Two Sides to the Picture: Performance and Price
The user’s buying inexpensive processors like Core 2 Duo E7300 and Pentium Dual-Core E5200 reviewed today, rarely rely only on their performance when making a buying decision. Trying to do the right thing they also pay due attention to the price point. Therefore, we decided to go past traditional performance benchmarks and provide an additional chart illustrating the price-to-performance ratio of the today’s testing participants. Especially since we have just tested almost all contemporary processors price between $80 and $160.
The diagram below contains all the official CPU pricing. Note that the current retail prices are not that much different from the official recommended prices, so they will hardly affect the conclusion.
The next diagram sums up the average performance our testing participants demonstrated in benchmarks today. We calculated this value as an arithmetic mean of the normalized test results.
The average performance values may be of interest “as is” to many users. Very often you buy a new platform for a variety of applications, rather than one particular type of tasks. This is where the average result may be important.
However, the next diagram may be of even more interest to you: it compared price and performance at the same time:
You see right away that the price of mainstream processors grows much faster than their performance. For instance, Core 2 Duo E8200 costs twice as much as Pentium DC E5200, but the performance difference between them is no bigger than 20%. It is so, because clock frequency still remains the primary factor affecting the performance within a family on the same microarchitecture. All Intel processors from the price range in question fall into the frequency interval from 2.4GHz to 2.66GHz. Intel’s attempts to change the CPU speed by changing the bus frequency or the size of L2 cache turn out not so efficient. So, looks like one of the cheapest processors, Pentium DC E5200, currently offers the best price-to-performance combination.
As for AMD processors, the company definitely needs to revise their pricing now that Intel launched another set of inexpensive processor modifications. For example, AMD Athlon X2 6000+ can’t offer the same attractive consumer functionality as Pentium DC E5200. However, the triple-core Phenom X3 8750 looks very good here. AMD chose the right strategy for promoting Phenom X3 as an alternative to mainstream dual-core competition. This seems to be the right role for Phenom X3 8750.