Deal of the week: Building a cheap Core 2 box

— 5:03 PM on September 22, 2006

The launch of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors and accompanying P965 Express-based motherboards two months ago was plagued by limited availability and high prices. Many retailers continued to overcharge for the new chips until two or three weeks ago, but finding a Core 2 Duo within just a few dollars of Intel's listed price is now quite easy. As luck would have it, some new P965-based motherboards have also come out that dip much closer to the $100 mark than their older siblings. One of these motherboards is the Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H, which we found to be a pretty solid offering, despite its awkward name, in our review. The board lacks RAID and native command queuing support for Serial ATA drives, but it makes up for these shortcomings with very decent performance and a price tag that can be as low as $99.98 according to our price search engine.

Couple the Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H with a Core 2 Duo E6300, which can now be had for $183 with free shipping at Newegg, and you can put together a system capable of some mean performance and fairly nice overclocking without breaking the bank.

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