Hardware What "Intel CORE" CPU should i get?


G̶B̶A̶T̶e̶m̶p̶ ̶A̶d̶d̶i̶c̶t̶ Heroin Addict.
Oct 23, 2017
United Kingdom
The 3770 will provide a noticable jump in cpu performance. You can not upgrade to anything newer than 3rd gen without a new mobo so I'd reccommend getting a cheap am4 400 series mobo (please make sure it's 400 series and not a 300 series chipset like the a320 as the 300 series chipsets don't support the upcoming 5th gen ryzen or overclocking) and pair it with a ryzen 3 3100 and two sticks of at least 2400mhz ram (ryzen is very sensitive to memory speed so dual channel and fast ram is a must). The 3100 performs a decent bit faster than the 3770 and you can upgrade to any 3rd or 5th gen ryzen cpu in the future.
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Jun 8, 2008
I'm getting mixed messages based on what you have mentioned so far. It feels more like you have already made a decision and are awaiting validation for that.

You mentioned being on a tight budget yet not having a set budget. When someone gave some suggestion which may involve an overhaul of the system, you were not keen on that and yet later on you mentioned thinking of changing more than just a CPU. My advise would be to set an upper limit as to how much you are willing to spend. Given that whatever is available in your place moreso in the used market, it helps us help you optimise cost-to-performance for upgrades. You are already aware of the options available if you are to only change the CPU as well as the likely (minimal) improvements in performance. If you are going to have to change the CPU, mobo and RAM, it would make sense to get something with either a significant improvement and/or upgradability. Upgrading minimally 17 times is generally less cost efficient than doing one bigger jump.

While Noctua coolers and fans are fantastics, I am not sure if you would want to jump straight in for them instead of using that money on improving other parts instead. Sounds like an overkill right now.
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Penguin accelerator
Feb 13, 2015
Yes but you can read-write so many times on SSD as i know (and windows do a lot of that even without user afaik) while HDD is virtually limitless, and AFAIK it's not bound to that limitation
True but it doesn't really matter, because
1- by the time it happens (in typical or even reasonably-more-than-typical usage) (that means well over 5 years), it will have more than paid off the investment
(= even if a 10 year old computer today is still very usable - indeed my main one is a 2010 laptop - their commercial value is very low)
2- when that happens you simply go to the local computer store and buy a replacement (one I know doesn't even keep mechanical drives in stock anymore)
3- thanks to SMART (used by programs like CrystalDiskInfo), you can check yourself wear statistics (which are usually reliable) - and while not an excuse to not do backups, most flash storage that fails of worn out sectors remains readable

power surge, only the sensitive board on a HDD.
Any SDD would die instantly imo and with unrecoverable data
True but that's why you have backups regardless of your media of choice for daily use ;)

Data recovery, even of the simple undelete kind (which in fact is not possible on some drives with TRIM implemented), rarely pays off the effort compared to keeping regular backups
(and PCB swaps are not always that obvious, depending on the disk model)

The biggest advantage of SSD is near instant seek time, that matters a lot more than actual transfer speed (or cpu/memory) for the performance you can actually feel, and that's why I recommend them even on a PS2 (or a PS/2 :P)

spinning rusty drive
That's what the individual discs inside are - glass or aluminium coated with a ferromagnetic material, one of which could be iron oxide :D

what SSD brand would you recomend me and a particular model of it as being most reliable and best among its kind?
and should i wait more since they are still young compared to HDD'
SATA drives are by now a mature technology (can't say much for NVME as I've never had one) and one that rarely goes for extreme speeds, so almost anything is good
(I've had a Samsung 840 120GB since 2013, a metal-shelled Kingston 480GB since 2014 - doing very frequent reinstalls on both, and they still work fine with 0 remapped sectors; I don't expect too much from the black plastic 960GB Kingston A400 I have since 2018 but it's too young to have a meaningful durability opinion on it)

You should know that digital is not really a thing in nature, so one physical "bit" (cell of memory) can in fact be made to store 1, 2, 3, or 4 bits (these are called respectively SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC) and less is indeed better for performance and durability - however it's usually not worth the extra price

Also, they don't make 960 GB nand chips - the missing 64 GB to 1024 are used for automatic management which includes remapped sectors, so from the point of view of durability and (long-term) performance, these reduced size consumer drives are in fact potentially better than one giving you the full size (depending on how well done their controller is, which by now should be a solved problem unlike in ~2013)

Manufacturing defects happen to all products!

...oh, and welcome to the FAST6191 fan club ~
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Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
Yes but you can read-write so many times on SSD as i know (and windows do a lot of that even without user afaik) while HDD is virtually limitless, and AFAIK it's not bound to that limitation...until it dies...i mean everything dies even HDD's as you said, and idk how many HDD's you used and waht you do as a hoby or a profession, but in regular use a person (like me for example) uses only one eventually 2 HDD's for files that are stored there and sitting, and one HDD (or if its one a partition) for Windows. So its less likely a new HDD in regular use would die that easy. They are to m experience and understanding more robust and tough, read/write resistant than HDD exactly because of the way they are. I think they are generally on average more reliable and more developed over years.

Only time my HDD's really died was:
A) I unplugged it and messed with it when the machine was ON (it wasn't mine it was my brother's but it die on me so... don't judge, i didn't know)
B) My own HDD died because i bought it on a flee market for a cheap and it was on sun all day...it worked though but for a year and half and than just died suddenly...god knows what they did to it.
C) Again my own HDD malfunctioned, that's 2nd that's mine (i think the board on it died from power surge from a power supply or something, cant really remember anymore...data on it where safe though!).

The guy that repairs PC's said he can replace the board and recover my data.
It was 250GB Maxtor HDD with ATA connector (my first one), but i had nothing important there and since it was old tech (i mean the ATA not SATA), small for modern times (it was more than good back than) and i wanted a 1TB one i just took it apart, took the shiny mirror-like disk (it wasn't rusted lol) and made a wall clock LoL. (i really love those shiny disks, they are so well made and smoothed out to perfection. Even better than my mirror!)

So what i wanted to say is that data was recoverable, the data it self wasn't affected by power surge, only the sensitive board on a HDD.
Any SDD would die instantly imo and with unrecoverable data. IDK but i guess that's the case with SDD's.
Yes they are fast but there is also a compromise, imo, for that speed and taht's the way i see it. So having said that, i would never trust a SDD to keep my data because of that and trust HDD's more. But to be hones they are not THAT slow as people make it out to be, i mean i have this new 7200 RPM and its big usage improvement from my older (not ATA one, that's my first HDD, i had another one after that, but this 7200 RPM is my present one) in games and in usage.

But that being said, i never notice anything better in games while having SSD other than faster loading times (that are even shorter now that i have new graphics card) Before it took me 30 sec. to load any level in crash bandicoot trilogy, but now it takes me 8 sec. !!! not because of HDD but because of a GPU!
I mean i was surprised cause i thought SDD's make better loading time (i mean they do but i thought ONLY them) but as i was saying, yes SDD's do load faster but this HDD i have now is also FAST and i dont mind loadings anyway...and thats only improvement i saw with SDD's except obvious ones like size, quietness etc... but i meant more in usage. Oh and windows starter up like it was just sleeping and not turned off completly... Now i wait 15 sec. with HDD compared with 8... but i don't even notice it tbh.

I mean since i had SDD for those 3 month, i can certanly say that they are LIGHTNING fast and my system behaved like a videogame console or an android phone just SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! i even got spoiled how fast it was, i never thought that a big old PC can BE that fast lol!
But than it just stopped and that was it. I was just deeply dissapointed. And not i am thinking again but about getting some reliable brand and model over speed, cause they are all fast...if nothing they are faster than HDD's by default anyway, but im gonna use it ONLY for system, but even than it would be a drag if something similar happens.

As i said, HDD never disapointed me and i trust them more because of that. Perhaps i have certain prejudice and am biased but those situations and the things i saw made me see it that way..but i AM willing to give it another shot! i just don't trust them for data!

Im not trying to be a advocate for HDD's here, just sharing my experience in hope of conversation cause i really DO want to know all the benefits and opinions about SDD's cause i DO consider of getting one, but this time it DOES matter which one i get and should i wait more since they are still young compared to HDD's!

P.S. By the way you call HDD's a "spinning rusty drive" you must really hate them? :P

Speaking of wich...what SSD brand would you recomend me and a particular model of it as being most reliable and best among its kind?

I didn't understood this part, what you wanted to say?

Sorry but i must point out that while you are a very helpful and informative whenever i have some issue and turn to GBAtemp,
and i love that when speaking to someone, and also you write what i never asked but was thinking! so VERY helpful and thank you for that!
But sometimes.. i am struggling to understand what you meant to say 'cause you write in such a poethic and correct way that i need to stop
and read twice and sometimes i dont understand what you actually meant.

Sorry, it's not you its just that im not a native English speaker so simpler English works best for me in therms of better understanding.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Spinning rust. They are usually iron oxide on a glass platter or something equally sensitive. Hence spinning rust.

Sounds like you got lucky with your hard drives. SSD, HDD, zip drive, RAM drive... they all die in the end and all are so unreliable that anything I want to keep needs to be in multiple locations* on multiple devices.

*you could have a drive you could spank with a hammer and have a 50 cal bullet just ping off it, all for naught if it gets stolen, flooded (I am looking at two drives I recovered from one on my desk here), burned down or encrypted with malware. Hence more than one location, preferably offline as well (your nice NAS might not have backups in the case the next ransomware also encrypts your network shares) thing I mentioned.

SSD also has perks here -- when a sector can no longer be written it can usually still be read. When a sector goes corrupt/damaged on a magnetic drive... it is gone unless you have a scanning electron microscope and even then the odds are not good. Hope you have metadata or redundancy, or a backup.

Write limitations. They are a thing but by the time you get to a few years it is all fair game either way (do I have magnetic drives from the 90s that I can power up and grab stuff off? Sure, would I rely on them even if I could take the speed hit? Not on your life. I have SD cards from a similar timeframe as well that still function too). Also unless you somehow end up with quite specific server drives modern stuff is even better still.
I got one then (2014) and promptly moved to a laptop with 2 gigs of RAM for the next few years. Moved to 4 not so long ago and then got a new (by which I mean similar vintage to yours) about two months ago.
I usually have a few hundred (I think I clocked 1000 a week back) tabs on a browser, a few other things open and have my page file/swap space on said SSD.
Still working fine as I type this, as are the 9 of the 10 ones from the same manufacturer (most the same size, one or two the next size up) I also put in around the same time (one had a hard drive controller kill it). Or if you prefer in all but one of the cases (which was a straight upgrade) they were installed to replace dead conventional hard drives.

The SSD will also be able to spin up (so to speak) and grab random data more quickly so less pauses to load during a game as well.

It is not the first time I have been accused of flowery language. I will try to keep it under control.

What that section was meant to say most of which you already said in the reply. Still replacing one or two small components and it is still the same machine. Start replacing motherboards (which will also mean RAM, and probably CPU) and you basically have a whole new machine. Any upgrades you do to your current setup in terms of CPU, RAM... will probably have a minimal effect compared to being on a SSD.

Brands and models.
Generally speaking if you can get a SSD from a company that makes the chips themselves rather than buying them in you will get more for your money. There are some decent makers though.
What you get will depend upon what you are doing.
Straight SATA SSDs are still a thing but these days we also might wish to consider m.2 which is a new port (or technically a tweaked old port -- it is pcie just in a different direction) and designed to get things really fast compared to even current SATA standards. Your motherboard does not have a nice click in spot for it (they started appearing a few years after that motherboard, though you can buy an adapter for next to nothing as it is literally just a board with some copper on it and a connector).
Grabbing a sample from a random vendor just now
1TB Samsung 860 PRO 2.5” SATA SSD/Solid State Drive
1TB Samsung 860 PRO, 2.5” SSD, SATA III 6Gb/s, MJX, MLC V-NAND, 1GB Cache, Read 560MB/s, Write 530MB/s, 100k/90k £254.65
1TB Corsair Force MP600 M.2 Gen4 PCIe NVMe SSD/Solid State Drive w/ Heatsink
1TB Corsair Force MP600, M.2 (2280) PCIe 4.0 (x4) NVMe SSD, Phison, TLC 3D NAND, 4950MB/s Read, 4250MB/s Write,680k/600k

So similar price (m.2 actually being the cheaper of the pair), both major vendors, same storage capacity, better part of 8 times the speed whether you are looking at read-write or IOPS (IOPS is input-output per second, a thing you really want to compare when looking at SSDs).

The m.2 also comes with a 5 year warranty (you are never going to get that for a non server spinning drive) and "Terabytes Written (TBW) Rating 3600 TBW" aka if you somehow do a terabyte a day you are still looking at 10 years.

Short version. Early SSDs were things with a limited lifetime. Modern ones do far far far better.
Hard drives can often be recovered but at the same time I have I have had plenty of people either looking at thousands to recover, or simply being told that there is no hope, this is why we do backups. You might also be able to find a donor board if it is one of those cases where a board will help (hopefully you can find one from the same batch, and not have to worry about copying over reallocated sectors from the onboard firmware, assuming it was not the reallocated sectors that overwrote the firmware in the first place)


Well-Known Member
May 21, 2014
If your SSD died before just buy some well known brand, like Samsung 970 Evo+ / 980, WD Black,...

They make big improvement, and last for eternity (10+ years)!
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The Real Jdbye

*is birb*
Mar 17, 2010
Hello guys!~

Please take your time to read everything before replying so i don't explain whats already here again pretty please~
But if you want extra info or clarification than that's OK!

So to cuts straight to the case!
I have "Intel CORE i5-3470" CPU
Link for CPU: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...5-3470-processor-6m-cache-up-to-3-60-ghz.html

It's 3rd generation of "i" processors.
As for real word performance (in my PC), its preforming really well!
I can play many modern game with no big problems, and by big problems i mean it wont bottleneck my GPU or system that much,
but than again it does! but its really playable in most cases.
I tested many modern games such as DooM, Mirrors edge catalyst, GTA5, Resident Evil 7... it does not break a sweat it seems,
but it is under almost full load and sometimes if a game is not well optimized or to demanding or more than ultra settings, or in some
cases high settings, or with some options that are to CPU demanding.

Most noticeable is PCSX2 emulator (the PS2 emulator). I bought new Graphics card, but emulators mostly rely on CPU's power, especially PS2 emu!!
So i'm gonna be emulating obviously and playing PC games, for everything else this PC i have now is pretty darn good, even with my old GPU it was good,
but i wanted to upgrade for games obviously!~
This is my new GPU: "GTX1650 Super OC 4GB" here's the link: https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N165SOC-4GD#kf

And i also got "Kingston HyperX" 8GB of RAM,

but MoBo is older, like 2011 older...
It's this one: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-H61M-S2PV-rev-20/support#support-dl-driver

So anyway, the CPU that i have now, the i5-3470 i bought it used and it was dirt cheap..like really cheap! I mean the guy that sells PC parts
told me that they are not expensive anyway, so i got real boost from my previous Pentium processor with 2 cores lol...i bought it with the MoBo in 2011 cause it was cheap back than...

So ANYWAY....i want to upgrade from present i5-3470 to some better CPU. The best one i can get that my present mobo can accept is 3rd generation i7 processor, the "i7-3770" and "i7-3770S".

But i want to move from 3rd generation!
Now i'm not sure if i7-3770/i7-3770S will have some noticeable real-world impact on better performance in gaming over my present i5-3470 CPU. Can you tell please? Or you recommend younger gen, at least 4... ?

I mean they are both 3rd generation of INTEL's "Core i" processors... I'm asking because 3rd gen CPU's are much cheaper and budget is limited for me and TBH that's the main reason i want to consult
here among other things regarding CPU...cause i'm on a tight budget so i want good "bang-for-a-buck!", how Americans say... and used one, i certainly wont be buying new CPU since they will cost
enormous amount of money and i cant find older gens to be cheaper...but again used ones are significantly cheaper anyway....

So NOT considering generation 1, 2 and even 3 (perhaps), what are the best gen 4,5,6,7,8,9 "Core i" gaming CPU's in your opinion that can STILL be used on modern games and
emulators and to be bought cheap, used, not new ofc.

I mean what would you choose when you have little money to give but want the best performance and no bottlenecks?

Thanks in advance and thanks for reading all! :)
I definitely recommend going with AMD, Zen 2 or waiting for Zen 3. Zen 2 is already great and Zen 3 beats Intel in pretty much every aspect.
Even if you stick with Intel and DDR3, I don't know how much RAM you have but you may need to upgrade it (add more RAM) for consistent performance in some games, once a game runs out of RAM and starts using the pagefile you get massive lag spikes, which I have experienced even with 12 GB RAM. If you need to upgrade your RAM anyway, then it makes little sense to stick to DDR3 compatible CPUs, since you are going to need to switch to DDR4 sooner or later anyway.
No, your current RAM is DDR3. The 3470 only works with DDR3, it does not support DDR4 at all.

Also, if you upgrade to a new CPU (higher than an Intel 4000 series anyways) you have to use DDR4, Skylake and higher do not support DDR3. They're completely different standards of RAM, and they're not backwards compatible.

Upgrading to an i7 3770 might help when you're doing a lot of things at once, but you'll likely still hit 100% utilization in games while also consuming more power and pushing more heat.
IIRC Skylake gives you the choice between DDR3 and DDR4, depending on the motherboard.
Last edited by The Real Jdbye,
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Dec 24, 2008
United Kingdom
If you buy a good quality SSD these days even with the limited writes it will still probably last longer than a HDD (most Samsung SSD should last 10 years for average use). Yes, you can still get a bad one but that is the same with HDD too.


There's hope for a Xenosaga port.
Jun 29, 2007
During my life time with computers, I only had 2 HDD fail on me without data recovery being possible, and 1 HDD fail on me (due to falling into the ground) and it was possible to recover 99% of data. No SSDs failed on me, and a lot of usb sticks died a bad death.

The two HDD that died badly were an old 40MB one whose brand I don't remember (it died around 1994), and a 6.5GB Seagate one.
The one that died halfway was a Maxtor 320GB.
I even had a couple of IBM Deathstars, and they didn't die on me.

In short, I guess I am lucky, but also neither HDDs or SSDs fail as often as people suggest here. (usb sticks reliability is garbage on the other hand)

PS: Of course I would get an SSD, the increase in performance is more than worth it.


Oct 12, 2020
United States
If you buy a good-quality solid-state drive these days, even with limited write capabilities, it will probably last longer than a hard drive.

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