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#16 Jason S.

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 14:24

Another case of trying to build a budget gaming machine. I would highly suggest you find a bigger budget; otherwise, i think you'll be very disappointed.


#17 Luc2k

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 14:28

Actually, they both need to be in decent balance. A powerful GPU wont matter much with a weak cpu. And in the case of what you said, it's a bit off balance. Not to mention instantly very out of date.


I go by 2/3 CPU/GPU mostly. Unless we are talking about a CPU bottleneck (which shouldn't be the case with the Phenom), money spent on the GPU is more rewarding when it comes to gaming. It's true that it is out of date-ish, but this is the sacrifice one faces on a budget.

What is better, the AMD Phenom or the i3? Like I said it'll be used mostly for gaming, but also some VB etc coding/development stuff.


The i3 should be faster in games that only use 1-2 cores (like Skyrim @stock), but I consider the loss of the other 2 too much for general usage and games that use everything. It's also more expensive and can't be overclocked. It does use substantially less power than the Phenom though. Your call.

Skyrim bench.

#18 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 14:30

Another case of trying to build a budget gaming machine. I would highly suggest you find a bigger budget; otherwise, i think you'll be very disappointed.

Yeah I have to agree more or less.
Also I am really not sure how people are saying the CPU itself is not very important for gaming??? That is just not true.
Posted Image

So yeah, better to save up some and do it right, or do it this way, and then have to spend money in the very near future because this way is only going to get you so far before games are hardly running.

#19 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 14:30

Another case of trying to build a budget gaming machine. I would highly suggest you find a bigger budget; otherwise, i think you'll be very disappointed.

Whats wrong with gaming on a budget, not everyone needs to max games out at native resolution with all the AA turned up.

#20 ahhell

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 14:46

An i3 would be a horrible choice and you will just be disappointed.
An i5 (or equivalent) as a minimum would be a smart move.

#21 Blackhearted

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 14:58

Find out which games today require a quad-core CPU, and then get back to us with that list.

Mind you, the high end i3s can do hyper-threading as well. And recent gaming tests have shown them running circles around quad and hexa core AMD CPUs.


It's not really hard to find benchmarks on some other tech sites that show a dual core lags behind a quad core in many modern titles. What DL posted above is one example, a drop somewhere between 15-20%(i5 vs i3) on the average framerate and an even bigger drop on the minimum. That site neowin frequently promotes on the frontpage, techspot, also has many game benchmarks that show similar drops in performance in many games from dropping to a dual core.

Also, despite how windows sees an i3, hyperthreading does not make an i3 into, or comparable to, a proper quad core.

#22 OP xKratosx

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:00

Thanks all, I have to say regarding the budget that:

1) He is not a big gamer. He had an Xbox but gave it away to his nephew.

2) I let him try my verison of Skyrim on the Xbox and he was already blown away by the graphics, but he is interested in the mods available on PC.

3) I'd like to buy it as a nice gesture (not even a birthday/Christmas gift) hence £600+ being a bit much for us right now. This is around the same (or more) as he was looking to spend himself.

I agree that it'd be wonderful to get better specs, but I'm not sure how realistic this is... he also said it took him a while to get on with two analogue sticks (he hasn't played games seriously since Doom etc) so there is a chance he will play it for a little while and then go off gaming as he did with the Xbox.

I totally see that the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it, but the machine I'm building for him is better than my own machine for gaming (first gen i7, soon to have 12GB RAM, ATI 6750) which also cost around £600 a few years ago.

#23 threetonesun

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:03

So yeah, better to save up some and do it right, or do it this way, and then have to spend money in the very near future because this way is only going to get you so far before games are hardly running.


So an i3 with a 680 GTX can play Crysis 3 on high above an average of 30 FPS?

Does no one in this thread understand the concept of a mid-range gaming PC? An i3 with a 7850 will be perfectly fine for most games. It will be exceptional for Skyrim.

#24 threetonesun

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:08

It's not really hard to find benchmarks on some other tech sites that show a dual core lags behind a quad core in many modern titles. What DL posted above is one example, a drop somewhere between 15-20%(i5 vs i3) on the average framerate and an even bigger drop on the minimum. That site neowin frequently promotes on the frontpage, techspot, also has many game benchmarks that show similar drops in performance in many games from dropping to a dual core.

Also, despite how windows sees an i3, hyperthreading does not make an i3 into, or comparable to, a proper quad core.


The guy wants to play Skyrim, I really doubt he's going to be firing up his benchmarking tools to check what the difference in FPS between his new gaming PC and his non-existent octa-core PC is.

As long as it will play current games above an average of 30 FPS at your resolution, what different does it make to the end user?

#25 tsupersonic

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:09

I totally see that the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it, but the machine I'm building for him is better than my own machine for gaming (first gen i7, soon to have 12GB RAM, ATI 6750) which also cost around £600 a few years ago.

Not really, a first gen i7 is still better than a Phenom or an Ivy Bridge i3, in terms of performance. If you want pure performance, always go Intel. Go AMD, if you are budget conscious. Personally, I would stretch the budget to make the i3 or i5 happen.

#26 Arceles

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:16

I play Skyrim almost at max settings in my laptop at 1080p, it looks great and it's also easier on the processors because it's a DX9 title, see my specs on my signature, I really recomend to go AMD APU route for a very cheap but good gaming machine (I even play Crysis 3 on medium settings, but that's due my dedicated 6750m) with the APU you can even later add a dedicated graphics card if you wish.

#27 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:33

Let's look at this at a different angle. The 7850 gets roughly twice the performance of the 7750, so that's a huge incentive to go with the 7850.
An i5 will get a little bit more performance than an i3, but it's not that huge of a jump. I'd say get the i3 now, and he can always upgrade in the future. He can probably get an i5-2500k on Ebay pretty cheap.

Also, I'd recommend getting a different SSD. The one you picked isn't a good brand and is only SATA II.
It would be worth the little extra to get this one:
http://www.ebuyer.co...tx3-25sat3-120g

#28 OP xKratosx

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 16:34

Thanks all! Lots of great information here, I think the i5 is out (which is a shame since that is the only component he said he wants!) but in this context an i3 or even the AMD should be fine.

I guess I could go the second hand route? He's REALLY not fussy about things like that as far as I know, for example hates buying new books etc... so maybe a used machine would mean more bang for the buck?

#29 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 17:00

Thanks all! Lots of great information here, I think the i5 is out (which is a shame since that is the only component he said he wants!) but in this context an i3 or even the AMD should be fine.

I guess I could go the second hand route? He's REALLY not fussy about things like that as far as I know, for example hates buying new books etc... so maybe a used machine would mean more bang for the buck?


Buying parts used will be a ton cheaper. PC parts are basically worthless as soon as they are used, haha.
The trade-off is obviously you're trusting the parts weren't abused, and you probably won't have warranty support.

It might be worth browsing around on Craigslist to see if there any complete PCs for sale locally. Otherwise, buying the motherboard, CPU, GPU, maybe monitor, and SSD used will save quite a bit of money. The other parts are probably worth buying new since they don't cost much anyway.

#30 OP xKratosx

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 17:06

Thanks Astra :) I think I'll definitely consider going the used route for the graphics card, SSD etc (mine were used and still functioning fine 3 years on) but maybe just get a new case, probably a new motherboard too...