Trying to find a straight answer for gaming cpu


Feb 22, 2009
Hi all

I've done a fair bit of research into what CPU I should really be looking into getting for gaming. (building a fresh new rig).

Now, I came across an article recently which compared CPU's in games, and from the article (for the life of me I can't find it, but I'm sure someone will know what I'm talking about) seems to conclude that there isn't really a lick of difference between the more recently released CPU's, whether it be AMD or Intel, 2 cores or 4.

But everywhere I turn people are recommending i7's and Phenom's; 4 core processors.

As we are all well aware, the difference between CPU prices is quite large, and given that the article found there to be very little difference performance-wise in games, it does not seem logical to me to fork out for a four core CPU and, say, an x58 M/B.

Is there something I'm missing? Please can somebody clear this up for me


Apr 15, 2010
most games dont support quad core optimization at the moment (for example crysis) but I think in the next few months we may be seeing more quad core optimized games which will start making the dual cores outdated.
I'm in the same dilema as you, becuase I'm looking at the AMD Phenom 550BE, the Phenom X3 720, the Athlon X4 630 and the Athlon X3 435.

In the end I think I'm going to go for the Phenom X2 550BE (and unlock it) or the Athlon X4 630


Perhaps the biggest thing to consider is budget. The video card plays a big role in gaming. Blowing $200+ on a CPU and another $250 on a motherboard is a bad idea if your budget is only $600-800. You'll end up with a weaker GPU which is bad. As pointed out as well, games don't really take advantage of cores. As long as you have something that can process what needs to be processed and feed the GPU you'll be ok.

I'd still shoot for a quad of some sort. You'll have the quad power for when you need it.
Well, I'd go for an AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition 2.8GHz, with three cores it's the sweet spot ATM. Also, AM3 motherboards can go pretty cheap too. Also, you could buy a cheap cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus and overclock it for a bit more performance. But, as 4745454b said, it all depends on your budget - the performance difference between most CPUs are small, in terms of Phenom II X2, X3, X4s and Core i3, i5 and i7s, unless you plan to use more than two cards which are more powerful than HD 5770s - then you'd need something like a Core i5 750 - a Phenom II X4 will hold them back in CFX. Otherwise, a Phenom II X3 will suffice, or if you feel lucky, grab a Phenom II X2 550 and a motherboard with an AMD southbridge SB710 or SB750, and try unlocking those extra cores.