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CPU And Cooler

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Processor: Intel Pentium G850

Intel’s Sandy Bridge-based Pentiums deliver amazing performance for budget-minded gamers right out of their boxes. But their overall potency is capped by two processing cores, a locked multiplier ratio, and a lack of value-added extras like Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading.

Although it's a slap in the face to many enthusiasts, what you see here is what you get. At least the 2.9 GHz Pentium G850 offers great performance per clock, low power consumption, 3 MB of shared L3 cache, and DDR3-1333 memory support. More important still, its $70 price tag freed up resources we could spend on other system components.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Pentium G850

Cooler: Intel's Boxed Heat Sink And Fan

Intel's boxed cooler consists of a familiar orb-style aluminum heat sink, a low-speed PWM-controlled fan, and a push-pin mounting bracket. It's quiet, which we like, and wholly sufficient given this platform's complete inability to overclock.

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