What CPUs suit best for contemporary applications – dual- or quad-core ones? It is very hard to answer this question, so no wonder that the adherents of both concepts are constantly engaged into long fierce debates about what’s best. While top quad-core processors work at the same frequencies as the dual-core ones, there are not that many applications out there that could really use their entire potential. On the other hand, dual-core CPUs overclock better, boast more favorable thermal characteristics, and the most important thing – cost considerably less than their quad-core counterparts. That is why many enthusiasts do not hurry to spend their money on Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme processors just yet.
Nevertheless, Intel seems to be working really hard on helping the users with decision making. They try to shift the users’ attention to those models that can offer maximum parallelism. Otherwise how would you explain the fact that they focus more and more on quad-core solutions, pushing dual-core CPUs into the lower-price market segment? For example, since Intel introduced 45nm production process, they haven’t increased the frequencies of their Core 2 Duo processor family even once. As a result, the top quad-core processor models have finally outpaced dual-core processors in terms of clock speeds, which doesn’t seem logical. Here I would also like to add that the new processors with promising Nehalem micro-architecture that are coming out in Q4 2008 should start conquering the market in the quad-core segment first. Thanks to simultaneous multithreading technology (SMT) these processors will be able to process up to 8 threads at the same time. Dual-core CPUs on new micro-architecture should appear in the market more than 6 months later. So those of you who don’t feel like paying extra money for additional cores will have to stay with Core 2 Duo solutions for another considerable while.
Of course, we can’ disregard the fact that Intel’s dual-core processor family is being changed dramatically, especially its lower-end models. Namely, new Wolfdale models with slashed characteristics – E7000 and E5000 – already appeared or will appear there in the nearest future. However, this evolution is meaningful only for users looking for inexpensive computers. It doesn’t take into account the interests of those who shop in $200-$300 price range. But even Intel cannot ignore for a long time this pretty large group of users who need high-frequency dual-core mainstream processors. That is why very soon the company is going to expand their Wolfdale processor family by adding one more high-speed 45nm CPU to the top of the lineup. It will work at 3.33GHz frequency. So our today’s article is going to talk about this new processor – Intel Core 2 Duo E8600.
I have to say that Core 2 Duo E8600 is also extremely interesting because it will be the first processor with E0 stepping. After that the new processor stepping will get into other 45nm Wolfdale processors, too. As a rule, the new cores bring new hopes for even better overclocking potential that is why we all look forward to the test results for the new Core 2 Duo E8600. So, let’s finish our introduction right there and move on to the actual CPU and benchmarks that we all have been looking forward to.