I just bought a new gaming rig and and I had to go on the cheap for much of it (as I had to squeeze new winter tires, new hockey equipment and house taxes) in there, so I went shopping on a budget (but splurging on a 7870 Ghz edition and SSD's as those I think would make the biggest difference to my budget gaming machine. I bought a:
core i3 3220 (3.3Ghz)
MSI G41 Z77 motherboard
Radeon 7870 Ghz edition
plus a bunch of other stuff not relevant to this question...
I figured the price difference between the core i3 ($109.99) and core i5 ($179.99) wasn't enough to justify the little bit of "turbo" the core i5 offers, but then I saw that apparantly the i3 only supports PCI 2.0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)
Hold on a minute, that's a pretty big deal. Does this mean that my shiny new Z77 motherboard would only be running it's PCIe 16x in 2.0 mode? If so, would that have any impact on my 7870's ability to output graphics? I looked through TR's review of Ivy Bridge but they only tested i5/i7. I Haven't been able to find anything on the net to give me a solid answer, but I'm still looking.
If it will impact performance, I'll buy an i5, but I'd rather save the money...