUS P8Z68-V PRO totaling $415

OR

AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz and ASUS M4A87TD EVO totaling $267

Do I go with the higher benching Intel CPU or the AMD which leaves more money to throw down on a graphics card?
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about budget gaming decide mobo options advice
  1. Definitely go with the Intel setup. It's WELL worth the extra money - and will outperform the AMD chip by quite a bit in gaming, and by a huge amount in CAD, Solidworks and that sort of thing. (taking my last year of Industrial Systems Engineering)

    You could save a bit of money and go with the P67 chipset boards as well, for most people they do just as much. Asus makes the P67 Pro:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131703&cm_re=asus_p67-_-13-131-703-_-Product

    And MSI has a few P67 models as well like these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130582&cm_re=msi_p67-_-13-130-582-_-Product

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130573&cm_re=msi_p67-_-13-130-573-_-Product

    I've had good luck with MSI boards so far, however Asus does seem to have better reviews in general. Here's what I picked for my 2500k if you are curious:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128478&Tpk=p67%20ud4

    I'd try and get a 560 Ti or at least a GTX 460 in there if I were you as well...
  2. Thanks Jason!

    The reason I ask, is because I've read and heard people say that you're Video Card will make or break you're gaming system much more than you're CPU. So am I better off throwing an extra $100 (my swing based on the choice) at the CPU/mobo or at the video card (i.e. from ~$250 up to ~$350).
  3. Best answer
    The video card is more important than the CPU when it comes to some games, however others are the other way around, but generally, most need a balance of both.

    Honestly, you'd be better off going with an i3-2100 than a Phenom 955 anyway. Either way, Sandy Bridge is really the way to go right now, unless you are looking at a really low-budget machine.

    A 2500k will future-proof you quite a bit more, can be overclocked like crazy, will give you better performance in games and way more performance in normal applications (especially engineering ones). You won't regret buying one. I bought two haha.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/20
  4. Best answer selected by doublepedaldylan.
  5. these have been my questions as well, and it does not seem like there is a straight answer. i guess we need to see more benchmarks. i would say it is highly dependent on the res you will be using, and if the extra pricing is worth it to you. here's my thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312851-31-gaming-system-questions
  6. Thanks again Jason!
    I'll look into the video cards you sudgested.
    Probably going to go with the P67 too.
    That last link was incredibly valuable btw, basically solidified the decision.
  7. No problem, enjoy the new build!
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