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What older Intel CPUS (like from 2009) can still "most" games

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February 5, 2012 2:55:26 AM

I'm trying to find a used computer on Craigslist for dirt cheap I'm talking like $250 or less for the tower. Basically, my goal is to get a decent case, decent power supply, decent mobo, decent memory, decent CPU and a decent Hard Drive with Windows already on it. I'll then add the best video card I can get for it, for around say $70 or so. Or, maybe it will come with a relatively decent video card.


But, I'm talking about Intel CPU's before they started with the i5 and i7's and all that. The ones that start with E and 4 more numbers. Or the ones that start with a Q and 4 numbers or something like that.
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February 5, 2012 2:56:35 AM

Core 2 quad (Q9xxx are still great cpu's) (consider a q6600 and overclock it), core 2 duo (look for e8xxx)
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February 5, 2012 3:48:02 AM

My current PC that I built back in 2008 with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 (see below) is still quite capable of playing games. The Phenom II 955 BE is a rough equivalent (perhaps slightly more powerful than a Q9450).

I have an older Core 2 Duo E6600 built back in 2006 (currently using as a HTPC) with a nVidia 9600GT that should to be able to play most 2010 games at medium quality. Since it's purpose is to play movies that last game I played on it was Mass Effects 2 (a mix of medium & high).
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February 5, 2012 3:55:36 AM

I have a E8400 with a nVidia GTX 560ti 448 core. I can play Crysis on max settings on 1920 x 1200 resolution and I get (literally) 30 FPS. Its a good processor, even by today's standards.
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February 5, 2012 4:59:51 AM

For a video card, you could try getting an older model like a Radeon 4870 or 4890 or GTX 275 or 280. They're still great for mid-range gaming and they can often be had for cheaper than similarly performing new cards. They are listed as similarly performing to the Radeon 5770, 5830, 6770, and 6790.

I'll also vouch for the Q6600 and E8xxx CPUs.

The GTX 560 TI 448 core is not a cheap card. It is pretty expensive and way over the budget proposed by LarryJones1.
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February 5, 2012 5:07:18 AM

I wasn't suggesting it, I was simply stating that is what I have and the performance I get from it. :) 
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February 5, 2012 5:22:03 AM

I've been running my C2D e6850 for the past 4 years and it has handled everything, match it with a decent GPU...
once i learned about FSB and OCing these chips are the best at it! (for how old they are)
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February 5, 2012 5:25:34 AM

Ohmybad said:
I've been running my C2D e6850 for the past 4 years and it has handled everything, match it with a decent GPU...
once i learned about FSB and OCing these chips are the best at it! (for how old they are)

I had a lenovo slim box before with a radeon 5450 and e8400 and it was pretty good lol.
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February 5, 2012 4:58:49 PM

amuffin said:
I had a lenovo slim box before with a radeon 5450 and e8400 and it was pretty good lol.


Radeon 5450? that's roughly equal to Intel's HD 3000, not worth getting for gaming since it could fail with most modern titles even at minimum resolutions/settings.

What graphics is good will depend entirely on what games are being played. New games should not be played on something like the 5450 or even the 6450. New games would be best with at least something like 5600/6600/4700 cards to be played. Nvidia's GT 250 or better is also just as good, but new low end Nvidia cards aren't very good for their prices.

Older games aren't so demanding so slower graphics would be okay. For example, even the old integrated Intel GMA 950 is enough for games like Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 at low settings and it's from around 2006 or 2007.

What games do you intend to play?

EDIT: here's a link to the latest graphics card hierarchy chart posted by Tom's last month:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

That will show you how each card out there today (and many integrated solutions) stack up against each other in performance.
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February 5, 2012 7:54:55 PM

blazorthon said:
Radeon 5450? that's roughly equal to Intel's HD 3000, not worth getting for gaming since it could fail with most modern titles even at minimum resolutions/settings.

What graphics is good will depend entirely on what games are being played. New games should not be played on something like the 5450 or even the 6450. New games would be best with at least something like 5600/6600/4700 cards to be played. Nvidia's GT 250 or better is also just as good, but new low end Nvidia cards aren't very good for their prices.

Older games aren't so demanding so slower graphics would be okay. For example, even the old integrated Intel GMA 950 is enough for games like Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 at low settings and it's from around 2006 or 2007.

What games do you intend to play?

EDIT: here's a link to the latest graphics card hierarchy chart posted by Tom's last month:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

That will show you how each card out there today (and many integrated solutions) stack up against each other in performance.

I was able to play portal and killing floor @60fps and at 1080P with some lowered details :sol: 
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February 5, 2012 8:01:11 PM

TBH i recommend a HD6670 , they don't use power connectors from the power supply, only use the pci-e for power.
And it can play most games on medium settings fine.
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February 5, 2012 8:20:20 PM

amuffin said:
I was able to play portal and killing floor @60fps and at 1080P with some lowered details :sol: 


Those aren't very demanding titles. You could probably also play Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 with similar results. Try playing Crisis 2, BF3, etc. and see how well it goes.
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February 5, 2012 8:21:51 PM

blazorthon said:
Those aren't very demanding titles. You could probably also play Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 with similar results. Try playing Crisis 2, BF3, etc. and see how well it goes.

That is why I don't play games on my 5450, and have 2 560ti's. I use that 5450 in my hackintosh build.
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February 5, 2012 8:29:05 PM

amuffin said:
That is why I don't play games on my 5450, and have 2 560ti's. I use that 5450 in my hackintosh build.


Then what was the point of mentioning it without saying something that doesn't imply it's a fast card? Wasn't the whole point of the video card in this machine to be a decent card for around $70, definitely not something like the 5450? Even the 6450 would be a better option, it's around twice as fast as the 5450, not that I'd recommend the 6450 either.
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February 5, 2012 9:22:49 PM

blazorthon said:
Then what was the point of mentioning it without saying something that doesn't imply it's a fast card? Wasn't the whole point of the video card in this machine to be a decent card for around $70, definitely not something like the 5450? Even the 6450 would be a better option, it's around twice as fast as the 5450, not that I'd recommend the 6450 either.

Because it is good enough to play older games with lower details. It is only $15.
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February 5, 2012 9:30:18 PM

amuffin said:
Because it is good enough to play older games with lower details. It is only $15.


You should have mentioned it's limitations since we still don't know what games and such this machine is intended to run and the budget for the graphics is $70... Might as well get something better than the 5450 with that kind of budget. If we wanted to go cheap that much then a GT 240 or 4670 would have been a better choice. Newegg.com had a GT 240 going for $20 last week and it came with some FPS game too, the GT 240 is something like 3 or 4 times faster than a 5450.
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February 6, 2012 11:20:29 AM

Core 2 Quads are routhly equivalent to Phenom II's, especially the later 8000/9000 series. So while they are CPU bottlenecks, you can still chug out decent framerates out of them.

Its kind of sad AMD still doesn't have anything that can beat CPU's that came out in 2007/2008...
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February 6, 2012 3:51:06 PM

Well since the Intel® Core™ i7-920 was launched in Q4/08 and you can still get some great performance out of it I would have say that the 1st generation Intel Core i7 processors would.

On the other hand the guy that I gave my old Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 to is complaining that it can't run some newer games it appears that the cut off point to somewhere around a 2.6GHz or higher in the Intel Core 2 Duo family.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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February 6, 2012 4:04:27 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Well since the Intel® Core™ i7-920 was launched in Q4/08 and you can still get some great performance out of it I would have say that the 1st generation Intel Core i7 processors would.

On the other hand the guy that I gave my old Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 to is complaining that it can't run some newer games it appears that the cut off point to somewhere around a 2.6GHz or higher in the Intel Core 2 Duo family.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


Point taken, but a Sandy Bridge i5 will beat the Nehalem i7s in gaming at both stock speeds and overclocked with the same cooler while using less power and being a more future-proof platform.

I think a Core 2 duo/quad would be the best option here after a good overclock, no overclock then an LGA 1155 Pentium might be better. @ Christian Wood, if your friend overclocks that e6400 then it might be a lot better. The graphics/RAM might also be problematic, not enough info is provided to assume it's the CPU. Besides, we're looking more at the e8xxxs instead of e6xxxs.
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