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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  • bob661 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link


    Really, this amd fanboi crap has seriously gotten out of hand lately. I love amd. But the FUD that you guys have been spewing lately is just garbage. I
    Give me a break dude the Intel fanbois were doing the same thing. Nothing to see here. Move along.
  • araczynski - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    looks like i'll be gettig the E6600 for great base performance with capability to overclock decently. I'll probably be sticking with a P965 mobo since i won't be going for crazy overclocking or crazy cooling solutions (that turniq cooler looks just about right for my tastes).

    now i just have to figure out whether to get a 7900gt/gtx/50gtx.... to last me until the second generation of the dx10's comes out...
  • drebo - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    The pricing in this article is inaccurate. The Conroes are too low and the Athlon64s are too high.

    Seems to me you're using vendor pricing for one and suggested retail for the other.
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    No the pricing is completely accurate they are using AMD's price lists that come directly from AMD itself, and they are using Intel's prices for 1000 Unit Quantities, that will also be published on their website.

    If your talking about actualy price on online retailors that will remain to be seen.
  • drebo - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    No, I'm not talking about online retailers.

    I'm talking about actual prices that I can get right now from my distributors and the listed suggested retail prices.

    Where, exactly, are you getting your prices?
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Go to AMD.com and you can get their official pricing, the listed numbers are what will be on Intel's website when they get updated for Core 2 Duo.

    OEM Distributer pricing is a different metric.
  • drebo - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link

    Distributor pricing is what determines street and retail pricing.

    Intel can post the MSRP of $999 all they want, but if distributors are selling their products for more than that, the price will never be seen.

    What matters is that these prices are not accurate, and paint an entirely different story than should be painted.
  • goinginstyle - Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - link


    What matters is that these prices are not accurate, and paint an entirely different story than should be painted.

    Neither are the AM2 prices currently as most places are selling the FX62 well above the $799. So what was your point? It is all about supply and demand, the same thing happened when AMD launched S939, the prices were way over the stated numbers by AMD. You have to start with a base, the published pricing is the base.
  • drebo - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link


    most places are selling the FX62 well above the $799

    Genius, $799 is not MSRP for the FX-62. $799 is the price at which AMD sells the processor to its distributors. The distributor then sells the processor to retail and/or wholesale outlets with a markup. The retailers and wholesalers then sell the same product with yet another markup. Currently, my price for an FX-62 is $811. MSRP is near to $1000, but then I, and many other sellers, do not use MSRP. I use cost-based pricing.

    I'm not trying to prove anything here other than that the prices listed in this article are incorrect, and that the conclusions drawn are vastly different than conclusions that could be drawn were the pricings correct.

    By the way, all prices I've quoted have been for PIBs, not tray processors. I don't use OEM processors...too much liability.
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - link

    And, that's the thing the prices quoted are correct.

    Using distributer pricing isn't a good idea as it could vary between the companies, depending on the deal you got as well, those particular prices can't be verified.

    The prices listed on this chart can be since they are listed on AMD site and will be on Intel's.

    There isn't a choice, unless you wish to use the real world pricing floating around as that is what matters at the end of the day, but there are issues with that, as that fluctuates.

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