Originally released in 2012 for a whopping $1,550, the Xeon E5-2670 is attracting a lot of interest among PC enthusiasts following the second hand market. This four-year old CPU delivers 8-cores clocked at 2.6GHz with a 3.3GHz turbo frequency and a large 20MB L3 cache. Though it was intended for use with the C600 series chipset, it's also compatible with X79 desktop motherboards, and as such it supports the same quad-channel DDR3 memory as its desktop cousins, the Core i7-3970X and 4960X processors.
You're probably wondering at this point, why we are talking about an old, expensive server-grade processor? Well, late last year many thousands of these processors hit the second hand market as previous generation Facebook (and other) servers were decommissioned by used equipment recyclers. With so many processors in play and little demand for them, prices have plummeted by 95% to just $70. Moreover the Xeon E5-2670 is able to support symmetric multiprocessing, meaning you can buy two Xeon E5-2670 for $140 to create an insanely affordable 16-core/32-thread beast.
Of course that's exactly what we set out to do. Paired with a dual-socket Asrock EP2C602 motherboard and 64GB of DDR3 memory, the core components of our system came in at $700, which is just slightly over the asking price of a 6-core 5930K.