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Gaming Rig using Core i3 = Good/Bad?

post #1 of 23
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Hi OCN members

TL;DR
Planned build = i5. Looking to downgrade to i3 instead and hold out till mid 2013 for Ivy Bridge upgrade.


Okay so let's get straight into this. I have a planned build for a quiet (or as close to silent) gaming PC that I am putting together over the next 6-8 months. I have already accepted the fact that the GPU and CPU that I plan to purchase will be the first items I end up replacing (this was the case for my previous build). At the very least I need to be able to get 2 years of life out of both the GPU and CPU.

Planned Rig:
CPU: i5 2500K
CPU Cooler: Thermalright HR-02 Macho
MOBO: MSI Z68A-GD65 (Gen3)
RAM: Corsair Vengence 4x2gb DDR3 1600Mhz CL9
GPU: MSI GTX 560Ti TFII OC edition
PSU: AX750 (I know it's overkill, but it has to last through 2 builds spanning 8/9 years and for that I am willing to pay)

I chose a 560Ti over a 570/6950 because I can see myself replacing the card or going SLI after 2 years, so I took the lower of the 2 options and pumped the savings back into the overall build (better case, bigger SSD, etc).
I am wondering if I should apply this logic to the CPU rather. I've read here and there that as long as the CPU does not bottleneck the GPU, performance for gaming with a higher CPU does not make a major difference. I could be completely wrong on this though.

With Ivy Bridge around the corner I am wondering if I should maybe go with an i3 instead of an i5 (cost saving of 50%) and use the cash to better the rest of the rig (not listed). Then in about 2 years I can switch to a high-end Ivy based CPU.

My rig is primarily used for gaming (currently at 1280x1024, but will soon be at 1900x1080), watching movies/documentaries and web surfing.

I bought the CPU cooler specifically for the i5 2500K and to do a stable 24/7 OC to around 4.4-4.5Ghz. Am I shooting myself in the foot by building a gaming rig with a sub-gaming CPU? I'm going to suspect the resell value of the i5 will be better than the i3 in 2 years... this is also a factor.

Any advice or assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
post #2 of 23
It depends - I haven't played ganes on a dual-core since my Phenom II x2 and it was okay with games that only used mainly 2 cores but when games that were utilizing 4 cores it created a bit of an FPS problem.

I'm not sure how things are like now with a much better dual-core but I am going to guess it's still similar. It's good that you are waiting for Ivy, but might it just be best to wait on the whole rig until then??

Just a thought.

Good luck what ever you do!
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post #3 of 23
I've built a few gaming rigs utilizing a Core i3 2100 and 6870 / 560ti's - if you check reviews, you'll see that Core i3's are really not a limiting factor when gaming.
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post #4 of 23
i3-2100 (2c/2t) is a decent cpu for gaming rig, but i3-2120 (2c/4t) would be even better. I don't see either of those bottlenecking a 560ti.
post #5 of 23
Well if you play BF3 religiously, then downgrade to the i3, and spend all the extra cash on more GPU's.
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post #6 of 23
it shouldn't be too bad thumb.gif on another train of thought..an i3 540/1156 build would get slightly higher performance if OC'd to 4.4 ghz
 
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post #7 of 23
The 2500K should last you 2+ years alone, there is no reason to wait for ivy, but the i3-2100 is a great choice for those on a tight budget.

Only get a 64GB SSD, if you are getting one. No reason to get anything bigger.
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizlake View Post

i3-2100 (2c/2t) is a decent cpu for gaming rig, but i3-2120 (2c/4t) would be even better. I don't see either of those bottlenecking a 560ti.
Quote:
Originally Posted by narmour View Post

It depends - I haven't played ganes on a dual-core since my Phenom II x2 and it was okay with games that only used mainly 2 cores but when games that were utilizing 4 cores it created a bit of an FPS problem.
I'm not sure how things are like now with a much better dual-core but I am going to guess it's still similar. It's good that you are waiting for Ivy, but might it just be best to wait on the whole rig until then??
Just a thought.
Good luck what ever you do!

Exactly These.


I'm planning to upgrade to an i5-2500k/2500 but thing is, After seeing how an i3-2100 perform with a 560 ti, I might just move to that instead. It's a great processor for Gaming. wink.gif And yes, if ever you're not satisfied with the i3, Ivy Bridge is right around the corner, a simple upgrade and you're good to go. Also heard from a fellow OCN'er that with his i3-2100 and 560 Ti (Same as mine) he can max Skyrim, while I have trouble doing so on my Athlon x3.
Edited by gerickjohn - 1/17/12 at 7:23am
   
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post #9 of 23
The core i3 2C4T is as fast a PII X4 .

They are pretty damn fast .
But if you want more than 1 GPU , than going with a 2500K would be better .
I see no pont going with Ivy if you get a 2500K now .
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkslayer7 View Post

The core i3 2C4T is as fast a PII X4 .
Pretty much. This is 2100 vs. 965be and 2100 wins every test that doesn't use many cores (noticeably). Add the 2 extra threads on 2120 and you'll have yourself a great cpu. But of course you have to remember that these are stock and the phenom II X4 chip can be overclocked.

@Ironman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman517 
...there is no reason to wait for ivy...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizlake View Post

...except that Ivy brings pcie 3.0
^what I meant.
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