Best Intel Core 2 Duo $100-200

First, I apologize if this is a common question. I browsed around but did not find a close enough match, and I want to get this build right.

I know virtually nothing about Intel Core 2 processors (used to be an AMD guy). All the different models are pretty confusing, especially when I find one with a higher product number and seemingly better specs that's priced cheaper than the next. All seem to be good overclockers.

So what's the best choice for value/performance/overclockability to hold me off until quad-cores become more mainstream, and what would be a good motherboard (non-SLI) to go along with it? I'm not necessarily interested in stretching the limits, as I'd rather achieve a respectable and stable OC. Cooling is built into the budget... so I don't need a $100 chip with a $80 fan/HS unless it's really the best choice for $180 total. I can go a little higher than $200 (USD) if warranted.

Also... is "Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) (4-4-4-12)" - good enough for such a build? Thanks!
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  1. You don't need to o/c the e6750 which is under your budget. At stock, it's the best bang c2d chip. Since you're not looking for extreme overclockability, don't bother with slower chips. They o/c very well, but need aftermarket cooling.

    Ballistix is made with o/cing chips Micron D9's. If you don't plan to overclock a lot, you can buy any brand name 800mhz ram. Or even 667mhz.
  2. I was actually just looking at the E6750 before I came here. It seems like it can overclock a bit as well, and I'd like to reach around 3.0 if possible. The CPU only needs to last until quads are where the duals are now, and 3.0 seems to be a conservative O/C for the 6750. Even with a decent after-market fan it'd still be around $200, since I'm not sure if I trust stock coolers. I was also looking at the e2160 mentioned in the THW guide...

    Is this a decent mobo to go with either of them:

    As for the RAM... the stuff I was looking at is on sale for about the same price as the OCZ. They look pretty close except for a slight difference in timings.
  3. Well, if you don't o/c, you would get the fastest cpu your budget allows. If you o/c, you would get a semi low-end cpu & o/c it. Yes, you can o/c the e6750. 3.0ghz is not hard with a good cooler.

    I have the DS3L in my family rig. I o/c'ed the e2180 to 3.2ghz. It's a good budget o/c board. W/o raid.

    At 46 bucks after rebate, the Ballistix is the best choice for you if you o/c.
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