Deal of the week: AMD's Athlon X2s and a cheap GPU

— 3:13 PM on December 19, 2008

AMD quietly adjusted prices in its dual-, triple-, and quad-core processor lines the other day, and the changes have now propagated to online retailers. The cuts look especially significant in the dual-core range, where they position CPUs like the 2.6GHz Athlon X2 5000+ at just $52 with free shipping at Newegg.

The sweet spot in that price range might very well be the Athlon X2 5050e, though. While it runs at the same clock speed and costs slightly more at $63 (still with free shipping), the 5050e features a slim 45W power envelope. 63 bucks for a very capable, low-power dual-core processor is a steal, especially when you can throw in an AMD 780G motherboard with decent integrated graphics and HDMI output for only another $67 before shipping. If you're seeking parts for a cheap yet powerful home-theater PC, then you may want to stop here.

For those more interested in PC gaming than sitting around on the couch, AMD's Radeon HD 4830 might prove a more tempting choice. Newegg sells a PowerColor version of this card for $110 with a $25 mail-in rebate, which is also extremely cheap for a GPU that should run all the latest games (like Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, and Left 4 Dead) at reasonably high resolutions with graphics detail turned up. PowerColor includes an HDMI port, too.

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