So, building my first budget gaming rig! Heres the thing, I know that I want to eventually upgrade to i5 2500k, or maybe even the 2600k if I'm really lucky! Anyway, how does the i3 compare to the Phenom? Half the cores, is it noticable? Should I get the i3 and upgrade ti i5 as my first upgrade, or get the Phenom, upgrade my GPU as the first upgrade, then over the space of a year upgrade the mobo and cpu? Tell me what you guys think!
i3, hands down. For performance today, as well as compatibility with something as strong as say an i7-3770k. I'm running BF3, Crysis, GW2, Skyrim, as well as other, less demanding games like TF2 and CS:GO, and I'm playing everything on ultra. You just need an adequate graphics card, like I got the GTX 660, which is great.
really depends on how you want to go about your upgrades. The phenoms are better in the short run if you don't want to upgrade cpu for a couple of years but the upping to the i5s will be much easier on a motherboard with an i3 since they are compatible.
The 2 cores in the i3 are generally as good or better than the phenoms in games. Its pretty even between them from game to game depending on how well the game uses more than 2 cores. Games coming out are becoming more threaded so the phenom will win in the long run but the waiting is pointless if you are upgrading to an i5 within the next year or so.
If your gpu is weak, it might be best to just upgrade that to as good as possible and pair it with the phenom and upgrading everything in 3 years or so but if you have the money to upgrade then the i3's upgrade path is much better as of now.