Which CPU is the best for my spec for gaming use (budget : $200-250)

My current specs are as following:

OS: Windows 7 32-bit
System Model: P5K-E
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2.33GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

I am trying to buy a CPU for my rig. A CPU that's good enough for my current rig.
As far as I know, I can't get a super good CPU since it won't run with full potential with my current rig setup.

So my question is, which CPU can/should I buy that's best for my tower that's compatible to my motherboard.
I would love to buy i7's but I know it won't be as good as it's supposed to be and I don't know if it's compatible to my MOBO.

Extra question: For me to use CPUs like "Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core" how good does my rig have to be? In instance, do I have to get a new motherboard and new GPU with more memory?

I will wait for guru's replies and thank you guys in advance!
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about which spec gaming budget
  1. My budget is $200-$250 like I stated on the title!
  2. For that mobo only intel 2 Quad cpus, like the my opinion not worth it, you can find some at ~130$-150$
    For the i5 or i7 you need to buy a new mobo:

    Like this :

    Or if you want to overclock the cpu :
  3. For $250, you could get a new CPU AND motherboard, that would be better than the best possible CPU you can fit into your current motherboard. For example, you could get an i3-3220 and a nice H77 motherboard for around $200. The i3-3220 is leaps and bounds better than any Core 2 Quad. As you can see from this benchmark, the $130 i3 scores 100 points better than the $300 Core 2 Quad Q9550.
  4. Why would he get the i3 dual core when with 250$ it does for an i5 quad core(i5-3470) and the h77 mobo.
    In my opinion it's worth the extra $, since he can afford it.
  5. Yeah, that works too. My point is, he can get alot more performance for cheaper if he goes with 1155.
  6. Yes, indeed, no point in upgrading the cpu on that lga(775)
  7. ahh okay. Thanks for the great suggestions guys. So I have made my decision.

    I will swap my motherboard to 1155 and try to get CPU from there.

    What would be the most ideal combination/bundle for mobo and cpu at $250.
    As ChilledGrease suggested, is H77 mobo the best 1155 motherboard?
    If so, which CPU should I get along with that.
    According to djangoringo, h77 mobo and i5-3470 is the most ideal buy for my budget?
  8. Best answer
    Well like i said for 250$ you can get an i5-3470 + h77 asrock mobo :

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $249.98
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    Both have free shipping.
    Or if you have a microcenter store near you, you can get an i5-3470 for 150$ or the i5-3570k for 170$+40$ z77 G41 msi mobo combo, which totals 210$.
  9. @djangoringo

    Okay 3470 and ASR H77 or microcenter bundle for $210 sounds like a great deal.
    I'm at microcenter website and I can't find that bundle deal. I'd drive there to pick it up.

    My last question, do I have to get new PSU and new cooling fans for these upgraded parts? Wouldn't the heat be issue for me? or I'm okay?
  10. The psu should be fine, the cooler it has one already included, the stock cooler.
  11. okay thank you very much. I found the $170 i5-3570k but I can't find the $40 z77. $40 z77 sounds like unbelievable deal!

    Edit- I found z41 that's $49 but that's 775 socket =/
  12. Best answer selected by dnfakrnl.
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