Last year saw the most exciting changing of the guard with processors since the introduction of AMD’s K7 core in 1999. Thanks to very solid competition from AMD over the previous few years, Intel’s introduction of the Core 2 Duo lineup of processors meant much higher performance at very reasonable prices. In fact, the near-launch availability of Core 2 Duo E6400 and E6300 CPUs meant that for less than $300 you could get performance better than previous generation Extreme Edition and FX series processors.

After the initial Core 2 launch, we didn’t see too much more from Intel, other than the late-year release of Intel’s quad-core Kentsfield processors. Earlier this week Intel introduced its second quad-core part, the Core 2 Quad Q6600 priced at $851 for a slightly more affordable entry to the quad-core market. While we won’t see anything quite as interesting as the Core 2 launch for a while now, Intel isn’t remaining quiet this year when it comes to processor releases.

1333MHz FSB processors

Intel’s chipset and CPU release schedules are very tightly integrated, and 2007’s roadmap is no different. Intel has made a habit of releasing a new family of chipsets every year, and this year’s update in Q2 will mainly bring about support for the 1333MHz FSB.

CPU performance and more recently, the number of cores per chip, have gone up drastically in recent years; the slowest Core 2 processors are more powerful in many cases than the fastest of the Pentium 4 line. Despite the quick ramp in performance and number of cores, FSB bandwidth has remained stagnant. In Q2 Intel will introduce Core 2 models ending in the number 50 (e.g. Core 2 Duo E6850, E6750 and E6650) that take advantage of the 1333MHz FSB. Both 1066MHz and 1333MHz versions will coexist as the newer cores will only officially be supported on Intel’s upcoming x35 series of chipsets.

4MB L2 across the board for the 6000 series

Another significant update coming in Q2 is that the low end 6000 series Core 2 Duo processors will receive 4MB L2 caches like their more expensive brethren. Currently the E6300 and E6400 both have 2MB L2s, but both chips will be replaced by 4MB versions - the E6320 and E6420 respectively. Clock speeds and other details won’t change, but performance will obviously increase. The best part of it all is that pricing won’t change either, so if you’re contemplating buying an E6300 or E6400 you’d be better off waiting a quarter so you can get the extra cache for free.

Introducing the 4000 Series
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  • dubrov - Sunday, February 11, 2007 - link

    WHY IN ARTICLE PICTURE I SEE:

    VOLTAGE = 1.213 v

    WHILE THE TEXT BELOW THE PICTURE STATES:

    VOLTAGE = 1.468 V

    Which one is true?

    P.S. Bought E4300 yesterday - it DOES NOT POST on FSB > 325 MHz at a default voltage.
    Is it safe to raise the voltage up to 1.5 V (won't it burn the core2 before the temperature sensor reacts)?
    Reply
  • penga - Sunday, February 04, 2007 - link

    E4300 is the n1 competitor to the X2 EE SFF Series regarding power/performance-efficiency, so why would u not include at least an X2 3800 EE SFF or an 4000+ 65nm in ur tests? Reply
  • coolme - Friday, February 02, 2007 - link

    Overall, this is a great review. The really throughly explained the advantages, and the disadvantages of the E4300. (Basically an underclocked E6700 that's doesn't have virtualization, and E4400 will have a x10 multiplier) I just wanted to say thanks, and note a minor typo in the review.

    In page 7, power consumption the paragraph between the 2 charts "Overclocked, the E6300 uses a bit more power than the X6800 but that’s to be expected.". It's the E4300 that's overclocked, not E6300.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!
    Reply
  • lapierrem - Friday, January 19, 2007 - link

    I am surprised, that I have not yet seen a single one of these up on ebay yet.
    What gives? Release something awesome but don't actually put any stock out there...and make everyone wait and the price go up...
    Reply
  • Yongsta - Sunday, January 14, 2007 - link

    Looks good, can't wait I've been holding on my next upgrade for something like this. Initially I had a Celeron 300 ($100) which I overclocked to 500 mhz+ and outperformed P4 450 ($650). Next upgrade was both Barton 2500 ($90) overclocked to past Barton 3200 speeds & P4 2.4c ($170) at 3.6 ghz. All my purchases were best bang for the buck (including video cards in the past with hacks to enable disabled pipelines, etc) and in this chip it looks like I can get it again. Reply
  • aznskickass - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    The overclocked performance of the E4300 @ 3.37GHz looks very low IMO.

    Anandtech - are you sure the E4300 was not throttling at this point? I would assume 3.37GHz/1.475V on the stock HSF would get pretty hot, possibly hot enough to trigger CPU throttling.

    Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, January 13, 2007 - link

    Some one mentioned here that a 3Ghz C2D value chip will walk all over Amd's Budgit X2's running at 1.8- 2.0G.

    I sort of found that a rather odd comment to make. Many enthusiast's look at these chips for overclock potential so.. chances are you wouldnt be dealing with a stock X2 either.

    I kinda wish they had the 3800 overclocked as well so we could get a look at both of them and compare it on a more level playing field. Granted the C2D would still walk all over the amd chip but it would be interesting to see the results.

    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    Where is the clock for clock comparisons? E4300 @ same speed as like an E6400 (overclock both to like 3Ghz) and test. That will let us really see if it's worth spending the extra cash for the E6300/6400. Reply
  • harpoon84 - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    The E4300 is slightly faster than the X2 4200+ overall - go ahead, count how many the E4300 wins, and how many the X2 4200+ wins. The E4300 wins the count 8 - 3, although those numbers are a bit misleading as most of the time the margins between the chips are very close.

    In terms of price/performance, the $163 pricetag is justified, but I still prefer it at the Q2 price of $113! ;)
    Reply
  • Xcom1Cheetah - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    Look pretty tempting but i think it is priced a little higher like

    Firstly it look like as is it a high end Core 2 Celeron (with lower FSB and half the cache BUT 2 cores). So it should be priced in between Celeron and Core 2 Territory.

    Secondly its performance overall at stock speed is between X2 3800+ and X2 4200+.. The 3800+ is going for 133 and 4200+ is for 169... (i m talking about newegg prices)

    So it should be priced like around US $150 at most in my view... and around 3800+ price to give AMD even more tough time.:) but not more than US $150 in any case.

    Just my view..
    Reply

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