Summary: The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was the cooler. The cooler it comes with is somewhat anemic. It seemed to be the bare minimum cooling capacity to keep the processor functional. It will be in a high heat environment and I want to get the longest life out of my rig. That was a very easy fix with a quick trip to Fry's.
Summary: I believe anyone who buys the processor already has a pretty good idea what they want. However, here is a useful piece of information. The processor fan and heatsink that are included in the box will not fit many barebones computer boxes. For example, the Dell optiplex 790 USFF box that is available on ebay requires a proprietery processor fan heatsink that may be difficult to find. Likewise the SFF box.
Summary: The Intel Sandy Bridge line of processors is simply amazing. I have not a single complaint about them. The i3 is ideal for those who are simply doing web surfing and basic word processing. There are some older games that would likely run fine on this processor also. But, honestly it is the HD2000 graphics that have to be the biggest knock against this CPU (hence the 4 stars). But, that is about it! If you want to game with it, get a good graphics card and you'll be fine.
Hyperthreading and 7.1 on WEI (Careful With the Cooler's Push-Pins...)
C. Fountain, Amazon
24 August 2011
Summary: Pros: - Extremely fast dual core CPU - Includes hyper-threading - 7.1 out of 7.9 on WEI - Stock Intel cooler is fairly quiet Cons: - No turbo-boost - Stock Intel cooler has somewhat troublesome plastic push-pin mechanisms that hold the cooler to the motherboard. When installing these I carefully tried to apply the same amount of pressure to each pin, but one pin went in too far and seemed to break pretty easily. I thought I damaged my CPU and motherboard.