Over a week has passed since our Core 2 Extreme & Core 2 Duo review and although the dust is finally starting to settle, not all questions have been answered. We're still hard at work on investigating issues like 64-bit performance and comparing performance per Watt across more applications, but today we're here with another piece of the puzzle: a look at the Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6400.

The E6300 and E6400 are particularly attractive members of the Core 2 family because of their fairly low cost; unfortunately their performance isn't as easy to predict because they are currently the only two Core 2 processors that don't have a 4MB L2 cache. We already illustrated in our earlier review that the larger L2 cache found in the E6600 and above is good for up to 10% of a performance boost depending on the application, but the fact of the matter is that the cheapest 4MB Core 2 Duo is $316 while you can have the E6300 and E6400 for $183 and $224 respectively.

In addition to the question of performance, there's also the issue of overclockability. We've already seen that the high end Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme CPUs are fairly overclockable, thanks in no small part to Intel's 65nm manufacturing process, but what about at the low end? Can you take a $183 Core 2 Duo E6300 and through overclocking achieve performance similar to the more expensive E6600 or even the almighty X6800? It's been a while since we've even wanted to overclock an Intel CPU in order to get better performance. In the past we'd simply recommend buying AMD, but with Core 2 Duo the overclocking prospects are too intriguing to ignore.

New Pricing

AMD hasn't been sitting idle; this week its extremely aggressive price cuts go into effect, making the Athlon 64 X2 a more affordable CPU in many cases compared to Intel's Core 2 processors. AMD also announced its intentions to acquire ATI Technologies, but we'll save that discussion for a forthcoming article.

The new pricing structure can be seen below:

CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB $999
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 4MB $316
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz 512KBx2 $301
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz 512KBx2 $240
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB $224
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz 512KBx2 $187
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 2MB $183
Intel Pentium D 945 3.40GHz 2MBx2 $163
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 512KBx2 $152
Intel Pentium D 915 2.80GHz 2MBx2 $133
Intel Pentium D 820 2.80GHz 1MBx2 $113
Intel Pentium D 805 2.66GHz 1MBx2 $93

The Athlon 64 X2 5000+ is now cheaper than the Core 2 Duo E6600, which was really necessary considering that the E6600 is faster than the Athlon 64 FX-62 across the board. If the E6600's street price ends up being significantly higher than the table's suggested $316, the 5000+ (assuming its street price is not also inflated by demand) will be a nice alternative.

The E6400 is now more expensive than the X2 4200+, a comparison that we will be able to look at in-depth today to determine a winner at the low $180 - $230 price range.

And finally we have the E6300, which now is a more expensive competitor to our long-time favorite: the Athlon 64 X2 3800+. Today we'll find out for sure if the E6300 will be the low-cost dual core CPU to have.

Overclocking
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  • jonp - Sunday, September 02, 2007 - link

    The text above the chart for the E6400 says 2.88GHz at 360 MHz FSB at 1.350V (with a multiplier of 8).
    The chart however shows 1.312V; which is what my stock E6400 runs at.
    So what's up?
    Reply
  • Killer4Hire - Sunday, October 29, 2006 - link

    I agree about your test making the AMD cpu's look none overclocking and at the crazy price of DDR2 ram and the MOBO i just don,t see the bang here..

    My 3800+ X2 non AM2 on Cheap DDR ram can,t bring it also and make the FX62 look bad.. at 2.6Ghz it scored 7232points in 3Dmark05 cpu test on cheap DDR at a $45Mobo.. where dose that put me in your chart?? oh i am sure she could do 3.0Ghz also..
    Reply
  • sergejvictorov - Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - link

    Can anyone help me as to what RAM clockspeed I need to buy in order to overclock the E6300 on an ASUS P5B Deluxe board to - let's say - 2.592 GHz? Is DDR2-675 from Corsair sufficient? Thanks in advance Reply
  • Nfarce - Friday, July 28, 2006 - link

    Hey look, I was about to plunk down serious bux for an X2 setup to replace my aging P4 o'clkd 3.6xx system (that replaced an Athlon prior, that replaced a PIII prior.. blah blah). Don't you bedwetters know that this give and take is cool for everyone? No, I guess not for EVERYONE. I guess not for those butt pirates with their heads stuck so far up AMD's @ss that they can't see anything but "bias" in a review that shows FACTS. That's ok AMD girlz, take your soccer balls and go home now after trashing Anandtech. Don't forget to dry out your pretty pink wet panties. Reply
  • aznskickass - Saturday, July 29, 2006 - link

    Man you are the thickest fanboy I have ever seen.

    Since you obviously have no interest in E6300 overclocking whatsoever, and will therefore have no fcuking clue what you're talking about, let me enlighten you:

    E6300s with Gigabyte DS3 boards are hitting 3.3 - 3.5GHz on air cooling. Check XS forums if you don't believe me. That is the equivalent of an X2 @ 4.1 - 4.4GHz. What are your beloved X2 3800+s getting? 2.8GHz? 3GHz if you're lucky?

    That means, with the right mobo, an o/ced E6300 can outperform an o/ced 3800+ by at LEAST 25%.

    You just got owned fanboy. Get a clue FFS.
    Reply
  • deathwalker - Friday, July 28, 2006 - link

    So how long will it take AMD to come up with a competitive response to the Core 2 Duo? Or better yet...do they even have a competitive response in the pipeline? Reply
  • snorre - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    It was nice knowing you, at least uptil Intel bought you lock, stock and barrel. After reading your latest reviews I have no doubts left in my mind, you're officially gone the THG route. I used to be a lojal reader and both linked and recommended your site to other people for unbiased information, but I will stop doing this now for obvious reasons. I hope you'll wake up and smell the coffee soon before you loose any more readers. Good-bye! Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    So what are they suppose to do? Lie about Conroe's performance? You are one of the biggest AMD fanbois around, sometimes it hurts but suck it up as Intel won this round. There was not anything biased about this article or their coverage. They have been just as big AMD fans as Intel fans since the website started. Leave if you must, but do not do it because the numbers tell the truth. Reply
  • najames - Friday, July 28, 2006 - link

    Oh boy, oh boy I want to buy one of these Conroe's right now. I'm gonna order one.

    Hmm, Newegg doesn't have them, Monarch doesn't have them, it seems nobody has them.

    Why are we worrying about comparing vaporware to something that has been out for a long time. Why don't we just compare the Conroe to an upcoming AMD 4x4 then? It's all vaporware then at least.

    Oh and let's make sure we compare lots of 64bit stuff too, after all there has been 64bit OSs around for about 15 years now.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, July 29, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Hmm, Newegg doesn't have them, Monarch doesn't have them, it seems nobody has them.


    I ordered two from Tiger Direct and one from ZipZoomFly. No issues, received one today and the other two on Monday. :)
    Reply

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