Deal of the week: Four cores and four gigs of RAM

We have a trio of deals for you this week. To start with, we've noticed that Mwave has one of Intel's new 45nm Core 2 Quad Q9300 processors in stock for only $285. This is a full, retail-boxed model, and its four cores run at 2.5GHz with 6MB of L2 cache (3MB per dual-core die), a 1333MHz front-side bus, and a 95W thermal envelope. The 45nm process and relatively tight thermal envelope ought to allow for a decent amount of overclocking headroom, too.

For folks with a smaller budget and a preference for AMD parts, Newegg is also offering the Phenom X4 9850 for $245. While the Phenom may not be quite as fast as the Core 2 Quad Q9300, it still packs four 2.5GHz cores, 512KB of L2 cache per core, 2MB of L3 cache per chip, and an unlocked multiplier. That last feature should allow comfortable overclocking even on a bargain-basement motherboard, since you won't need to touch the HyperTransport clock. Furthermore, this Phenom model is based on AMD's new B3 silicon, so it lacks both the infamous TLB erratum and the performance penalty associated with the original fix.

Finally, what better way to complement a 64-bit quad-core processor than with 4GB of speedy DDR2 memory? For our third deal this week, we've selected a 4GB kit of Mushkin's DDR2-800 RAM, which Newegg sells for only $74.99. This kit is made up of 2GB modules, but at that price, each one costs about as much as the cheapest 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 kits around. And with just two memory banks populated for 4GB, you should have room for another 4GB should the need ever come (assuming your motherboard and operating system support it, of course).

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