Anandtech published another CPU roundup, this time they take a look at mid-range processors from AMD and Intel.
Then there's the question of motherboards; it's finally possible to build a fast system that actually uses integrated graphics if you're not going to be playing any 3D games. Relying on integrated graphics will further reduce the power consumption and noise level of your system. There's no point in testing these CPUs with $200 - $300 motherboards, so we decided to focus on more affordable platforms, including testing with integrated graphics. This is the full experience: we're pairing $80 CPUs with $80 motherboards and seeing where they end up.
The question is this: if you're building a fast but affordable system, but you want it to be 1) low power and 2) potentially use integrated graphics, what do you do? We're about to tell you.