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Cheapest Quad Core Sandybridge Processor is a Winner - i5 2300
Latest Generation Technology - Great Multi - Tasking - Cool Running and Power Effricient
Unlocked models offering increased potential performance only £30 more expensive .
Ease of Installation
Value For Money
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Bought this processor for my own custom build earlier this year - and i'm delighted with it. I never had the intention of overclocking my computer - so i purchased this processor as opposed to the K models - which are designed for enthusiasts who want to manipulate the clock multiplier.
It's a very strong, cool running processor, which sits quite happily at 33 to 37 degrees celcius during most of the time when it's on, playing moviesetc. The highest i've ever seen the cpu temps are about 50 degrees celcius, and that was during WEI and 3d Mark testing (designed to test the capabilitiesof cpu and gpu)
Windows Experience index for this processor using Windows 7 x64 is a very respectable 7.4 out of 7.9.
In all honesty it's a great processor, but for not much more you can buy a K series for about 20-30 quid more - it's up to you, since the boards that take advantage of the unlocked K series processors (P67 and Z68) are way more expensive than the H61 and H67 series boards for normal users.
Power consumption on the i3-2300 is rated at 65w TDP - very efficient - i ran my system faultlessly using a 400w PSU with an HD5670 graphics card and it works fine
The onboard HD2000 graphics, which are embedded in the processor are a great improvement on the traditional GMA inbult graphics chips- but are still millions of miles away from the kind of beastly performance you can expect from the likes of new RADEON and NVIDIA Graphics cards.
Tweaking the graphics in the BIOS can see a WEI graphics score of 5.8 for Desktop and 6.0 for gaming both out of 7.9 - very respectable for an on-die GPU
all in all, a great processor with no frills - designed for heavy workloads and low power consumption - A + + +