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Testbed and Methods

In order to select worthy competitor for our main hero, Core 2 Duo E6300, we should take a real close look at the new CPU prices the thing is that together with the launch of Core 2 Duo processor family, Intel dropped the prices of its dual-core solutions on NetBurst architecture. Of course, this Intel’s action will not remain unnoticed by its major rival, the AMD Company, which is going to reduce the prices of its dual-core processors quite aggressively in the nearest future. We assume that the processor price-list including dual-core solutions from AMD and Intel will very soon look as follows:

CPU

Specs

Price

AMD Athlon 64 FX-62

2.8GHz/2x1MB L2

$1031

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800

2.93GHz/4MB L2/1066MHz FSB

$999

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700

2.66GHz/4MB L2/1066MHz FSB

$530

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+

2.6GHz/2x512KB L2

$403

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600

2.40GHz/4MB L2/1066MHz FSB

$316

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+

2.4GHz/2x512KB L2

$301

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+

2.2GHz/2x512KB L2

$240

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400

2.13GHz/2MB L2/1066MHz FSB

$224

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300

1.86GHz/2MB L2/1066MHz FSB

$183

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+

2.0GHz/2x512KB L2

$169

Intel Pentium D 945

3.4GHz/2x2MB L2/800MHz FSB

$163

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+

2.0GHz/2x256KB L2

$139

Intel Pentium D 915

2.8GHz/2x2MB L2/800MHz FSB

$133

Intel Pentium D 820

2.8GHz/2x1MB L2/800MHz FSB

$113

Intel Pentium D 805

2.66GHz/2x1MB L2/533MHz FSB

$93

Note that this table is based on unofficial data
that is why we do not claim that the listed prices are absolutely correct and final.

Note that Intel is going to move all processors based on the old NetBurst microarchitecture into a different price group having turned them into something like “mobile Celeron” family. The top Pentium D models will be discontinued, Pentium D 945 will take over their position in the chart. This CPU will work at 3.4GHz and will not support Virtualization technology. It will become the fastest Pentium D model, although it will sell cheaper than the youngest Core 2 Duo processor.

As for the AMD CPU pricing, it will also go down, however, the price on the youngest CPU models will not drop to the level of the youngest dual-core solutions from Intel. Even taking into account the upcoming launch of the Athlon 64 X2 3600+ “lite”.

The price chart allows us to clearly determine the dual-core competitors to our Core 2 Duo E6300. They are Intel Pentium D 945 and AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+. They will be the main opponents to our today’s hero.

As a result, our test platform will look as follows:

  • CPUs:
    • AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (Socket AM2, 2.0GHz, 2x512KB L2);
    • Intel Core 2 Duo (LGA775, 1.86GHz, 2MB L2);
    • Intel Pentium D 945 (LGA775, 3.4GHz, 2x2MB L2).
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS P5W DH Deluxe (LGA775, Intel 975X Express);
    • ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe (Socket AM2, NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI).
  • Memory:
    • 2048MB DDR2-800 SDRAM (Mushkin XP2-6400PRO, 2 x 1024 MB, 4-4-4-12).
  • Graphics card: PowerColor X1900 XTX 512MB (PCI-E x16).
  • Storage subsystem: Maxtor MaXLine III 250GB (SATA150).
  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2 with DirectX 9.0c.

The tests were performed with the mainboard BIOS setup for maximum performance.

We tested the CPUs in nominal mode as well as in overclocked mode, so that you could get better idea of the performance improvement you may actually count on if you overclock your Core 2 Duo E6300. We will also provide the results obtained from the Core 2 Duo E6300 CPU overclocked to 2.94GHz; of Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU overclocked to 3.0Ghz and of Pentium D 945 CPU overclocked to 4.2GHz.

 
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