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CPU Advice for $700 Gaming Build

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March 16, 2012 11:46:11 PM

Hello, first off I wanna say this website is great. I've gotten a lot of useful information from this forum and have been a lurker for awhile. I'm currently a broke college student who up until this point has predominantly done his gaming on consoles, but after I found out about the May 15 release date for Diablo 3 I now would like to invest in a gaming PC. I know very little, but am aware that most builds start with the CPU. I've read good things about the Intel i5 2500k, but fear that in order to experience the full potential of this processor I would go over my budget(I do not want overpay and just end up bottlenecking my hardware's potential). I wouldn't mind bumping my budget to $800, but that would be my absolute limit and I would like to avoid it if at all possible. I guess my question is, which CPUs would some of y'all recommend for a budget such as mine with gaming in mind? Is it wishful thinking to want to use the Intel i5 2500k with my budget? I feel like once I decide on a CPU I will be able to come up with a "rough draft" build that I can later present on the Systems forum and get everything squared away.

Useful Information:
- i will not need to purchase a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers. i will only need the case, everything inside it, and the OS
- Starcraft 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, & Star Wars: The Old Republic are a couple other games I would like to play
- it also might be worth mentioning that I'm not expecting to be able to play these games on "ultra" settings; I just would like to play these games smoothly, online with no hiccups on decent settings(if that's possible...i wouldn't know, because I'm a total noob) ;) 

Any help is greatly appreciated! :)  If I've left out any information that would be useful just ask. Thanks!
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March 16, 2012 11:57:10 PM

The 2500K will stretch your budget; save the cpu selection for last. You may need to go with the 2400 and use the savings for the video card. Get a cheap case with free shipping (newegg has at least a dozen cases with this bonus) and get a 500w corsair power supply to go with it. It's the cheaper brand recommended right now, as it comes with a rebate. The 6850 or 6870 are good budget cards, and I recommend sapphire.
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March 17, 2012 12:08:43 AM

I just got an MSI Twin Frozr II 6870 for 180 on Amazon. For 700 I would just do the i3 2120, performs solid for everything you want to do.
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March 17, 2012 12:10:30 AM

Starcraft II is a CPU-heavy game because there are a LOT of arithmetic calculations it must do, among others.

With 700 dollars you won't get much. However the CPU is the backbone of a gaming PC so I would still invest into a high-end i3 or a low-end i5, which is around 150-ish.

It doesn't leave you much but it will get you a very nice processor.
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a b à CPUs
March 17, 2012 12:22:46 AM
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March 17, 2012 2:44:12 AM

if the build is mainly for diablo and i3 CPU may be a great bet. Pair that with a 7770 and maybe a 500w PSU and a good solid 120-140 dollar mobo, 8gb of 1333 or 1600 ram. Total build should be 600-700 dollars.
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March 17, 2012 2:57:06 AM

Check my $800 build. i5 2400 + HD7850.
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March 26, 2012 5:28:00 AM

All the responses were great, thank you.
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March 26, 2012 5:28:37 AM

Best answer selected by breakout89.
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