What CPU Would I want?

CMonkey

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I want to upgrade from my Core 2 as it simply isn't enough for upcoming games (barely good enough for games out now) so I'm planning on buying an Intel Core i3-6300. I do know I have to get an intel because that's what my motherboard supports. Would the cpu I'm thinking about be overkill? Not enough? If this isn't a good buy, please respond and say why.
 
You need a motherboard that has the Intel LGA 1151 socket. For the chipset, I recommend the H170 chipset for budget systems and the Z170 chipset for more extreme machines.

Please list all of your current hardware. Be specific. Make sure to include the power supply make and model.

What is your budget for the upgrade?
 

CMonkey

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I would like to keep it under $150 I have 8GB of RAM, I do not know the maker. I have an EVGA 500w white PSU and a Radeon R7 250 2GD3 OC.I'm not sure about the motherboard. My current psu is an Intel core2 quad q9400 6m cache, 2.66GHz (this was taken off of Intel's website). Is there a way to check what make my motherboard is without opening up the PC? If it is true that there is no way to get an i3 onto my motherboard, then it is likely that I will move over to AMD to get a better deal as I'm on a budget and I heard AMD is good for a budget. Thanks for the help so far!
 

Rookie_MIB

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To be honest, not even touching the CPU/motherboard compatibility issue, the i3-6300 would be so-so. Ideally, you'd need a minimum of an i5-6500. If you read the article on cores vs games which TomsHardware just put out the other day, the whole gist of it is that previously, games were not highly threaded. This is NOT the case any more. They put an i3-6300 in the tests along with 4/6/8/10 core chips, disabled hyperthreading, and tested them. For the most part, with a high end GPU, the i3 (in effect, down to a dual core) got smoked. Hyperthreading helped a fair bit, but the minimum is now up to a quad-core CPU as more and more games and engines are highly threaded. So - the i5 will do the job pretty well (better than the i3 even though it has hyperthreading to simulate 4 cores).

On to your upgrade. What you have in mind won't work, different CPU lines utilize different sockets for the most part. There are some which would work (such as Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, and Haswell and Broadwell) but you're talking about what is probably an LGA775 CPU (Core Duo) vs LGA1151 (SkyLake). They are just NOT compatible. At all.

So you would need to upgrade the CPU, the RAM and the Motherboard. And this isn't even covering what you're using for a GPU.

You have two options really, either of which would be a huge jump in capabilities:

Haswell build:
i5-4570 Haswell LGA 1150 CPU. Compatible H81 based board of your choice. 2x4gb or 2x8gb of DDR3 RAM. This would probably cost somewhere in the $300 range ($175 for the CPU, $50 for the board, $50ish for the RAM + tax). It would be a perfectly good base for a build. Depending on the RAM in your old machine, if it's DDR3 theoretically you could reuse it and save $50.

Skylake Build:
i5-6500 CPU, H110 based motherboard of your choice, 2x4gb or 2x8gb of DDR4 RAM. Would cost a little more, but a little more future proof too. Figure about $325-50. CPU $230, motherboard $55, RAM $65ish).
 

CMonkey

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Thank you for all this information and even giving specific builds. I'm just not sure if the cpu would be right for me. Would it work with a 500w PSU? I currently have a Radeon 250, so would an i5 be overkill? EDIT: Is it possible that I have the correct RAM sockets? Or does that fall under the wrong CPU socket?
 

Rookie_MIB

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Well, the DDR type is more based on the motherboard than the CPU. I know you have a Q9400, so it would support either DDR2 or DDR3, but without knowing the motherboard manufacturer and model I can't really give you a definite on what it will or won't support.

You could download a tool - CPU-z - freeware - and it tells you all kinds of useful information on what your system components at the motherboard/CPU/RAM level are.
 

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