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Would an Intel Core i3 suffice for now with gaming?

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February 24, 2012 12:30:54 PM

I'm in the process of building a rig for gaming and light stuff. My first plan for this rig would be:
Core i5 2500k 200$
Asrock z68 extreme3 gen3 140$
Msi Twin Frozr GTX 560 ti 250$
GSkill Ripjaws 8gb ddr3 1333 50$
Aerocool StrikeX 600w 60$

Then, I read reviews that the Asrock motherboard is not really that good. If I go for the i3 now which will cost about 100$ I could save for an ASUS P8Z68 V/GEN3 board(+60$ than the Asrock) and a better power supply like the corsair gs700/800. Also, I want to wait for the new Radeon 7890/7870 which would also be a tad higher than my price range rather than the 560ti.

I can however buy an Ivy Bridge in June or onwards if it will cost me only about 300$ to replace the i3. What I would like to know is that if the i3 would suffice in games so I can get better hardware other than the cpu of course.

Also, I have adjusted these prices in my country to standard USD.
February 24, 2012 1:02:05 PM

Actually the Asrock board is fine, it's lacking for fancy features but it makes up by having all the basics for a reasonable price, keep this setup, the overclocking you can get with the i5 is seriously considerable.
February 24, 2012 1:08:40 PM

For a budget board, that ASRock is an excellent choice. The i3 will work just fine for gaming, and in fact, beats most chips out there besides the higher end intel chips.

Keep in mind, you do not need that big of a power supply unless you plan to crossfire or SLI your vid cards. You could get away with a quality 600-650 watt PSU and save some money to put towards a better MB if you chose. Also the PSU in your original list of parts is of very questionable quality. Your PSU is one component that you do not want to cheap out on and I suggest you get a quality one from the start from either Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX. The new 7xxx series cards will also require less power due to the smaller GPU Chip architecture.
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Anonymous
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February 24, 2012 1:33:00 PM

to answer your posted Q, yes an i3 is fine for gaming:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

though looking at your specs, aside from the motherboard, you might want a "better budget" psu (if you are not getting a corsair) like:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i too have read a few less than desirable reviews about the asrock board. but since i have no experience with them i cannot judge. but as you can tell from my sig which vendor i might suggest . . :) 
a c 188 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2012 2:20:13 PM

Personally I think that the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 is a very nice board and offers a lot of value for its price. I have no problem advising people to look at it. If you really want another board in this price range and can deal with a Micro-ATX take a look at the Asus P8Z68-M Pro I used this board in a build and I really liked it. The Intel® Core™ i3-2100 will work well as a gaming processor but it isnt in the same class as the Intel Core i5-2500K.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
February 24, 2012 2:29:26 PM

actually, since i will be building this rig from scratch, i would like to be getting pcie 3.0 support. i have a budget of 250-300$ for a graphics card so waiting for kepler is a choice for me but if benchmarks on 7870/7890 are good i'd be getting them immediately and crossfire later on with another. when i do crossfire i'd be getting a new cpu than an i3. an ivy bridge or if the sandies dropped hard on prices i could consider them for a while too.

another question is that should i wait for the 7series motherboards from intel? or if a buy a z68/gen3 this would be enough? if you all notice the listed models of boards i'm considering are both sli/cfx compatible.
February 24, 2012 2:37:10 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Personally I think that the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 is a very nice board and offers a lot of value for its price. I have no problem advising people to look at it. If you really want another board in this price range and can deal with a Micro-ATX take a look at the Asus P8Z68-M Pro I used this board in a build and I really liked it. The Intel® Core™ i3-2100 will work well as a gaming processor but it isnt in the same class as the Intel Core i5-2500K.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


the problem with your remark is that you have no problem advising it. but have you used it? this really doesn't help me much unless you personally used it. i also have read the reviews by googling. some were good some were bad. like with bios v1.3 the max oc would be auto@4.2ghz. more than that is not available. also there occurs a great frequency of dead pci-e ports. that's why i'm hesitant to get this. since in my country after sales support usually end costing you more $.
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February 24, 2012 2:46:29 PM

The ASrock Ex 3 Gen 3 is a good MB. I have one with a 2500K@4.2 GHz in daily use and 8GB G.Skill 1600. It runs just fine since Oct.15, 2011. Running SLI'ed GTX 460's. I've had absolutly no problems with the MB and for the $$, it's one of a few which will run SLI or X-fire at that price. It also has 2 ea. USB 3.0 ports.
I've heard some people think the board is flimsy but I mic'ed it and it's 0.060 thick. It's PCIe 3.0 compatible.
2 older AMD socket ASUS MB's are 0.065" thick. That's about the thickness of a sheet of 20# printer paper. The board is a bit shorter than most ATX MB's and the front edge mounting holes don't have corresponding standoffs in a regular ATX case. Just hold your fingers under the 20+4 connector when plugging it in. Install RAM before mounting MB in case. All my RAM slots work and the USB ports work.
So, it's either a pretty good board or I got lucky.
Anonymous
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February 24, 2012 3:02:11 PM

rexus03 said:
actually, since i will be building this rig from scratch, i would like to be getting pcie 3.0 support. i have a budget of 250-300$ for a graphics card so waiting for kepler is a choice for me but if benchmarks on 7870/7890 are good i'd be getting them immediately and crossfire later on with another. when i do crossfire i'd be getting a new cpu than an i3. an ivy bridge or if the sandies dropped hard on prices i could consider them for a while too.

another question is that should i wait for the 7series motherboards from intel? or if a buy a z68/gen3 this would be enough? if you all notice the listed models of boards i'm considering are both sli/cfx compatible.


long story short: there is an argument that current generation (PCI-E 2.1) cards do not fully saturated the x16 lanes and there is still headroom for gen 3.0 cards.
whereas 2.1 X8 slots can bottleneck a x16 card the difference with a 3.0 x8 (effectively making it a 2.1 x16) will be desirable.

so yeah if your xfire/sli cards and have to deal with (8x,8x) slots. PCI-E 3.0 is worth it. and that tips things to an asrock over asus board ATM.
February 24, 2012 7:41:16 PM

any news on z77 chipset mobos? should i wait for it or settle with a z68/gen3(pci-e 3.0 compatible) instead?
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February 24, 2012 8:40:20 PM

Do not get that power supply!
!