For gaming on a tight budget, you're probably better off getting the i3 and a better GPU with that extra $100.
Exactly. This is a much better investment of the money since games are GPU-intensive rather than CPU-intensive.
geekapproved wrote :
Every gamer kid on this forum is going to tel you to spend the $100 on the i5 because it's not their money.
Buy what you can afford, don't worry about what anybody else thinks.
It's pretty true, but there's quite a lot of reasoning behind it. 2nd generation dual core or 3rd generation quad core? I am building a gaming PC soon, I didn't think twice about ordering an i3. It's not like we're telling him to buy i7, that'd be what you're talking about.
On a budget, there's actually no good reasoning behind buying the i5 over i3. You won't see a difference/significant difference (maybe a few FPS) between the i3 and i5 because the games are affected more by the GPU capabilities. I ran an i3-2120 and i5-2500K with a 560Ti, but the framerates were identical because my GPU limited me at 1920x1080.
True but if he's watching youtube too or has other accounts logged in on the PC.
Seems a little difficult to handle all of that while gaming
The i3 is enough to run some complex codes, and really streaming won't tax the CPU too much, so he'd be running at about 50% with videos and gaming (would be my guess). The Sandy Bridge architecture is very efficient when it comes to gaming and some video stuff - it's like Intel built their chips around those uses.
The only taxing process out of the ones you listed is the photo editing software, and why leave it open during gaming? If you only have one monitor, you physically cannot do any of these at the same time as you game.
Also, web browsing does not use a significant amount of CPU power since it only handles info coming and going - once the page is loaded, it's finished.
Well depends how much wiggle room you have, obviously the i5 and in my liking specificlly the I5 3570k, gives better over all performance and overclocking capeabilities and is really good in more cpu type games. But if your a moderate gamer playing on settings that aren't ultra than for the most part an I3 will satisfy you paried with something like a gtx460. If your build is not for gaming and you want to save then the I3 will satisfy you. between the ivy and sandy bridge cpu's from intel arent that diffrent overall. Sure the Ivy models have slight improvments but the socket and architecture is the same so again if saving money is what you want the sandy bridge model will please you.
I'd only get an i3 if I was prepared to only have 1-2 applications opened at a time, I wouldn't get it if you want to game and also leave MSN and facebook open in the background, or maybe even some photo editing software. I always found myself doing that.
I dont know about photo editting but my friend has an i3 and it performs all these task pretty well. Sure not as good as an i5 but still gets the job done.
Get a better GPU, i3's are gaming cpu's too. Hell, the pentium g630 is comparable to an i5-3550 if you aren't going to make use of more than 2 cores at a time. The i3 has hyper threading too, so voicechat programs will run nicely in the background.