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CPU And Cooler

System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $500 Gaming PC

Processor: Intel Pentium G860

There are a staggering 10 dual-core Sandy Bridge-based processors between $50 and $100 on Newegg, ranging from the 2.4 GHz Celeron G530 we bought in June to the 3.1 GHz Pentium G870.

All of them are limited by a fixed clock ratio and lack certain attractive features like Intel’s Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies. Instead, each incremental step is defined by frequency, L3 cache capacity, and memory controller differences.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Pentium G860

A scant 100 MHz down from the top Pentium model, the G860 we selected offers a 3 GHz clock rate, 3 MB of shared L3 cache, and DDR3-1333 memory support.

CPU Cooler: Intel Boxed Heat Sink And Fan

The cooler bundled with our Pentium processor consists of a familiar orb-style aluminum heat sink, a low speed PWM-controlled fan, and a push-pin mounting bracket. It's nothing fancy, but sufficient given this platform's total inability to accommodate overclocking.

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