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Building a gaming computer, need help with CPU.

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August 30, 2012 1:13:13 AM

So, as I'm sure many people have posted on forums and other sites asking, I'm looking for a good cpu in the $100 - $200 range. I don't have a ton of money to spend, and I know Intel is rather pricey. I'm not a "fan-boy" of either, as I've looked at the i5 3450 and it looks really nice. I'm just not sure if I should go with a Fx and overclock it (Pretty new at that) or with an Intel and just leave it be. I'd also love facts to support why, as that'd help a ton. I've been searching for close to a month now, and just.. uncertain of how to make up my mind. Oh, and yes I will have to get a new MB no matter what. Here's my current system;

Cpu; Athlon 64 x2 4450e
GPU; Gtx 550ti
PSU; 650W Antec
HD; 600gb hd (Upgrading soon, and adding an SSD0

I will be getting a new case, hd and ssd as mentioned, but later on down the road.

So, as for right now, I need suggestions as to which cpu I should possibly get. Benchmarks seem really different everywhere I go, so I'd like some human, non-fan boy input please. :) 

Also, I'm not above going to Phenom if they are better than the Fx, it's just hard since most aren't being made anymore so it's tricky to snag one. Particularly the 965s, or so i've been told. And I'm near a Micro center, so, apparently they have some awesome deals?
August 30, 2012 1:52:51 AM

Right now at micro center you can get a 2.8ghz Phenom II x4 on sale for $40. Doesn't come with cooler I believe, but you can probably pick up a pretty decent one for $12-$15. $55 is not bad for a quad core plus cooler isn't bad. It may not beat i5 in bench marks but it sure does beat i5's when it comes to value.
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August 30, 2012 1:53:04 AM

I went through this process recently, and came to one conclusion. I didnt want to have to fork out more money again in the near future because i didnt do things right in the first place. Now everyone has different aims and requirements. Heres an example. I noticed you have gone with a 550 ti. I got a 560 ti and wish i had gone for a bit more of a higher card. I use multiple monitors ect and even though the card is fine I wish i had the option to expand a bit more. Now lets use that analogy on your CPU set up. Given that with the mobo it is really the back bone of your build you dont want to have to upgrade again soon. Remember the law of dimishing returns. When upgrade time comes you will need to pay up a lot for not a huge amount of performance increase so it may be worth going for a higher mark straight away. I use a i5 3570k on a Asrock Z77 board. It can handle everything thats on the way and has the ability to overclock once it isnt quiet up to the task. I know the i5 might be just a tad over your budget, but it may be worth it in the long run. Thats just what I have found from my first build experience.
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August 30, 2012 2:04:59 AM

Burgies said:
I went through this process recently, and came to one conclusion. I didnt want to have to fork out more money again in the near future because i didnt do things right in the first place. Now everyone has different aims and requirements. Heres an example. I noticed you have gone with a 550 ti. I got a 560 ti and wish i had gone for a bit more of a higher card. I use multiple monitors ect and even though the card is fine I wish i had the option to expand a bit more. Now lets use that analogy on your CPU set up. Given that with the mobo it is really the back bone of your build you dont want to have to upgrade again soon. Remember the law of dimishing returns. When upgrade time comes you will need to pay up a lot for not a huge amount of performance increase so it may be worth going for a higher mark straight away. I use a i5 3570k on a Asrock Z77 board. It can handle everything thats on the way and has the ability to overclock once it isnt quiet up to the task. I know the i5 might be just a tad over your budget, but it may be worth it in the long run. Thats just what I have found from my first build experience.


Thanks for the info. That cpu is.. pretty cheap too, at MC anyway. $189. I'm mainly looking for something that will set games out at high. I know my current gpu is kinda crap, but, soon down the road I plan to upgrade it. So it's not that much of a concern to me. But, thank you. From what I gather, at least from your post, this is one of the top cpu's I may get. Especially considering the price.
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August 30, 2012 2:09:47 AM

Yeah, the only thing above it really is the i7, with hyperthreading, which most games dont utilise so theres no point. Im sure most users will tell you the i5 is a great gaming CPU, and it you get a ivy bridge mobo you arent going to need to upgrade for a while. The CPU Shafe pointed out above will do, but you may end up bottlenecking a better GPU if you upgrade that later. If this is the case and you decide to upgrade, then you will be paying up big time for .6ghz more power, before OCing.

If this is your first build you may get the bug of just upgrading what you can when you can, i know this is whats happened with me. Luckily i got a good cpu and mobo so i havent thought about changing them at all.
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August 30, 2012 2:12:57 AM

Im normally biast and stick with intel but this is whats looks best right now for that price(and more actually).

AMD FX 8150 Black Edition
3.6/4.2GHz
125W
8MB total dedicated L2 cache
8MB L3 cache
socket AM3+
DDR3-1866MHz support and Quad Channel DDR3

My reason being: Intel's new ivy bridge I7 (8 core) CPUs are closer to $300, and with this you will be able to OC to 4,2 Ghz. This CPUs disadvantage compared to ivy bridge is that it uses more power, and im not sure what its integrated graphics are like, but im assuming you would rather use your graphics card anyways.

Anyways, its about $189 on amazon. I don't have a micro center anywhere near me so i dont know much about them, i have heard (from a reliable source, not just forums) that they actually sell at a loss some times in order to get people to come in and buy other things they don't really need but is cheap and tempting so they end up spending more than they saved thus making it profitable to sell the CPU at a loss.

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August 30, 2012 2:43:09 AM

Hm. So it's between the 8150, or the 3570k, then? I've been to several places like that, and.. pretty much learned to stay firm in not buying what I didn't intend to buy. Plus, taking only what I intend to spend will help too lol.

But, yeah. I'm really only using it for gaming right now, but in the future I do plan to do some game commentary. Of course, that means rendering videos, using Fraps.. that's where the 8-core would shine, definitely.
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August 30, 2012 3:02:29 AM

From what I hear the phenom II 965 BE blows the 8150 out of the water. I personally am very disappointed with the performance of the FX series processors(I own an FX4170, upgrading to the phenom II 965 BE and overclocking to around 4.1 ghz) Plus the phenom is only 110$ on newegg :)  so you could use the other 60$ you saved to buy cooling to over clock it even more >:D 
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August 30, 2012 3:41:06 AM

I'll certainly keep that in mind. :)  I've seen some benchmarks that say that, then others say the opposite. If I only had the money to try both.. lol I'm rather picky when it comes to this, I suppose. Don't want to pick something when I could have got something x amount of times better after seeing more research, ya know?
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August 30, 2012 3:43:31 AM

Thats why I recommend and am more than happy with my i5, i know theres nothing really better than it for gaming, its a decent price, obviously well supported and the 'K' edition can be overclocked.
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