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CPU, Motherboard, And Cooler

System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010: $1000 Enthusiast PC

CPU: Intel Core i5-750

The Intel Core i5-750 has been a strong contender ever since its release, and that situation is no different today. The 700-series processors are unique among Intel’s Core i5 offerings, as they feature four physical processing cores.

In comparison, the 600-series models feature only two physical CPU cores. While Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology allows the Core i5-600 CPUs to operate on four threads at a time, it doesn’t do it as efficiently as true quad-core processors like the Core i5-750 and Core i5-760.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-750

Note that when we specified the parts for this build, the Core i5-760 was not yet available for purchase, so we are settling on the older model for our System Builder Marathon.

Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E LX

Read Customer Reviews of Asus' P7P55D-E LX

The Asus P7P55D-E Premium was an excellent performer in our Extreme P55: Four LGA 1156 Motherboards Over $250 article, and the P7P55D-E LX is very closely related to the Premium version.

The biggest difference is the lack of dual PCI Express (PCIe) graphics card slots, but the low $125 price for the LX model more than compensates for this when building a system intended for use with a single graphics card.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3

Read Customer Reviews of Cooler Master's Hyper TX3

The Hyper TX3’s price has risen to the $30 range (compared to $20 when we began our build), and while we’re happy with its performance, we might consider other options in the same price range for future SBMs.

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