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The best gaming CPU for your $ these days?

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September 23, 2011 8:31:49 PM

Hi all,

Every 2-3 years I replace my CPU/Mobo/Ram or Video Card, and for that 2-3 years I am pretty much able to play any game on near highest settings. Unfortunately this time it looks like there is no overwhelming bottleneck in my system (except for all of it imo lol).

Here is my current setup:
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.110622-1506)
Motherboard:Asus P5Q Pro
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8500 @ 3.16GHz (2 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM DDR2 1200mhz
Video Card: BFG 285GTX OC 1gb ddr3
Sound: Creative Sound Blaster Xfi Fatal1ty (top of the line)
Monitor: Asus 27" 1920x1080 60hz


My main goal is to play Battlefield 3 on High to Highest settings, and I believe my weakest link is going to be CPU/Motherboard. This computer is strictly for games and school (no video editing) If anyone could recommend me the best Intel CPU that can meet my needs for the next couple of years please let me know.

I've looked at i5s and i7s so far, not sure if the i7 is going to be worth the extra $$ or not.

My budget is $300-$400, and that MUST include Mobo, CPU, and RAM; since DDR2 i guess is obsolete already.

I shop online

~Regards,
Shawn Colwell

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September 23, 2011 9:05:00 PM

Here are a couple Combos from Newegg that include the Intel i5-2500k which is considered the best mid range processor available.

If you did want to spend a bit more I would look towards the i7-2600k

EDIT: just realized I forgot to link the combos >_<

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N...
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September 23, 2011 10:15:11 PM

Nah, don't go over the i5 for gaming. The 285 is a reasonably powerful GPU so I agree you should look into a platform change now and update the GPU later. i5 if a great choice.
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September 24, 2011 4:16:11 PM

alright so i ended up ordering

Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$210-$15=$195

ASUS P8P67 LE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$125


CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$80

=$435 after tax and shipping


What do you all think? I could have saved more money by going with an $80 motherboard with a H61 or H67 chipset, but I had such a good experience with my P45 chipset that I thought the P67 was the way to go.

As far as the RAM I went with DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) instead of the standard DDR3 1333, was an extra $40 for that upgrade. Was 8gb the right amount to get? I hardly ever see my 4gb DDR2 sticks used to 100% and I figured later down the road i could just pop 2 more of the same sticks in and get 16gb. Should I have gotten a lesser speed and more RAM, or was this the right choice?

I'd like to submit something by tomorrow, thanks guys :) 
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September 24, 2011 4:32:53 PM

That's a good start, you can always upgrade the gpu later if need be. BF3 is going to run much better on a quad core.
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September 24, 2011 5:34:37 PM

In an interview with one of the developers for Bf3 to play on max settings they said you would require dual GTX 580 And the recommended settings of NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 or ATI RADEON 6950 are to run it at Medium settings. This will also be determined by AA, and screen resolution and size.
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September 24, 2011 6:06:15 PM

vigilante212 said:
In an interview with one of the developers for Bf3 to play on max settings they said you would require dual GTX 580 And the recommended settings of NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 or ATI RADEON 6950 are to run it at Medium settings. This will also be determined by AA, and screen resolution and size.


dont know if the video requirement will be that hefty, have you seen the benchmarks I linked? a gtx285 on highest settings 1080p should get you 34fps, which more than the eye can see so that is plenty. And the motherboard/cpu/RAM combo they used with that card to produce 35fps I believe is weaker than the 3 I'd be getting.

I wouldn't want everything on ultra, but High with low AA and AF and MAYBE medium settings on shadows.
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September 25, 2011 4:34:47 PM

invizo said:
dont know if the video requirement will be that hefty, have you seen the benchmarks I linked? a gtx285 on highest settings 1080p should get you 34fps, which more than the eye can see so that is plenty. And the motherboard/cpu/RAM combo they used with that card to produce 35fps I believe is weaker than the 3 I'd be getting.

I wouldn't want everything on ultra, but High with low AA and AF and MAYBE medium settings on shadows.



I can't read Russian, but I did look at the benchmarks. It doesn't say whether or not these were solo play benchmarks or multiplayer benchmarks. I can guarantee you if you tried playing a 64 player map with full people on a 285 at max you would be lucky to get 15 fps. Now I own a 285 and I don't plan on upgrading just yet so I'm stuck with it for BF3 so i hope it can run it at least halfway decent.
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September 26, 2011 2:21:31 PM

invizo said:
alright so i ended up ordering

Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$210-$15=$195

ASUS P8P67 LE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$125


CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$80

=$435 after tax and shipping


What do you all think? I could have saved more money by going with an $80 motherboard with a H61 or H67 chipset, but I had such a good experience with my P45 chipset that I thought the P67 was the way to go.

As far as the RAM I went with DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) instead of the standard DDR3 1333, was an extra $40 for that upgrade. Was 8gb the right amount to get? I hardly ever see my 4gb DDR2 sticks used to 100% and I figured later down the road i could just pop 2 more of the same sticks in and get 16gb. Should I have gotten a lesser speed and more RAM, or was this the right choice?

I'd like to submit something by tomorrow, thanks guys :) 



Naw, I think that you made a pretty solid choice. The only thing I would have changed is the i5 from a 2500 to a 2500k.

The P67 or Z68 series are really where it is at right now, so good call there.

Corsaire 8GB kit is excellent, you really won't notice much of if any performance increase from the higher speed, but it is nice anyhow. I highly doubt you will use all the RAM for any of the things you will be doing, but in the future you can always put more in.

Have fun!
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