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.

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  • drebo - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    That's exactly my freaking point.

    These prices, while listed on their respective manufacturers sites, are not correct. They are two different pricing schemes. One is using the price at which Intel sells them to distributors, the other is not using any pricing scheme that I've ever seen before, except on this site.

    I have varifiable proof(read: I know for an ABSOLUTE FACT) that the AMD prices are too high. How do I know this? Because my distributor prices are lower than what is listed in this article. Ergo, the prices listed CANNOT be the prices at which AMD sells to distributors.

    Thus, you're using two different pricing scales, making any conclusions based on pricing completely bogus.

    Here are accurate pricings(I'll list my price as well as listed MANUFACTURER Suggested Retail Price):
    Athlon64 X2 3800+ - $149.00 - MSRP: $186.25
    Athlon64 X2 4200+ - 183.00 - 228.75
    Athlon64 X2 4600+ - 235.00 - 293.75
    Athlon64 X2 5000+ - 294.74 - 368.75
    Athlon64 FX-60/62 - 811.00 - 973.95
    Core 2 Duo E6300 - 199.58 - 229.95
    Core 2 Duo E6300 BTX - 209.05 - 229.95
    Core 2 Duo E6400 - 239.58 - 272.95
    Core 2 Duo E6600 - 334.32 - 379.95
    Core 2 Duo E6700 - 553.26 - 629.95
    Core 2 Duo X6800 - 1021.68 - 1164.95

    Now, regardless of which pricing you use(distributor pricing, which is based off of manufacturer pricing, or MSRP), the pairings in the article are ALL incorrect. I tell everyone who asks to take these kinds of articles with a grain of salt.
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    That's not good enough, your word isn't a verifiable item. So that is what needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    It's has to be publicly available information on the web avialable from AMD and Intel, which it is as the AMD pricing charts are avaialble at AMD's site. The Intel numbers correlate directly to Intels' 1000 Unit Quantity chart.

    The pricing chart listed for you is only worthwhile for you.

    As well the current pricing scheme you posted correlates quite well to which processor vs which processor.

    I am using the pricing scales using available information, the pricing scales you have been using aren't publically available so they can't be used. The results used in this article are jsut fine.

    The problem with the information you posted is this is the first time I have seen numbers like that and it wasn't available to all.

    The MSRP's you quoted while higher then the ones listed in the article paint approximately the same picture.

    4200+ vs E6300
    4600+ vs E6400
    5000+ vs E6600

    Your prices will not be use, as they are different from everything else we have seen so far.

    The numbers in the article are apples to apples as they are both what is available to the public by both corporations.
  • drebo - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link


    The Intel numbers correlate directly to Intels' 1000 Unit Quantity chart.

    That is EXACTLY what I said. Do you even read things before you reply to them?

    The Intel pricing is using Intel's price to distributors. The AMD pricing is not using any pricing that is available in any chart or anywhere else.

    Hence: the Intel pricing is too low and the AMD pricing is too high...thus forcing processor comparisons that do not actually exist.

    And, no, my pricing is not only available to me. It's available to any company that uses distributors, because the pricing is the same, within a few dollars, between all of my distributors. Regionally, every company generally uses the same distributors. Thus, the pricing available from distributors is extremely relevant, despite the fact that you would like it to be otherwise.
  • wilki24 - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    Erm... pulling the two (closest) price points out from ZZF:

    A64 X2 4600+
    Anand: $240
    ZZF: $260
    Delta = $20

    Anand: $224
    ZZF: $239
    Delta = $15


    A64 X2 3800+ (Really should be the 4200+, since it's closer to the E6300 in price, but ZZF has majorly overinflated prices for that chip for some reason.)
    Anand: $152
    ZZF: $154
    Delta = $2

    Anand: $183
    ZZF: $199
    Delta = $16

    In one case, the delta between the two is $5 in Intel's favor, and in the other (not quite matched up price point) it's $14 in AMD's.

    Going by ZZF, it would seem that the point you're trying to make doesn't seem to be based in fact.
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    The prices are completely accurate as they are MSRP's. You want "real world" pricing, this fluctuates based on supply and demand, and is pointless to report as it constantly changes.

    If AMD wanted they could have listed their "OEM Distributer" pricing on their website, but they don't so we go by what they have listed there. If you want, you can complain to AMD about not listing the distributer pricing on their site.
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Like I said if your talking about prices at online retailers it will be a different story, I already discussed this part. Those reamin to be seen.
  • bob661 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link


    Distributor pricing is what determines street and retail pricing.
    The AMD prices are a tad higher than listed at ZZF and Monarch. We'll have no way of knowing Intel pricing until the chips are released. I heard it got pushed back to 8/7.
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Yeah judging by what we have seen so far, no online store has decreased below AMD's retail pricing on their website for the time being. Let alone the OEM distributer prices reported by Dailytech earlier before.
  • gmallen - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    For AMD owners, the true cost of using Conroe includes a new motherboard. I can upgrade to the 5000+ with my current board. So, for me, the AMD solution is much cheaper.
  • krisia2006 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    The AM2 AMD cpus in the review also require a new mobo/platform for many AMD owners, no?

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