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Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 in Detail

After its release, the Core 2 Duo E4300 processor will be the junior carrier of the Core micro-architecture for a while. This is perhaps a more important fact than that it is based on the Allendale core. This new core is not interesting in itself as it differs but little from the full-featured Conroe. In terms of micro-architecture, the Allendale has half the Conroe's L2 cache, that's all the difference. This difference is not to be underestimated, though. Although the amount of L2 cache memory doesn't affect performance of Core 2 Duo CPUs much, Intel will save a lot on manufacturing the Allendale. The L2 cache accounts for about 60% of the Conroe core and the double reduction in the amount of transistors that make it up allows cutting the manufacturing cost of a CPU by about 20%. This must be the main reason behind the anticipated reduction of prices on junior CPUs with the Core micro-architecture.

Considering that, Allendale-core CPUs have predictable specifications. For example, the Core 2 Duo E4300 we will be discussing in this article has the following characteristics:

Core 2 Duo E4300

CPU core

Allendale

Default clock rate

1.8GHz

Bus frequency

800MHz

Multiplier

9x

L2 cache

2MB

Packaging

LGA775

Manufacturing technology

65nm

Core stepping

L2

TDP

65 W

Enhanced Halt State (C1E) Technology

Yes

Enhanced Intel Speedstep

Yes

Execute Disable Bit

Yes

Intel EM64T

Yes

Intel Thermal Monitor 2

Yes

Intel Virtualization Technology

No

The table shows that the processor's TDP hasn't changed despite the reduction of L2 cache in the Allendale core. However, the Core 2 Duo E4300 processor itself has remarkable features that put it apart from the E6000 series.

Take note of the bus frequency. Core 2 Duo E6000 series CPUs support a Quad Pumped Bus with a frequency of 1067MHz whereas the new Core Duo E4300 (and the Core 2 Duo E4400 that is expected to follow it soon) uses an 800MHz bus. It means the new processor's FSB frequency is 200MHz and it has a frequency multiplier of 9x. The new CPU will be more economical due to the lower bus frequency because it will be able to use EIST and C1E technologies to lower its clock rate not to 1.6GHz as Core 2 Duo E6000 series processors do, but to 1.2GHz.

Note also that the Core 2 Duo E4300 does not support Intel's virtualization technology.

The default clock rate of the new Core 2 Duo E4300 is 1.8GHz, which is only 67MHz lower than that of the Core 2 Duo E6300, the junior model with the Core micro-architecture up to this moment. But the new CPU will cost $163, which is $20 cheaper according to the official price-list, and is expected to hit the market as soon as January 21.

The new CPUs on the Allendale core will differ from Conroe-core CPUs visually: the elements on the CPU's bottom are placed in a different way.


Conroe-based Core 2 Duo E6300 (left) as opposed to Allendale-based Core 2 Duo E4300 (right)

In an assembled system, the informational utility CPU-Z reports the following about the Core 2 Duo E4300:

The default voltage of our sample of the CPU was 1.325V and CPU-Z got it wrong. Otherwise, the data in the screenshot are correct and expectable.

 
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