The Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Processor
With the release of the Intel E4300 chip, building one's own computer is worth it again. The overwhelming majority of retail computers cannot be overclocked, and those that can are usually so expensive that it's not worth buying in the first place. For those of you who think overclocking is unsafe and unstable, as long as one keeps speeds and settings within reasonable limits while using high-quality (not always high-priced) hardware, overclocking does no harm to a computer.
With overclocking not getting the yields it once did, and retail computers being cheaper than ever, it hasn't been worth it to build your own computer for a while, unless you just enjoy hardware (like me), or you were a hardcore gamer (like 0.1% of computer owners).
That is until this year. The Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 doesn't seem like much on the surface. It's a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo chip, which is adequate, but not very fast. That is, until one considers the overclocking ability of the chip. Unlike Intel's E6x00 series, the 4 series runs at a slower bus speed (200MHz vs 266MHz) and a higher multiplier (9 vs 7). In short, the result is a chip that can easily clock to 3Ghz.
The following link shows a E4300 overclocked to 3.38GHz with the stock Intel cooler (with the Gigabyte DS3 motherboard below).