Intel i3 3220 good enough for gaming?

Hi guys,

First of all thanks to you all in the community for a great forum - I'm getting back into PC building and the site has been a great help in many regards.

I do have one question I'd like to run by you though. I'm currently planning to upgrade my CPU from a core 2 duo E8400 and I was looking at 2 alternatives:

I5 3570k or i3 3220

I have win 8, 8 gigs of RAM and an ATI HD 7770.

The only heavy lifting this CPU will do is gaming. I don't necessarily want to run everything at max settings, but would appreciate to play recent games in 1920x1080 with slightly nicer gfx than my Xbox 360. I WON'T be doing rendering, video editing, etc.

Would the i3 3220 be enough? The i5 is nearly twice as expensive here in the UK. I could use the difference to buy an SSD. Given that my mobo will run ivy bridge CPUs, I could even upgrade to an i5 down the line.

Also, will I be seeing enough of an upgrade compared to my now ancient E8400 (which is still at stock clock)?

Many, many thanks in advance for your help with this, and merry Xmas to y'all!
15 answers Last reply
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  1. My gaming system has an i5 2500K. Frankly. It rocks. In fact I have put it back to standard clock speeds and have not seen any difference in the games I play. It does overclock like a demon though :)

    You will probably be OK with an i3, but why spend out twice?

    Its Christmas. Treat yourself.
  2. i3 will work perfecly because most games dont use more than 2 cores+i3 has hyperthreading which means windows will detect it at 4 core CPU and 2 real cores and 2 virtual cores thatsl ike 4 real cores almost so works perfecly
  3. With the graphics card you've got right now you're unlikely to see a significant improvement from your Core 2 Duo.
    Intel's Core i5 CPU's are currently the best CPU's for gaming so if you can afford getting one go for it!You can add an SSD later.
  4. i3 3220 is more than sufficient for 7770 ... your gpu is your bottleneck not the i3 .. to play maxed out in 1080p you need a better gpu like 7850 or higher.. an i5 (i5 3470) would be the ideal choice but i3 will do the job for you with better gpu...
  5. Yeah your GPU is your problem, a i3 3220 is perfectly fine for budget gaming. Will perform well for most games and encoding.

  6. The Core i3-3220 is fine for games since the vast majority of games only use 2 cores.

    The Core i5-3570k is naturally better for games since it has 4 cores just in case you play those few games (in comparison to 2 core games) that can make use of 4 cores; like BF3. It also can be overclocked to further improve performance in games that are dependent on the CPU.

    Naturally, the Core i5-3750k costs more so if you have a limited budget, then just go for the i3-3220.
  7. I play Guild Wars 2 and the game is more processor heavy. The 7770 is not as bad as everyone here is making it, it runs that game very well when the CPU is decent.

    The answer to your question is yes absolutely. If you buy an i5 you will get more years out of it for gaming, would be my guess. Depends what games you like to play for both your GPU and CPU.
  8. I am guessing you already have a AMD 7770..

    Just to make sure you understand your Graphic card will be a bottle neck whichever Processor you get So i3 would be more than enough...

    I would go with the i5 3570k... and a Second 7770 to run Crossfire for the best deal and run games at better settings (NO SSD)
    Make sure you have enough of ""horsepower"" out of your PSU of you want this deal

    SSD can be given up for now as it is not essential for gaming...
  9. Thank you all for your help.

    I indeed have the 7770 already - and yes, I do realise it's not the best... ;)

    But again, I don't necessarily want to max out games, just play comfortably.

    Based on your recommendations, I reckon I'll fork out for the i5 straightaway. Seems to me like it'll be a bit more futureproof
  10. And that way I can always go for a higher end card if I feel the need at some point, without bottlenecking it
  11. from what I read in this forum, I think core i3 is good enough for gaming since there aren't much game that need quad core and with the price $120, it's lot cheaper than core i5.
    that's why I think core i3 3220 is one of the best mid-range gaming processor,3106-3.html
  12. Good enough for gaming is the perfect way to describe an i3. It wont be very good at running multiple programs simultaniously but it will game with the best of em... until the game market fully shifts to quads as it has already begun doing..
  13. why you want to go through i3 go to i5 it is more better in gaming :pfff:
  14. Check this out to see a gameplay video of the same configuration (i3 3220 and HD 7770)

    It's good enough, but in the end it is his choice. He has options that he can pick. That is the beauty of desktop PCs. :-)
  15. Do you know how much fps you were getting in BF3 with the old processor? Tell me average fps u got in games pls ty
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