Best CPU around $80 for gaming?

Recently, I bought a Nvidia GTX 560 SE so I could play better games like Battlefield 3 and not have FPS issues, however I ran into an issue of bottle-necking and carelessly forgot to buy a CPU to keep up with the GPU, I was wondering what is a good CPU to match the performance of the GTX 560 SE that is around $80 USD.

System Specs:
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Memory: 4096MB RAM
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ (2 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Motherboard: Acer OEM EM61SM/EM61PM AM2
Graphics Card: Zotac GTX 560SE 1GB 192 Bit DDR5 ZT-50901-10M
Power Supply: Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus RS500-PCARD3 500-Watt
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    Not much turns up about this board so I would only consider a Phenom 1 era cpu but if you are able to get it tested maybe a Phenom 2 could work but uncertain. A bios update might be all that is needed for support bust Acer doesn't provide much support for it's boards. I am in a similar situation about a much older Acer board.

    For general compatibility a 65w E model Phenom 1 doesn't use much power and likely runs cooler than the cpu that you have but they are rare. They often run at 1.8-2.1ghz range including a handful of quad core models while there are some Tri core ones as well. I got a 8250e two years back and it proved to be a very cool running cpu while overclocking like mad on a good board.

    Only go for the B3 models as they work almost the same as Phenom 2.
  2. So could you provide any links to some of the CPUs that you suggest that would be really helpful, I've seen that most games require a Quad Core Processor that runs at 2.6GHz so if I could find something like that or close enough it would be perfect.
  3. You would have more options by upgrading to an AM3/3+ motherboard but then that would mean upgrading to DDR3 as well.
  4. Upgrading the board is the best choice in the long run and it is a lot less frustrating than trying to figure out what the board supports then chasing after a cpu that likely is hard to get.
  5. The only problem is that I don't have the money right now to buy and AM3/AM3+ board, then an AM3+ CPU and then also DDR3 memory, I'll be excited when I can buy them. However for now all I can do is upgrade my CPU and I need to know whats the best I can do with what I have.
  6. I suspect your motherboard is an OEM ECS MCP61-chipset. A 95w AM3 Deneb is quite likely to work BUT there are no guarantees. The 95w AthlonII Propus X4s and Rana X3s are a good possibility, too.

    I'm running a PhII 925 X4 on my MCP61-chipset (it's an old HP with Vista OS).

    I also suspect 80w PhII X2s would work nicely with the side benefit of higher stock clocks


    Here is an AMD Phenom II X4 840 3.2 GHz Quad

    It's actually a Propus (no L3 cache) - not sure why AMD did that ...
  7. the best you could do is athlon 64x2 5600+ its the only one that wont require a mobo upgrade. try to hunt for it but its not going to be easy
  8. So something like a Phenom X4 9750 wouldn't work?
  9. It might work or it might not.You don't really want to spend all your money on a CPU and then find out that your motherboard doesnt support it.
    If you REALLY need a new CPU that this here is pretty good and it might work on your motherboard but first you need a bios update.
    It's almost the same chip as the Phenom II X4 840.The only difference is it will overclock a bit less and will perform 3% worse.
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