Best Intel Processor under $250 to replace my x2 4400+?


Oct 10, 2003
Thinking of making the switch back to intel if its worth it, I admit ive stayed out of the looped completely on cpu's/mobo's since the X2 4400's came out a while back!

I figure if i go for it my budget would be
$250 for the cpu
$100 for the mobo
$100 for the RAM

What could i sell my current stuff for roughly also?

X2 4400 +
Asus A8NE
GSkill 4x512 PC3200
Are you going to overclock? and with what heatsink?

You can get 2 gigs of ram for 60 after rebate.

Core 2 Duo E4400 2.0GHz/800 LGA775 (Retail)

Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz/1333 LGA775 (Retail) --double the cache as well

The quadcore (Q6600) is around 275 but it only runs at 2.4ghz. Then again are you going to overclock?
yes i plan on overclocking, but will i notice really any major gains in performance from a 4400 @ 2.6ghz?
An E6750 is around $200. Will get near to, potentially to, 4Ghz on high end air cooling (Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme) And yes, you'll notice a difference. If you're willing to spend a bit more a Quad would only put you over budget by like, $30 and if you stayed with 2GB of RAM for now it'd be right at budget, I think. $280 or so for the chip. Make sure you get a G0.

Abit IP35-E can be had for $90 or so, good solid board.

4GB DDR2-800 is $120-140. 2GB would be plenty, and then you wouldn't go over intended budget even with the HSF.
Xeon 3210 is often overlooked quad core, and it fits LGA775 boards.
you might find one close to your budget. its supposed to be a good overclocker.
even if you "only" reach 3.2 ghz its faster than any CPU stock.
yes i plan on overclocking, but will i notice really any major gains in performance from a 4400 @ 2.6ghz?

You'd notice more if you added another gig of ram and got a 8800 or 2900 card.
yes i plan on overclocking, but will i notice really any major gains in performance from a 4400 @ 2.6ghz?

Take a look at this review and judge for youself but I would say you will notice quite a difference.

I would go with the E6750, known to overclock very well.
Get youself a good heatsink, the boxed Intel one won't get you far when you start overclocking.
The Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme is very good but don't forget to buy a fan as well, I'd recommend the Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm, moves a lot of air but still remains quite silent.
I also vote for the E6750. Great processor, especially if you are into overclocking.
ABIT IP35-E is a good board, especially for the sub-$100 price. You can get good Patriot Ram for $57 after rebate.
I agree with Glow, use that money and buy a 2gb Ram kit and an 8800 gts or better. You'll get ALOT more with that combo than a new processor and mobo atm.

P.S. Stay away from the 2900, since your only running a 450watt p/s unless you want to upgrade that as well.
If you want better gaming performance upgrade the vidcard to an 8800GTS.

If you want better overall computing, get a Core2. I went from an Opty 165 @ 2.6Ghz to an E6750 @ 3.8Ghz. As far as normal web browsing and multitasking stuff goes, theres not much difference of course. But when you get into media encoding and other CPU intensive things (photoshop, for me), there is quite a difference (even with CPU intensive games).

If you're going to spend $250 on a CPU, bump that up a bit like silent-circuit said...

$90 - ABIT IP35-E LGA 775 Intel P35 ($20 MIR)
$66 - G.Skill 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2-800 F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
$280 - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 2.40GHz 8MB L2 LGA775 BX80562Q6600 SLACR
$437 + tax and shipping - $20MIR ...

Look, you have room for a good HSF:
$45 - Tuniq Tower 120 CPU HSF
$46 - Thermalright Ultima 90 CPU HS + Panaflo Hydrowave Fan, FBA09A12M - Z ($3)
$55 - Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme CPU HS + Scythe S-Flex Fan SFF21E ($15)

I used the Ultima90 with my E6750. Performance is the same as my Tuniq, but easier to install.

This will help you determine whether or not the quadcore is for you...

Also, if you upgrade often, then go with a dual core instead. If you don't upgrade too often, then the quadcore will last you longer.

$195 - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz
$95 - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2-800 BL2KIT12864AA804 ($40MIR) - Q6600 $280 - IP35-E $90 - Geil DDR800 (1 Gb x 2) $58

Total: $428 excluding ship and tax

You save $22 if u go for this set up. I suggest Q6600 because it's totally future proof. :D

Also, you could just throw in a bit more bucks on ram if u want to.

Otherwise, you could go for E6750 instead because it's a lot cheaper than Q6600. ;)
X3210 Go stepping for 248 with free shipping.

I have the motherboard and Ram This is what I would recommand.

Minor necro here, but now that the 8800 GT has dropped, that's the best $200 in computing right now if you plan on playing any games.

Otherwise, the G0 stepping Xeons are crazy. Everybody is getting them to over 3.0, report 3.5 GHz range OC's on air. The above link is the best price I found, and they give you the SL spec and the core stepping, which is nice.