After a lot of hype and anticipation, the new Intel Core 2 Duo processors are now available in stores. Prices start at $ 180 to $ 530. You can now also find motherboards with Intel's latest P965 Express chipset, which are more readily available from around $ 150. The more exotic versions cost up to $ 250.
But it's not for nothing that such a huge hype surrounded Intel's new CPU version. As our test results will show later, even the slowest Intel Core 2 Duo processor is significantly faster than more expensive Pentium D processors. Take the Pentium D 950, for example, which is a $ 250 processor, while the newer Core 2 Duo E6300 initially only costs $ 180. This means that a processor and motherboard combination with the latest Intel technology could cost $ 330, wiping the floor with previous Intel processors, and at least equivalent to those from AMD. However, the question is which of the four Intel Core 2 Duo processors offers the best ratio of performance to price.
All four Core 2 Duo processors that we are testing today use a 1066 MHz front-side bus (266 MHz quad-pumped). The E6700 is the flagship with 2.66 GHz and a 4 MB L2 cache. Then there is the Core 2 Duo E6600, which works at 2.40 GHz, also with a 4 MB L2 cache, and is probably the best value / performance option of the entire Core 2 Duo series. The Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6400 processors have a shared 2 MB L2 cache and are clocked at 1.86 GHz and 2.13 GHz. There is an 810 MHz difference between the fastest and slowest Core 2 Duo processors. Also from our summary, but still worth mentioning, is the Core 2 Extreme processor, which runs at 2.93 GHz, like earlier CPUs in the Extreme series. This model has an unlocked multiplier different level than the processors we are testing today.
In this article we will examine the differences between the four Core 2 Duo processors. How much do sinking clock frequencies have an impact on the cheaper models and what impact does halving the L2 cache from 4 MB to 2 MB have on performance. This is achieved through a series of real game tests as well as some synthetic benchmarks.
Take the Core 2 Duo E6400, for example, which costs about 20% more than the E6300 and I wonder if the additional $ 40 is worth it. The E6600, on the other hand, costs 40% more than the E6400. I would imagine that this is because the E6600 has twice as much L2 cache.
|Central processor||Clock frequency||L2 cache||Price|
|Core 2 Duo E6700||2.66 GHz||4 MB||$ 530|
|Core 2 Duo E6600||2.40 GHz||4 MB||$ 316|
|Core 2 Duo E6400||2.13 GHz||2 MB||$ 224|
|Core 2 Duo E6300||1.86 GHz||2 MB||$ 183|
Switching from the E6600 to the E6700 costs an additional 68%, bringing the total to $ 530. At the end of the day, most users simply buy what they can afford or feel most comfortable with. However, it is always helpful to know whether you should peel the extra batter for the E6400 instead of the E6300. Or, instead of buying the 2MB L2 Cache E6400, is it best to handle the additional 40% fee and opt for the 4MB L2 Cache E6600? I think performance figures will best answer this question. So let's go on …