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CPU and Cooler

$500 Gaming PC: Day 1, Component Selection

CPU: Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160

Back in the 1990’s Intel put huge resources into creating its Pentium brand around its fifth-generation processors, using it even for sixth and seventh-generation architectures. The firm’s later Celeron brand came to represent processors with reduced cache and bus speeds compared to the Pentium parts on which these were based. Welcome to the new Celeron Core 2 series of processors, which, just to add confusion to the market, gets the Pentium name.

intel dual core e2160

Based on the same Allendale core as Intel’s “budget” Core 2 Duo E6320, the “cheaper than a budget part” E2160 is further handicapped with reduced cache and a slower FSB. Compared to its 1.86 GHz, FSB-1066, 4 MB Cache sibling, the E2160 runs at 1.80 GHz using FSB-800 and has only 1MB of cache.

The reduction in cache could have a profound effect on games, but the efficiencies of Intel’s Core 2 architecture are impossible to ignore. Yet the combination of low clock speed and small cache size could almost push us towards a competing part if not for the legendary overclocking capabilities of Intel’s Core 2 architecture.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX2

The System Builder Marathon team had noted the excellent cooling-per-dollar of the Cooler Master Hyper TX2 long before it became the star of our CPU Cooler Comparison.

cooler master tx2

Had our focus not been on overclocking, we might have instead spent the money on a better processor, but we expect that the performance gained from overclocking will far exceed that of the “next model up” CPU.

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