This post is a part of series post I write to cover my experience in building a cheap, emergency gaming computer.

Building a gaming box is not that hard, given you had enough budget. But for a broke, cheap ass guy like me, the current top of the line gaming PC is simply unaffordable. The only choice left is to build a cheap ass PC as a temporary rig, and hopes that sometime eventually, I can save enough money to upgrade it.

So first thing first: Processor. My previous processor is an AMD Athlon 2400+ and an AMD Athlond64 3000+. Never had an Intel processor. Not because I’m an AMD fanboy, no sir. I chose AMD because the price per performance ratio of these processors, at the time of buying, is sweet. Now for my new processor,my target is a sub-$100 processor. The processor that quickly pop up in mind was Athlon64 X2 7750 (again, not a fanboy :P). But after doing a little research on current processor available on the market, Intel E5200 quickly grab my attention.

Here’s a couple review I’ve found on the processor. review of E5200:

The fact is, the E5200 is an $80 offering, and at that price, it’s about $30 less-expensive than the E7200, which it competed nicely with. Being a Pentium model, it lacks the SSE4 instruction set, and comes bundled with less cache, but as we’ve seen, that makes little difference in the majority of tests. Where those two adjustments will make a difference is with multi-media specific scenarios, especially those that use SSE4 when available. review:

Clocked at 2.5 GHz with 2 MB L2 cache and running on an 800 MHz front side bus (FSB), this dual-core 45 nm Wolfdale doesn’t offer the same stock performance as the Core 2 Duo E7300 used last month did, but currently at a $43 cheaper price, it offers tremendous value and performance for the overclocker on a budget.

Reading all the professional reviews above, I still had a doubt. After all, I never had an Intel processor before (Okay maybe I am a little bit fanboyish). But after reading customer review (nice reviews they have there) at newegg, I’m sold. Yes, its no quad core. It’s just a dual core running at 2.5GHz. But 70$ for a processor that can run at 3.32GHz on stock fan and voltage (In case it’s not evident enough… that’s a 50% overclock) is awesomely cheap! So for me, E5200 it is.