So I'm looking to replace my Inspiron 531 (AMD Athalon 64 x2 5000+). Was bought for me in college and I'm impressed to say it still does ok. However, I am ready for an upgrade and some more power without breaking the bank. Current essential components are
ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C9D-8GAB
I'm gonna keep the current graphics card (PNY GTS 250), case, and PUS (650W upgrade from a couple years ago) for now. At least until Christmas time where I might get lucky I will be using the computer for MMOs (WoW, GW2, etc.) as well as FRAPs recording and editing. My heaviest load would probably be something like MMO, FRAPs, and iTunes +/- chrome.
I've also been eyeing the Ivy Bridge line, specifically the i5-3450, which runs about $195.
Looking at the gaming hierarchy chart the processors are only 1 tier apart which I know is negligible. My question is will the i3 be outdated significantly sooner than the i5 (would love to have this rig last 5 years as well) and will I ever put the processor under enough load to miss the extra two cores from the i5? Any info or other processor suggestions are much appreciated.
Since you are looking at a non-overclockable (non-K) CPU, you could save ~$30 by using an h77-based motherboard instead.
As for whether or not the extra cores on i5 are going to be worth it, this depends on what software you use, how much multi-tasking you usually do and how the stuff you use might evolve over the next couple of years. I often do a fair bit of multitasking so in my case, i5 would be a safe bet.
If you decide to go i3, you might want to consider the recently launched Ivy Bridge i3-32xx.
At the moment, my heaviest multitasking will probably involve running an MMO, FRAPS, iTunes, and google chrome with a few tabs open.
Yeah I have considered the AMD FX4100 but its actually a tier below the i3 in gaming performance, even with more clock speed and cores. Since gaming is my top priority I want to maximize performance and frame rate while multitasking as stated.
Don't base your decisions off of just one chart. I can guarantee you will use more than 2 cores while playing a game and recording. I would look up more information. The FX4100 is definitely the best choice for gaming at your price point.