The i5 is a strong powerhouse, you could get it, a 4 gigs of ram, a cheaper motherboard and case to help net you a cheap graphics card. You can't go wrong with an i5 and it boasts great performance but as a budget pc, AMD has the upper hand. Quad core reigns supreme right now in gaming but the i3s are very good too. Whatever you decide, Amd = budget cpu, intel = powerhouse. If you're gonna be strict on a budget, amd, if you can price in an intel, go for that IF you're gonna get a discreet graphics card. (Intel graphics are a joke and don't count for more than powering a desktops display) My 2c.