CPU and Cooler
Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 440
The AMD Athlon II X3 440 sports three 128 KB L1 caches and three 512 KB L2 caches, but lacks the shared L3 cache found in AMD’s Phenom II processors. This 45 nm chip offers three processing cores, a 3.0 GHz core frequency, and solid overclocking potential.
Read Customer Reviews of AMD's Athlon II X3 440
While we would have welcomed a price drop in the Athlon II X3 435 used in last quarter's System Builder Marathon machine, at the same $75 cost, this chip was hard to resist.
CPU Cooler: AMD Boxed Heatsink And Fan
Opting for the triple-core Athlon II meant purchasing a retail package. And, with a $400 budget holding us back, we sure couldn’t afford to set the boxed AMD cooler aside. Although it isn't anything fancy, it’s certainly sufficient at stock speeds, and even leaves room to dabble in overclocking, as you'll see.
+1 for making this statement, glad someone considered it at least. All in all decent build for the money.
Even this $400 build packs a punch, you can get one HELL of a rig for the money any more. It really is insane, and that's not even considering the used or refurb market!
Awesome article, probably one of my favorite SBM, atleast the best I've seen in a long time.
150$ buys you a lot better gaming capabilities, and nothing else.
I doubt someone spending $400 can't afford to add an extra dollar. although i realize that the point in these articles is to stay under the budget, it would have been interesting to see the price/perforamce difference.
I'd bet if you could pull ~200 mhz more out of it, it would begin to match up with the missing core, and maybe start to pull away around 400mhz.
You'll have to spend a little bit more there. Rosewill has a 430W (RG430 S12) unit or the Antec Neo 400W is almost the same price as the CM after a discount and rebate.