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With high-end processors going for over a thousand dollars, care needs to be taken when choosing a CPU to make sure that you're getting the latest technology without breaking the bank.
Right now, my silicon of choice comes from Intel, and I believe that the best bang for the buck is offered by the quad-core 3.2GHz Core i5-3470 with built-in HD 2500 graphics. You get cutting-edge 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge technology at a price that won't break the bank.
At $200, this is a lot of silicon for the money.