Fryday Deals: CPU/Motherboard Combo

Intel Celeron E3200 and G31 Motherboard at $59.99 ($49.99 after Rebate)

This makes for a really good value machine, with plenty of overclocking potential. The processor E3200 is one of the very first value- and mid-range processors from Intel with Virtual Technology (the other one being Pentium Dual-core E6500, a 2.93MHz beast!). Historically Intel used Virtual Technology as a major differentiator between premium-range and rest of the chips - one of my pet peeves. Virtualization is important for running virtual machines AND for running virtual XP mode in Windows 7. E3200 runs at 2.4GHz, x64 capable and every bit as good as an E8xxx chip except for rather anemic L2 Cache. It sells for $52.99 at NewEgg making this - effectively - a Buy-the-processor-and-the-motherboard-is-free deal.

The Motherboard, G31-M7 TE is, admittedly, a cheap motherboard, the main disadvantage being only 2 RAM slots instead of 4. Once you get past that, it has pretty much everything a user wants: 4 SATA ports, one PATA port, plenty of USB slots and reasonably good audio.User reviews of a similar motherboard on NewEgg seems to be very positive.

While this combo may not set any speed records, this will certainly make for a really good (I would say, excellent) value machine for all but the most serious users.

Recommended Buy.

Edited to Add: Fry's is now offering G31TM-P21 along with E3200 instead of the original Biostar board at exactly the same price (probably ran out of the latter at most of the stores). This board is very similar to the earlier one and seems to have pretty good reviews on NewEgg. So, it is still a recommended buy.


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