$74 Gets You Faster than any Pentium 4 Ever Made

The Pentium E5300 is very similar in clock speed and cache size to some of the original Core 2 Duos that launched in the summer of 2006. You may recall that Intel offered both 2MB and 4MB L2 variants of the Core 2 at launch. The E6300 and E6400 both had a 2MB L2, while the E6600, E6700 and X6800 all had a 4MB L2.

The Pentium E5300 is based on the Wolfdale core, which is faster than the original Conroe based Core 2s - but it only has a 2MB L2 like the old E6400. The E6400 however ran at 2.16GHz, the E5300 runs at 2.60GHz. In other words, today’s $74 Pentium E5300 is faster than the original Core 2 Duo E6400.

But the comparison gets even more interesting. Remember that the E6400, at launch, was faster than even the fastest Pentium 4 - the dual core, four thread Pentium Extreme Edition 965 running at 3.73GHz. The charts below from my original Core 2 Duo review show just that:

Do you see where I’m going with this? While the data above is old, it shows that the E6400 was faster than the fastest Pentium 4 ever released. And the $74 E5300 is faster than the E6400, therefore the Pentium E5300 is faster than any Pentium 4 ever released.

Most people didn’t have 3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Editions in their systems - they had lower clocked versions, in which case the E5300 should be even faster. If you had a 2.8GHz Pentium D, I’d expect the Pentium E5300 to be anywhere between 20 - 40% faster regardless of application. Mmm Moore’s Law.

The Test

Motherboard: Intel DX48BT2 (Intel X48)
MSI DKA790GX Platinum (AMD 790GX)
Chipset: Intel X48
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
AMD Catalyst 8.12
Hard Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB)
Memory: G.Skill DDR2-800 2 x 2GB (4-4-4-12)
G.Skill DDR2-1066 2 x 2GB (5-5-5-15)
Qimonda DDR3-1066 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 280
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 180.43 (Vista64)
NVIDIA ForceWare 178.24 (Vista32)
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit (for SYSMark)
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit


Index SYSMark 2007 Performance


View All Comments

  • Doc01 - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    I fully agree with you, that the Athlon is unrivaled.
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Now THIS is a "valid" retort... The others cannot understand my clearly underlying point; as you've described yours. I now understand a possible reasoning.

    Thanks for the insight mate.

    Lastly...The nit-picking over negligible and highly specific instances where the lower power...

    *Pause* lmfao give me a break, just who or what group (purchasing this cpu) is large enough to justify that case? Nobody gives a crap about 10-40W power diffs. Those types of examples are laughable as:
    1) Most people who buy this chip are not running a file server(s).
    2) Don't give a hoot about small power diffs.
    3) They want performance/dollar period.
    4) Even the cheaper ($20) HSFs of TODAY are more than enough to cool them, even OC'd... Your argument would have flown (shortly) maybe 7yrs ago?

  • erple2 - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    I had thought that these chips were simply the x4's that couldn't pass the full quality tests with 4 cores, so AMD simply disabled the cores that couldn't pass. That might bump up the "yield" of at least sellable chips from 60 odd percent per die to closer to 85%. From AMD's perspective, it's "free" money - they were going to throw out those CPUs anyway, but disabling multiple cores got them to pass.

    Now, people complain all the time about the power hungry graphics cards that AMD made. See arguments in the comments about the 4890 and the GTX275 about the extra 30W the 4890 uses at idle or full tilt over the GTX275. It therefore does matter to someone. I just questions whether it matters as much as they think it does :)
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    Actually, if you read through the comments in a bunch of articles here, you will likely find before too long something by the guy running his house completely off solar/wind, who is always asking for lower power components. Not to say that is a typical case, but there are people for whom 10-40W do make a difference.

    Also, on the "crippling" hardware point: By your definition, aren't pretty much all processors "crippled," as they do not run at their maximum stable speed by default? Are you only going to buy the QX9770/PhenomII 955/i7 965 class hardware because it is not "crippled"? And if those can be overclocked, doesn't it mean they are "crippled" too?
  • nubie - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    You seem to be coming from a different corner than me.

    It makes perfect sense from a market standpoint, there is only so much people are willing to spend, if you don't have a product at that price then they might buy somewhere else.

    I think that the Intel method is great. 2MB level 2 cache is acceptable, although losing the Virtualization is regrettable.

    Having a 45nm core with a multiplier of 12.5 or 13 on an 800mhz front-side bus means that cash-strapped enthusiasts will be clearly on Intel's side.

    I don't see anything wrong with the practice, I always enjoy getting more for less.

    Look at all the benefits of the 'crippled' (we prefer the term 'feature reduced') processors. The same process, same tech, same billions in research and development, 70% of the performance, if not 80-90% (or higher). In the case of a reduced quad core you also get less power consumption and higher potential overclocking, with the lower heat output that goes with it.

    All you have to do is pay a fraction of the price. Sounds fine to me.

    Tinkerers, hackers, overclockers, customizers, hobbyists, call us what you will, but we just don't have the budget of a small country to operate on. These companies are letting us play with the result of Trillions of dollars of research for the cost of a couple tanks of gas or a few meals.

    I would much rather buy Phenom II x3 Black or a Q6600 and spend $50 on a heatsink and thermal compound than $500 on a 6-core or 8-core processor to run at stock speeds. My performance in the applications and games I actually use will be 80%-150% of the more expensive processor anyway.

    The balance of the money I can spend on an OCZ Vertex SSD or a SuperTalent SSD and make the computer perceptibly more responsive.

    I just don't see your point.
  • v12v12 - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    I don't care what the market or stand point is... It's costing me (more). I've been OC'ing for a decade plus. I'm on a OC'd AMD as we speak :-)

    My point is... I don't like the fact that with the flip of a "switch" you COULD have the true, full active CPU. So the extra "cost" of "on/off" is my issue. Not 80% performance for 30% less (est.) Just give us the 4 cores for the cheap price, b/c it's obvious if they can ship out 4 cores -minus 2 with a flick of a switch... then they prob could be selling all of them for that price or a tad bit (say 10-15% Max) higher. I'm arguing from the consumer's POV, and so should all of you. Justifying the manufacturer's POV is like...

    The problem with USA's society; the ignorant poor/middle still day dreaming as if they were rich, by voting in and arguing the RICH man's POV, which in essence, keeps them enslaved, lol! Fight YOUR class/side's battle, NOT theirs. Arguing why it makes sense for them is pointless; you're still getting 4 cores minus 2, b/c of a simple "on/off." What justifies (aside from more profit (attempts in AMDs case)) this in your mind?

    I'll pay less for the SAME hardware, but get less. If I find a way to "flip the switch" am I "wrong?" Are they "wrong" for cutting the switch? Yes, no? I don't care about them, I care about ME. AMD has shown it's just as guilty of market/performance hype and the like, as with Apple, as with Intel and anyone else. Why the exception and excuses for AMD but nobody else? They flat out deceived and lied about the Phenom when it 1st was in pre-release. Everyone just turned their heads b/c AMD was wounded and limping. A lie is a lie in this case. Once I discovered this from a myriad of review sites, I lost respect for AMD; though I still support them and want them to pull through solely b/c it benefits us as consumers. I don't care about Intel Vs AMD... I care about the CHEAPEST + Fastest hardware for the money.

    The cost of flipping a switch is the bottom-line of the argument; the rest is filler and entertainment value for this forum :-)
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Your perspective would be valid were it not for one thing: AMD isn't likely to be killing off fully functional, 100% working cores on a lot of CPUs. The reason they have tri-core isn't to sell more CPUs at a lower price, it's that the fourth core is defective in some way. The same goes for dual-core, so they're not 100% working, perfect CPUs that have been crippled; they're defective CPUs that are made to work 100% correctly by circumventing some faulty circuitry. Maybe *some* dual-core and tri-core are not faulty, but I wouldn't count on it. Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - link

    Also as a further note, by faulty it just means it didn't pass their scratch test (or whatever) While some of us might unlock these cpu's and find that they work fairly well with all cores enabled that doesn't mean that they are fully working cores according to Amd's spec. Reply
  • Insomniator - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    If there was no way to flip the switch then the cheapest chip would be well over 70 bucks or whatever the given crippled chips cost.

    Its not like Intel/AMD would sell tons more chips if quad cores were 100 bucks (wait, actually AMD already has them at that price but anyway...), they would just sell the same number of chips but without added revenue from thousands of $150+ chips.

    So do you want to be forced to pay 150 for the only chip available, or have the option of spending half that or twice that depending on what you need?

    Also lets not forget about heat/power consumption... a 5x00 uses less power than a 9x00... which is a big deal for many people and a huge deal for businesses. It would really suck if the only chip available was a Q9650 or a PII 955, even at just $150, if you just wanted to make a file server.

    If say a company like AMD only makes one chip but cripples them to sell at different price points, do you think it makes sense for them to have to make completely different chips with different manufacturing lines to sell the same products? Prices again, would go up overall.

    In conclusion, your complaint doesn't make any sense.
  • balancedthinking - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - link

    Did I miss something? Are you realy using the word "profit" and "greed" in the same sentence with "AMD", regarding an AMD product?

    Regarding the other aspects, I think you should definitly start thinking about not smoking that green stuff anymore.

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