Deal of the week: Intel's Core 2 Duo E7200

We often recommend graphics cards and processors that lie in the proverbial "sweet spot" of price and performance. However, there are also some great deals to be had if one is willing to sacrifice a little performance for a sizable wad of cash.

Today's deal is the Core 2 Duo E7200, Intel's cheapest 45nm desktop processor. This offering has pretty average specs for a dual-core CPU these days—two 2.53GHz cores, 3MB of shared L2 cache, a 1066MHz front-side bus, and a 65W thermal envelope—but Newegg currently sells it for only $134.99 with free three-day shipping. That's less than half the price of the quad-core Core 2 Quad Q9300 for a chip that performs quite similarly in most tasks (except the few that are optimized to take advantage of more than two threads, of course).

Also, because of its 45nm process and relatively low default front-side bus speed, this CPU mixes good overclocking potential and low power use. We were able to push our own E7200 to 3.37GHz, and several buyers on Newegg say they managed 3.16GHz by simply bumping their motherboards' front-side buses 333MHz (1333MHz quad-pumped). One even claims to have managed 3.825GHz—not bad for $135.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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