The Components - Continued
Moving along, we have the processor for the system. Thanks to Intel's recent processor review, we have on hand the Intel Core 2 Duo E7200. This is the new value oriented low power processor from Intel which runs at a 2.53GHz core clock using a 1066MHz FSB and carries with it 3MB of L2 cache for the two cores to share. It's based around the 45nm Penryn architecture and belongs to the Wolfdale Core 2 Duo family.
Compared to the older Conroe E4000 series, the E7200 has a massive lead without a huge price tag. Adding to all this, the TDP of the CPU is only 65watts. While that's 20watts more than the AMD Athlon 4850e we used in the AMD HTPC article, it's still very respectable.
For our memory, we used the same Corsair 2GB Dual Channel Kit from the AMD HTPC article. These modules are rated to run 800MHz with low latencies. While the GIGABYTE board is designed to take 1066MHz DDR2 modules, more voltage will be needed to get these modules this high and we wanted to keep power as low as possible. While this will hamper memory performance, we don't expect a huge hit.
While we could have gone with a faster graphics card, we are aiming for a value conscious low power system for basic gaming and general office work, and the ATI Radeon 3450 based graphics card from HIS was perfect for this.
Lastly, the hard disk. We used a Western Digital 1TB Caviar GP drive which is designed to operate quieter, cooler and use less power thanks to its in-built thermal and power management software. In all, a well rounded system by any means.