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I3 vs i5

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November 16, 2012 3:21:19 PM

Ok, so I’m building a pc on a budget and can’t decide which cpu to get. I know the i5 is leagues ahead of the i3; however, I don’t plan on doing a lot of cpu intensive things. I will most likely be playing a lot of games, and doing day to day browsing and work. This is why I can’t decide. I would like a nicer graphics card seeing as that is what I will be doing most of the time and by getting an i3 some cash will be freed up. But, I just don’t know if an i3 is going to cut it in terms of speed for these three tasks. Could anybody clear the air, and tell me the real benefits of getting an i5 over an i3 when all I’m doing is gaming, work, and browsing?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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November 16, 2012 3:21:24 PM

Oh, and the i3 and i5's I am talking about are the 3220 and 3570k.
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November 16, 2012 4:48:05 PM

To answer your question there are a couple things that are important to understand. First of all the most demanding thing that you state that you are going to be doing is gaming. When gaming you about 80% of the performance will come from the video card card. However it is possible for a processor to bottleneck the performance of the video card.

Also there are games that will use 3 or even more cores for their normal operations. So while it is possible to be run on an dual core processor you may not get all the performance that you would like with an Intel® Core™ i3 or Intel Pentium® processors.

In the end it really is based off the game and video card and even how much of a budget that you have. If you have a budget of $350 for CPU and GPU you are going to have to go with an Intel Core i3-3220 and a card like a GeForce GTX 660.
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November 16, 2012 5:03:48 PM

I would not recommend the i3 3220, simply because it is a dual-core with HT and not an actual quad core processor (which is always preferred over a hyper-threaded dual-core processor). Also, it is not ideal for overclocking like the i5 3570K CPU is.

Personally, if you do not have the money for the Intel i5 3570K processor, I believe you should save for it.

I recently purchased an Intel Core i5 3570K (though I could have chosen the i7 3770K if I wanted), and will be installing it into my computer, along with my other components, tonight. It is a great processor with excellent reviews; in fact, it is placed in the same category as the Intel i7 3770K in terms of benchmark results.

Do what you want, but I would recommend saving for the i5 3570K.
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November 16, 2012 5:21:54 PM

At the moment I can either go with an i3 with a gtx 660, or an i5 with a gtx 560. I was originally planning on going with the i5, however, I thought about the performance in gaming I would get with the two options and the i3 with the gtx 660 would definitely do much better. Also, I was thinking about the release of the new Intel chips next year. Since we’re pretty close I was wondering if I should maybe go with an i3 now, and then upgrade my motherboard and cpu once it comes out. But on the other hand, if I go with the i5 option, I don’t get that good of a gaming system, but when the new chips come out I won’t have the urge to upgrade and could instead upgrade my gpu to a new 700 series card which would be much simpler to do. In the end, I really don’t know. I keep going between both options, but right now I think I’ll go with the i5.

If more people could post their opinions that would be great.
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November 16, 2012 5:24:11 PM

I would lean more towards the 3570K as it's a chip that will perform greatly for years to come.

Someone may correct me if I am wrong but I think video cards depreciate faster than CPU's.
For this reasonI would suggest getting a previous generations high end over a new gen medium to low end.

For example I just bought myself a Zotac AMP edition GTX580 for 250$ cash.
Maybe it's used but it works wonderfully.

If that is too expensive, there are plenty of good deals on GTX560Ti's
It's all about hunting and comparing what gives the best bang for the buck.
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November 17, 2012 10:16:29 AM

I've decided on the i5. Thanks for all the help!
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November 24, 2012 8:16:52 AM

Best answer selected by Raxbar.
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