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Best CPU around $80 for gaming?

Last response: in CPUs
September 3, 2012 3:03:32 AM

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

More about : cpu gaming

a b à CPUs
September 3, 2012 3:11:59 AM

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.
September 3, 2012 3:24:10 AM

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.
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a c 101 à CPUs
September 3, 2012 3:46:10 AM

You would have more options by upgrading to an AM3/3+ motherboard but then that would mean upgrading to DDR3 as well.
a b à CPUs
September 3, 2012 1:26:57 PM

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.
September 3, 2012 2:47:05 PM

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.
a c 94 à CPUs
September 3, 2012 3:23:49 PM

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 ...
a b à CPUs
September 3, 2012 4:01:03 PM

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
a b à CPUs
September 3, 2012 4:15:47 PM

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.