CPU And Cooler
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
The AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition is a quad-core Socket AM3-based processor with 4 x 512 KB of L2 cache and 6 MB of shared L3 cache. It delivers 3.2 GHz core speeds right out of the box, and offers overclocking flexibility through an unlocked CPU multiplier that you can be sure we'll utilize.
Read Customer Reviews of AMD's Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
CPU Cooler: AMD Retail Boxed Heatsink & Fan
The boxed cooler bundled with AMD’s 125 W Phenom II X4 Black Edition processors is far better than the all-aluminum heatsink and low RPM fan we've used in past Athlon II- and 95 W Phenom II-based systems.
The copper heatpipe design and screaming 6000+ RPM fan should allow a bit more headroom for overclocking without the additional cost of aftermarket cooling.
While there are many unthinkable things in this build, the low price of $500 is also unthinkable. That's less than an ipad....
The last $500 build just was crap generally (micro-ATX and not many options on the mobo, IMHO).
This budget gaming rig is really close to what I'd build for a friend/family member that wanted to have a gaming rig. I'd change a few things, of coarse, but the overall direction (and selection of parts) is SPOT ON, IMHO!! Good job guys at TH!!!