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.
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.
- Serious Gaming, On The Cheap
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Limited To Graphics Overclocking
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 And DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And StarCraft II
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary And Efficiency
- Did We Spend Our Money Wisely?