Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 & E6400: Tremendous Value Through Overclocking

AMDTech seems to be on a joy ride using the new processor from Intel. They have been doing lots of reviews and analysis on the upcoming processor and they have been posting these articles at a fast rate than before. Well, this maybe because they are really getting great results from the processors. So they now post a new article, about overclocking the processor. I have actually posted my own review as well, on the overclockability and performance of the said processor here at Article: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300 Overclocking Test (Unbeatable Price/Performance/Watt). You may want to check that one out as well, expand for more.

Over a week has passed since our Core 2 Extreme & Core 2 Duo review and although the dust is finally starting to settle, not all questions have been answered. We're still hard at work on investigating issues like 64-bit performance and comparing performance per Watt across more applications, but today we're here with another piece of the puzzle: a look at the Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6400.

The E6300 and E6400 are particularly attractive members of the Core 2 family because of their fairly low cost; unfortunately their performance isn't as easy to predict because they are currently the only two Core 2 processors that don't have a 4MB L2 cache. We already illustrated in our earlier review that the larger L2 cache found in the E6600 and above is good for up to 10% of a performance boost depending on the application, but the fact of the matter is that the cheapest 4MB Core 2 Duo is $316 while you can have the E6300 and E6400 for $183 and $224 respectively.

In addition to the question of performance, there's also the issue of overclockability. We've already seen that the high end Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme CPUs are fairly overclockable, thanks in no small part to Intel's 65nm manufacturing process, but what about at the low end? Can you take a $183 Core 2 Duo E6300 and through overclocking achieve performance similar to the more expensive E6600 or even the almighty X6800? It's been a while since we've even wanted to overclock an Intel CPU in order to get better performance. In the past we'd simply recommend buying AMD, but with Core 2 Duo the overclocking prospects are too intriguing to ignore.


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