We do our best to keep close eye on all the events happening in the CPU market. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that over the past year we posted almost two dozen processor reviews on our site. Nevertheless, even that doesn’t seem to be enough to keep track of all changes and new tendencies. We are certainly focusing more on the hot new solutions, and in 2009 almost all of them belonged to the high-end and mainstream segment. So, it turned out that inexpensive processors didn’t get enough of our attention this year. However, I don’t think that it is fair to focus only on expensive high-end solutions. The regular refreshes in the low-end processor lineups from AMD and Intel resulted in the fact that even the value CPUs currently have sufficient computational capacity for successful work on many tasks. The graphics processors developers certainly contributed to this state of things by transferring some of the tasks that used to be solely CPUs’ responsibilities into the graphics cards. As a result, you can currently use low-end processors not only in offer computer systems, but also in some home systems, and that would be not for the reasons coming from the worldwide economic crisis. At this time even nettops built on low-performance Intel Atom processors have won their fair share of the market. So, low-cost Socket AM3 and LGA775 solutions with guaranteed higher performance and universality should definitely do well, especially since they can be used in platforms allowing easy upgrade.
For the reasons described above we decided to dedicate our next article to the CPUs priced within $35-$60 range and this way round up the discussion about inexpensive platforms that we started in our Celeron E3300 review and an article on contemporary chipsets with integrated graphics. So, our today’s article will be targeted not for computer enthusiasts but for those users who shoot for approximately 200-dollar platforms (including a CPU, mainboard with integrated graphics and memory). In our roundup we are going to talk about possible system configurations like that and show the performance level they can actually attain.