CPU And Cooler
Processor: AMD FX-6300
The AMD FX-6300 sports a trio of Piledriver-based modules, which in turn pack two integer cores each. This 95 W CPU is outfitted with 8 MB of shared L3 cache and a 3.5 GHz base frequency, which, out of the box can reach up to 4.1 GHz with Turbo Core enabled. It also enjoys the flexibility of an unlocked CPU multiplier.
Read Customer Reviews of AMD's FX-6300 (opens in new tab)
CPU Cooler: AMD Retail Boxed Heatsink & Fan
Although we were thrilled to get an extra Piledriver module activated at no cost compared to an FX-4300, we're still disappointed in the cooler that AMD bundles with the -6300. It consists simply of a small, all-aluminum block and a 70 mm fan. In contrast, the company's 125 W chips (like the FX-6350, -8320, and -8350) at least include a more formidable heat sink packing a copper slug and heat pipes. This is something we simply must factor into the overall value. When you're forced to dump an extra $20 or $40 bucks into aftermarket cooling, you could have stepped up to a higher-end CPU instead. And if you truly value a quiet PC, you really have to go the aftermarket cooler route.
For this build, we had other plans for our money. Additionally, we wanted to test the boxed cooler and see what FX-6300 could do in its most affordable form.