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Which CPU for Budget Gaming Build

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January 7, 2013 2:54:45 PM

MOBO: MSI H61M-P31/W8 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $49.99
RAM: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $35.57
HDD:Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $64.99
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card $172.08
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case $59.99
PSU: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V $59.99

I have purchased the above components for a new budget gaming system, but still need to purchase a CPU. I am a $100 over budget and would like to save some money:

1) Is an i3 3220 3GHZ good or should I pay $100 more for an i5 3470 3.1GHZ.
2) I would really like to save money and scared I would also need to fan to the CPU if I chose the i5 3470?

More about : cpu budget gaming build

January 7, 2013 4:01:14 PM

i would choose the i5 3470 as its a quad core processor and i3 3220 is a dual core
either one you choose they come with a stock intel heatsink with four push pins and pre applied thermal paste, if you buy the OEM version it will include the processor only and no heatsink
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January 7, 2013 4:15:36 PM

I have an i3 and a 7870 and there is no bottleneck and it munches through games with no problem. Skyrim on ultra no problem.

Gaming is 10% CPU and 90% GPU. It is better 99/100 times to go for the better GPU and the lesser CPU.

An i5 with a 7770 will get blown away by an i3 and a 7870 all day.
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January 7, 2013 4:23:24 PM

tiny voices said:
I have an i3 and a 7870 and there is no bottleneck and it munches through games with no problem. Skyrim on ultra no problem.

Gaming is 10% CPU and 90% GPU. It is better 99/100 times to go for the better GPU and the lesser CPU.

An i5 with a 7770 will get blown away by an i3 and a 7870 all day.


Eh your "statistics" are well...randomly made and very missleading(and wildly inaccurate imo)... it depends on the games he plays... If he plays MMO's or such a good CPU can mean a lot to your FPS.
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January 7, 2013 4:27:19 PM

good luck playing bf3 with a dual core lols. why choose a dual core when he can get quad core and make his system more "future proof" as programs are better written to utilize multiple cores. its like saying no i will not take a car that is good on gas my v8 is good it keeps driving
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January 7, 2013 4:28:01 PM

sculliondr said:
MOBO: MSI H61M-P31/W8 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $49.99
RAM: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $35.57
HDD:Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $64.99
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card $172.08
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case $59.99
PSU: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V $59.99

I have purchased the above components for a new budget gaming system, but still need to purchase a CPU. I am a $100 over budget and would like to save some money:

1) Is an i3 3220 3GHZ good or should I pay $100 more for an i5 3470 3.1GHZ.
2) I would really like to save money and scared I would also need to fan to the CPU if I chose the i5 3470?


To answer your questions:

1. A i3-3220 will be very good. Here is one report on <$200 gaming cpu's:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

Most games use only 1-2 cores, rarely more. The 3470 will help only those games that use 4.
For example BF3 single player will do fine with the i3-3220, while in multiplayer mode with lots of participants, the 3470 might be better.

2. The stock intel cooler will do the job. ivy bridge at stock actually runs cool. It is only overclocking "K" chips at high voltages that more cooling is needed.
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January 7, 2013 5:40:43 PM

Well that might have been true a year or two ago... but MOST new games can use 4+ cores...
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January 7, 2013 7:04:36 PM

If you want to build a system that will fairly handle most of today's games, get the i3.
Keep in mind that more and more games are being made to utilize 4 cores and even hyperthreading so not only is the i3 not future-proof but instantly obsolete.

On NewEgg the 3470 is only $70 more than the 3220, not $100.
If you're so over budget already, wait until the Haswell series comes out in the Spring which will drive down the prices of previous generations.
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January 7, 2013 7:48:38 PM

sharkbyte5150 said:
If you want to build a system that will fairly handle most of today's games, get the i3.
Keep in mind that more and more games are being made to utilize 4 cores and even hyperthreading so not only is the i3 not future-proof but instantly obsolete.

On NewEgg the 3470 is only $70 more than the 3220, not $100.
If you're so over budget already, wait until the Haswell series comes out in the Spring which will drive down the prices of previous generations.


CPUs don't necessarily come down in price even four generations down the road. If you look on Newegg they're still selling LGA 1366 CPUs for $270. :ouch: 
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January 7, 2013 9:30:37 PM

g-unit1111 said:
CPUs don't necessarily come down in price even four generations down the road. If you look on Newegg they're still selling LGA 1366 CPUs for $270. :ouch: 

Truth^
On the used market, prices will be adjusted on price/performance, but the new market is a replacement market which is not so price sensitive.
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