CPU And Cooler
Processor: Intel Pentium G860
There are a staggering 10 dual-core Sandy Bridge-based processors between $50 and $100 on Newegg, ranging from the 2.4 GHz Celeron G530 we bought in June to the 3.1 GHz Pentium G870.
All of them are limited by a fixed clock ratio and lack certain attractive features like Intel’s Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies. Instead, each incremental step is defined by frequency, L3 cache capacity, and memory controller differences.
Read Customer Reviews of Intel's Pentium G860
A scant 100 MHz down from the top Pentium model, the G860 we selected offers a 3 GHz clock rate, 3 MB of shared L3 cache, and DDR3-1333 memory support.
CPU Cooler: Intel Boxed Heat Sink And Fan
The cooler bundled with our Pentium processor consists of a familiar orb-style aluminum heat sink, a low speed PWM-controlled fan, and a push-pin mounting bracket. It's nothing fancy, but sufficient given this platform's total inability to accommodate overclocking.
Ever since I read the 7950B/7970GE review on here/anand performance per watt for me has been a priority when selecting components.
On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.
One may presume that someone after a $500 build is on a budget and hence doesn't want higher power consumption from overclocking.
Overclocking is good for performance per dollar, not performance per watt.
Why not substitute some existing parts for either an I3-2100 and/or an eVGA 560 Superclocked?