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CPU And Cooler

System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC

Processor: Intel Core i5-3350P

Intel's Core i5-3350P gives us the benefit of Ivy Bridge without the integrated graphics engine we wouldn't have used anyway. This chip's four physical cores operate at 3.1 GHz by default, though they spin up to 3.3 GHz via Turbo Boost. We plan to push those clock rates as high as possible by capitalizing on the processor's limited overclocking headroom.

Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Core i5-3350P

CPU Cooler: Intel Retail Boxed Heat Sink and Fan

From this angle, the boxed cooler you get with Intel's Core i5-3350P looks identical to the one bundled with last quarter's Pentium G850. Both share low-profile orb-style aluminum fins, a low-speed 0.28 A PWM-controlled fan, and push-pin mounting brackets.

The difference between them is an integrated copper slug on the bottom of the Core i5's heat sink. The Pentium's solution is all-aluminum. Although we wouldn't consider this bundled add-on anything special, it's quiet and plenty capable of keeping up with our 69 W CPU, which doesn't support the overclocking headroom of a K-series processor anyway.

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