I3 vs i5 for light gaming and recreational use

Hey folks, got a few questions regarding the i3's and i5's.

I'm building a new computer for the first time in about 6 years. (My old q6600 system died. Random black screening, didn't feel like spending money on replacing components until I found the problem on an obsolete system.)

So now I'm looking to build a budget system until tax time when I can go balls to the wall on parts. All I'm looking to do with the system is the usual home stuff: Interwebs, Youtube, ect; along with WoW and the new Simcity game when it comes out. After that the system is going to my wife for the same thing.

So my questions are these: I'm looking at either 3220 or a 3450. I don't intent to over-clock (Like I said, it's just a budget build.) Is the Turbo-boost and 2 extra cores worth the extra money of an i5? Or am I better off with the totally locked 3220 and it's dual-core setup?

I managed to snag a 7770 at Fry's during Black Friday; and I'm looking for a processor that will give decent framerates in-game, high settings at 1080 with most of the flashy stuff turned off. (The new water effects, random shrubberies, and lens flares just annoy me...) I'm not so strapped for cash I'm going to break the bank getting the i5, I'm just wondering which is better, value wise.

Thanks for the advice in advance.
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  1. The i3s with Hyper Threading will handle everything your HD 7770 will throw at it and then some. It is an amazing low cost gaming CPU. If you aren't going to Over Clock, there's no need for an unlocked CPU, anyway. Unless you have need for video editing work that can make good use of 4 cores, the i3 will be more than enough. The i core processors are so much advanced from the Core 2 Quad generation, you will think you have a quad core. Besides, you will always be able to upgrade to a quad core in the future if you find you need to.
  2. As clutchc said, for "light" gaming and recreation use an i3 is perfectly fine. An I5 would just be spending unnecessary.

    BUT keep in mind an I5 would future-proof your new PC quite a bit more.

    But other than that there is no reason you should get an I5 for your needs.
  3. i3 is better for what you need and matches with your graphics card.
  4. people still buy core 2 quads, you could get at leas $50 for your q6600 on ebay. sell it and spend a bit more on the cpu.
  5. Okay folks, thanks for the advice. Like I said, I've been out of the loop for about 6 years, so I appreciate a heads up from everyone.

    Now I just have to decide on a motherboard. Every user review on Newegg has at least 10% that read along the lines of "This motherboard set my case on fire, robbed my house, killed my dog, and knocked up my teenage daughter! Do not buy!"

    Crowe, I would ebay it, but I never found out what was causing my black screening on the old rig. And I'd hate to sell someone a defective part from the computer; I know I would be ticked if it was me, lol.
  6. Novuake said:
    As clutchc said, for "light" gaming and recreation use an i3 is perfectly fine.

    I wouldn't consider the i3 SB or IB limited to "light" gaming at all. Matched with the right graphic card, it can hold its own against most other CPUs with the exception of its bigger brothers. Tom's and many other reviewers give it very high marks for gaming.

    I've built several budget/mid-range PCs with the SB i3s and 1 with an IB i3, and all were great gamers with today's games.
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