Overall, the results of our today’s test session are hardly unexpected. We have already come across processors on Wolfdale core in its full and limited modifications several times already, so the today’s new processors have in fact demonstrated pretty logical results.
Core 2 Duo E7300 has slightly increased the performance of Intel mainstream processors due to 133MHz higher clock speed than that of the previous model in the family. As a result, its power consumption has also increased a little. However, these are no qualitative changes: E7000 series is still slower than the youngest models from E8000 series, so the launch of E7300 will hardly affect the situation in the market that much. At the same time, even though E7300 has only half of L2 cache memory and 20% lower bus speed, the same clock frequency as of E8200 helps it catch up with the youngest model in the E8000 series. Core 2 Duo E7300 is on average only 6% slower than Core 2 Duo E8200.
Full-features Wolfdale also demonstrate their superiority over the modifications with limited functionality during overclocking. Since Core 2 Duo E7300 uses the same core as E7200 model, both these processors overclock similarly. And it means that a slight voltage increase and air cooling will allow both of them to work at frequencies of about 4GHz, but no higher than that – a little less than what the youngest models from E8000 lineup are capable of. However, the top models in the E8000 family using new E0 processor stepping overclock much better: their maximum frequency rests around 4.6GHz.
As for the other tested processor, Pentium Dual-Core E5200, it is a much more interesting newcomer. It starts a new processor family that will replace the old Pentium Dual-Core on 65nm cores. The E5200 model is based on a 45nm core with 2MB L2 cache, which will raise its performance to the level of Core 2 Duo E4000 processors little by little leaving the market. Pentium DC E5200, just like its predecessor, will be positioned in the sub-$100 price range, so it will be an extremely attractive solution from the price-to-performance prospective. Due to 2.5GHz clock frequency it is on average only 5% slower than a higher-end Core 2 Duo E7200 CPU. Although this difference may become more noticeable in some applications that are sensitive to bus speed and amount of L2 cache memory and may reach 10%.
I would also like to point out great power efficiency of the new Pentium DC E5200. It is one of the most power efficient dual-core desktop processors today that offer sufficient performance for the majority of applications.
Overclockers should also be pretty pleased with Pentium DC E5200. It is based on the same core as Core 2 Duo E7000 and can boast very similar overclocking potential, which will be enough to push its performance to the level of top dual-core solutions.