Halogen free refers the non-use of Halogen's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogen in the manafacture or packaging of the processor.
If you are eating the packaging, I would recommend getting a Halogen free product.
Otherwise the number that identifes the contents of the is the processor S-spec. SLB8W in the care of both packaging options listed here.
The BX is a retail box packaged processor
The AT is a OEM tray packaged processor
Both contain a the specific SLB8W stepping \ revision of the Q9650 processor.
So, Capt and Doc,
If I read you both correctly, this is a lot to do about nothing as far as I intended use is concerned!
Since I don't have an exotic use planned for this build the BX80569Q9650 is fine and I am not leaving anything on the table with this choice. Would you all agree with that accessment?
Like a kid in a candy store, "too many choices".
I have never found a need for a processor that was more pure than what came out of a typical retail Intel BOXxxxxxxxxx branded packaged processor.
Lastly what would you guys do or choose?
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If the AT is cheaper,.... In 10 years of playing working with servers and hundreds of processors, I have seen exacly 2 "bad" processors (not counting processors with the pins smashed). I would have no issues saving the money and giving up the extended warranty.
If warranty matters, the BX usually is the better choice. (3 year warranty)
Another POSTing http://communities.intel.com/message/107678#107678 ingvarius was asking a simular question and the site he was on was charging more for the AT's which still seems very strange to me since you get the 3 year warranty and pay less. (Guess that is why I am not in marketing)