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Best CPU on a tight budget?

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March 16, 2012 5:49:15 PM

Im upgrading my cpu but i need suggestions for the best one for the money. Although i want a 2500k i probably wont be able to afford it so i need suggestions that are not that, so ill know what im going to get if i cant get the money for a 2500k. I also have to buy a new motherboard so thats another down side to the 2500k, if i wanna take advantage of it i have to spend another 100-120$ for the motherboard. My budget would probably be around 120-150$ give or take a little (for the cpu, Ill buy the motherboard later on). Also the gpu i have is a XFX Radeon HD6770 I cant afford a better one at the moment so i would prefer for that to be the bottleneck instead of having it be my cpu(current one Celeron Dual Core e3400) Also number one priority is gaming, I realize i wont be able to play bf3 on ultra and i dont care if i have to play on low to get a good steady framerate.

Thanks in advanced for any help!

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a c 82 V Motherboard
March 16, 2012 7:41:08 PM

Just go to Newegg and look at CPU's in your price range. There is no magic cpu that is awesome and at a way lower price than it should be, they are all priced in accordance with their performance. Sometimes you can find a great deal on one but not too often.
Also see if you have a frye's or mircocenter near you. They often have even better prices than newegg but usually only for in store pickup. IE - you have to go to the store and buy it there.
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a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 16, 2012 8:08:50 PM

Quote:
"I also have to buy a new motherboard so thats another down side to the 2500k, if i wanna take advantage of it i have to spend another 100-120$ for the motherboard."


For those suggesting an i3, what good is a CPU when he doesn't have the motherboard for it?



I have a Core i3-2100 in my transition to the 2500k/2600k (or ivy bridge when it comes out) on a Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P, and have been pleased with it's performance. I knew it wasn't going to blow socks off anything, but it was only like $120 at the time I got it and does everything I need (I don't game much and usually the FEAR/Bioshock series and some CoD MW2 when I do). Also runs nice and cool (24C on an H50, 40C under load). Might consider looking that way.

Another way to look is the G series Pentiums. You can get one and a cheap ass mobo and stay rather close to $150, then do another upgrade later.

Some links to newegg:

Mobos, socket 1155, lowest price first
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Cheapest is a Biostar: $50 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G series socket 1155, like a G620, nothing to write home about but will still outperform the E3400, and gives you an extra upgradeability step: $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will have to get DDR3 though, but it's all dirt cheap: $23 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Since you aren't going to OC the CPU, this will suffice (and it's G.Skill)

Or Mushkin, same price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $143

Then you have the ability to do a 3 step upgrade process. Get the 2500k, it will go on this mobo, or upgrade the RAM, or upgrade the mobo and use the 620 til you get the 2500k or reverse that, or split it down the middle, etc etc. Definately the cheapest way to boost performance and have the right 'series' mobo/RAM/CPU you need to do a slow upgrade process.

That being said, since you don't have a mobo now, I really wouldn't dump money into a Core2Duo or Quad 'for the time being'. Put the money for the CPU aside and you'll be that much closer. If you really want something and don't want to wait, the Q6600 is one of the best C2Q made and has a nice overclock-ability to it. I had a Q8200 before my current rig and though they weren't made for OCing, I was able to get to 3.1GHz (from 2.33 stock) but for everyday tasks, it ran fine (even did some gaming of aforementioned games with it).

What motherboard are you looking to use if you do get a new socket 775 CPU? Some of the chipsets in the 775 series were quirky. I had an abit AW8MAX that would take Celerons, P4 and P4D CPUs but wouldn't touch Core 2 series because of TDP, so you'll want to double check that the chipset on your 775 will take a better CPU. You can find out what chipset you have on google for your board, then go here, look up the chipset and find all the compatible CPUs (double check on the manufacturers site to make sure they released BIOS support for the CPU):

http:// ark.intel.com

Good luck, hope it helps...
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March 17, 2012 5:28:01 AM

Best answer selected by 8bitloser.
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March 17, 2012 5:36:35 AM

scottiemedic said:
Quote:
"I also have to buy a new motherboard so thats another down side to the 2500k, if i wanna take advantage of it i have to spend another 100-120$ for the motherboard."


For those suggesting an i3, what good is a CPU when he doesn't have the motherboard for it?



I have a Core i3-2100 in my transition to the 2500k/2600k (or ivy bridge when it comes out) on a Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P, and have been pleased with it's performance. I knew it wasn't going to blow socks off anything, but it was only like $120 at the time I got it and does everything I need (I don't game much and usually the FEAR/Bioshock series and some CoD MW2 when I do). Also runs nice and cool (24C on an H50, 40C under load). Might consider looking that way.

Another way to look is the G series Pentiums. You can get one and a cheap ass mobo and stay rather close to $150, then do another upgrade later.

Some links to newegg:

Mobos, socket 1155, lowest price first
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Cheapest is a Biostar: $50 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G series socket 1155, like a G620, nothing to write home about but will still outperform the E3400, and gives you an extra upgradeability step: $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will have to get DDR3 though, but it's all dirt cheap: $23 shipped
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Since you aren't going to OC the CPU, this will suffice (and it's G.Skill)

Or Mushkin, same price:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $143

Then you have the ability to do a 3 step upgrade process. Get the 2500k, it will go on this mobo, or upgrade the RAM, or upgrade the mobo and use the 620 til you get the 2500k or reverse that, or split it down the middle, etc etc. Definately the cheapest way to boost performance and have the right 'series' mobo/RAM/CPU you need to do a slow upgrade process.

That being said, since you don't have a mobo now, I really wouldn't dump money into a Core2Duo or Quad 'for the time being'. Put the money for the CPU aside and you'll be that much closer. If you really want something and don't want to wait, the Q6600 is one of the best C2Q made and has a nice overclock-ability to it. I had a Q8200 before my current rig and though they weren't made for OCing, I was able to get to 3.1GHz (from 2.33 stock) but for everyday tasks, it ran fine (even did some gaming of aforementioned games with it).

What motherboard are you looking to use if you do get a new socket 775 CPU? Some of the chipsets in the 775 series were quirky. I had an abit AW8MAX that would take Celerons, P4 and P4D CPUs but wouldn't touch Core 2 series because of TDP, so you'll want to double check that the chipset on your 775 will take a better CPU. You can find out what chipset you have on google for your board, then go here, look up the chipset and find all the compatible CPUs (double check on the manufacturers site to make sure they released BIOS support for the CPU):

http:// ark.intel.com

Good luck, hope it helps...

Thanks alot for putting a lot of time into helping me! My idea right now is to probably get a good motherboard and the ram, then just hard core save for a 2500k especially if Ivy bridge comes out before the end of April (the 26th, my birthday) and it lowers their price. I just dont want to dump more money into a dual core as where mine is carrying me along for now. Though what do you think a great but affordable motherboard would be for the 2500k?
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a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 17, 2012 4:44:29 PM

I really like my Gigabyte, but you have to first take inventory of what you need. Do you need RAID, USB 3, how many PCI-e slots, etc etc and then start filtering on newegg according to what you need and see what options that gives you. Then you can make sacrifices from there (you get say Firewire, but no fron panel USB 3, etc).

I recommend the Gigabyte or ASUS boards since they have longevity and the money to implement new technologies in their boards, but I know a lot of other people like ASRock.

Start with what you need and then post your top 2 or 3 results and let people criticize them after that to help you narrow it down further.
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