So as a casual gamer who plays a lot of games casually and doesn't need the top-of-the-line gaming gear, I've been doing fine for the past ten years on just three inexpensive computers...the only reason it wasn't two was because my first unit was a learning experience and most of its components outright failed early. Thankfully it wasn't a too expensive a lesson. Unfortunately, my stability and longevity machine has hit its next step and is in need of upgrading. Spoiler: System Specs and Issues Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Intel i5-2400 @3.1 GHZ (4 core) GTX 560 (no special branding, just the basic card) Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium It currently has two hard-drives that I'm not looking to replace until they die, a great case, a serviceable power supply that can support expansion to multiple graphics cards and cooling, and 16 GB RAM (2x 8 GB sticks). The RAM sticks are pretty basic and not top-end For these keeping score, the Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight are pretty simply not going to run on this thing. Or if its technically possible it would suck so hard even at minimum settings that I'd rather not pretend. As if that weren't enough, I'm starting to get more micro-stuttering that is interfering with higher demand games and have a recently problem where certain games like Infinite Crisis will outright tank my FPS because of CPU load. So while I've gotten four years of excellent service out my CPU, I'm pretty sure it's close to kicking the bucket on its own and no longer meets "middle of the road" gaming, so I'd rather give it an honorable discharge instead of watching it fail outright. The main dilemma I have right now is funding. I simply CAN'T do a full rebuild. The second dilemma is my targets of stability and longevity. I like having upgrade paths...hell, upgrade paths are why I got this mobo in the first place. So, since I can't do everything I want yet, I've decided to focus on the two most important bits right now: GPU and CPU. The graphics card made itself a somewhat easy decision: 1) I need the 600 series, may as well get 700 series for lasting power 2) 970 vs 770 is small in the long term...oh, and hey, check out this 970 on sale and with those two free games you want So I pulled the trigger on a 970, which has a clear upgrade path (get another later and SLI them for slightly more than getting a 980 outright). I still have time to return it, though. That leaves me with CPU and the potential issues that will arise from it and the new card: cooling and mobo compatibility. I'm reasonably certain I can get a i5 or i7 in the $200-$350 range that will match my goals and save me money in the long run. I'm specifically looking at the Intel Core i5-4690K or Intel Core i7-4790K. Intel Core i7-5820K is pushing my price band, but tempting for being an unlocked card that multitasks. Only then I read about multithreading creating issues specifically with MWO, and it would seem weird to get a CPU just for hyperthreading I would have to turn off to play a game well...so, should I consider that chip? Just focus on the other two? Anyway, I'm pretty sure mobo is compatible with these but wanted to run it across more sets of brains. It also raises a question I've not needed answered until now: cooling. If I'm finally looking at possibly overclocking, how do I keep my unit cool without sacrificing life-span on the CPU. To sum up: I need a CPU that is going to last me another 3-4+ years and not kill it by being a greedy n00b, so that I can AFFORD to cool it and later follow other upgrade paths for my computer in the near future (RAM, mobo and OS, multi-carding). H4lp pl0x? Also, if I'm approaching this the wrong way, please tell me.