Previously, we've placed the baby of the Core 2 range at the top of the pile when it came time to dole out the awards. After all, why pay more when this chip can deliver nearly as much grunt as an Extreme Edition chip costing six times as much? But with time comes wisdom - the E6300 has a drawback.

As with all of the Core 2 range except the Extreme Edition chips, the E6300 has a locked CPU multiplier. And thanks to its 1.86GHz standard clockspeed, the multiplier is set to a lowly value of seven.

Consequently, if you are to hit the 3GHz frequency which most Core 2 chips can handle, you will need a motherboard capable of supporting a processor bus speed of 430MHz. Currently, only board boasting Intel's 965 chipset can consistently reach such frequencies.