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Current setup, kind of outdated - was built in 2009, except graphics card and a chassis:

  • chassis: Corsair 650D
  • mobo: Asus P5Q Deluxe
  • CPU: Intel Core2Quad 3GHz @4GHz
  • gfx: Radeon R9 290
  • psu: Corsair 750W
  • mem: 16GB

I want to keep chassis and gfx card for a new setup.

Looking for a CPU recommendation (no AMD please) which will be better from current one and will allow future upgrade. Computer mainly used for work (web dev, Photoshop, some android coding with unity), casual gaming (Battlefield 4, Battlefront Star Wars (new one), Evolve, etc), music (mp3, Spotify - mostly when doing my work) and movies watching from streaming services (HBO Go, STARZ Go, Plex, Netflix, etc)

Price range something around $250

  • 1
    Work in a logical order with requirements for each. I'd start with the CPU. You mentioned no ANDs. Set a budget for the CPU and explain what you do with the machine (game...what else that could be cpu intensive? Video editing, data manipulation, finding the last digit in pi, etc). Once you have a cpu recommendation or two, post the mother board question and mention the cpu(s) you are considering. Alternatively ask about GPU next and the use the CPU and GPU to limit your motherboard question – Andy Nov 3 '15 at 14:50
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I reccomend the Intel i5 4690k.

It costs $240 USD, and is significantly more powerful than your current CPU. It has 4 cores, (no hyperthreading) with a base-clock of 3.5 GHz, but is unlocked and could be OC'ed to 3.9 GHz. 6 MB of cache, and the TDP is 88W (which I believe is actually lower than your current CPU).

It meets or exceeds the system requirements of every game you listed.

  • BF4 recommends any quadcore intel CPU.

  • Star Wars battlefront recommends an i5 6600, which has nearly identical specs, except for the lower base clock speed.

  • Evolve recommends an i7 920, which has twice the number of threads, but a significantly lower clock speed (2.66 GHz). I'm not sure how well Evolve utilizes the extra multi-threading capabilities, but it's probably safe to assume it will run well. (At least, as well as it can run. It's still very buggy from what I have heard).

Given that all of these games are far more CPU-intensive, it should also easily handle Photoshop, unity, music streaming, movies and browsing.

  • That one CPU was one which I was looking at among i5-4670K (strange - higher price than 4690K) and i5-4570 as low budget option. – JackTheKnife Nov 4 '15 at 17:35
  • I don't think this pick is "future proof" it already has 2 generations of cpu on there and it will probebly never get a new rage. – Thomcdrom Dec 1 '15 at 15:27
  • Just an update - I have got a good deal on i7-4790K so even didn't finished my setup when I have switched CPU to that one. – JackTheKnife Jan 8 '16 at 22:31
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When it comes to gaming CPU recommendations, take a look at Tom's Hardware's Best CPUs for the Money which provides well-founded recommendations for all price ranges. In your case, the Core i5-6500 is a good bet if you aren't interested in overclocking, or the Core i5-6600K if you are. They're both based on Skylake, the latest architecture from Intel, and drops into the LGA 1151-socket, so is it as modern as it gets today. Core i5-4690K is based on Haswell, it has similar specs but uses the older LGA-1150 platform which is being phased out in favor of LGA-1151 and Skylake.

  • I have read that motherboards based on Z170 chipset have big failure rate (DOA or boot problems). Not sure if a technology is too new and is better to wait another year and get it stable as Z97 is. – JackTheKnife Nov 4 '15 at 21:07
  • @JackTheKnife i've got 2 z170 atx board and 1 z97 board and the one z97 board was doa. i don't think z170 board are at a high failure rate its. most of the reports come from unexperenced builders and cheap board (cheap for me is lower then 150 Euro or 175 USD). the boot problems can come becaus its new and the software is not 100% at the moment. – Thomcdrom Dec 1 '15 at 15:30

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