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

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January 11, 2013 6:11:44 PM

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!
January 11, 2013 6:16:46 PM

My budget is $200-$250 like I stated on the title!
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January 11, 2013 8:10:41 PM

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.
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January 11, 2013 8:16:36 PM

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.
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January 11, 2013 8:19:54 PM

Yeah, that works too. My point is, he can get alot more performance for cheaper if he goes with 1155.
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January 11, 2013 8:22:03 PM

Yes, indeed, no point in upgrading the cpu on that lga(775)
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January 12, 2013 6:41:16 PM

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?
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January 12, 2013 6:45:38 PM

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$.
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January 12, 2013 7:57:05 PM

@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?
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January 12, 2013 8:01:10 PM

The psu should be fine, the cooler it has one already included, the stock cooler.
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January 12, 2013 8:04:08 PM

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 =/
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January 12, 2013 8:04:27 PM

Best answer selected by dnfakrnl.
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