Final Words

If it weren't for AMD, we wouldn't have Core 2, and if it weren't for Core 2 then we wouldn't have affordable Athlon 64 X2s. Right now is one of the best times to purchase a new processor that we've seen in a long time -- assuming current prices hold and that availability of Core 2 Duo chips is reasonable in the next week or so. If you've been running a single core processor and are finally looking to make the jump to dual core computing, there's little reason not to at this point.

The processor landscape has been changed once more thanks to AMD's extremely aggressive price cuts. The Core 2 Duo E6300 is a better performer than the X2 3800+ but is also more expensive, thankfully for the E6300's sake it is also faster than the 4200+ and the 4600+ in some benchmarks. Overall the E6300 is a better buy, but at stock speeds the advantage isn't nearly as great as the faster Core 2 parts. In many benchmarks the X2 4200+ isn't that far off the E6300's performance, sometimes even outperforming it at virtually the same price. Overclocking changes everything though, as our 2.592GHz E6300 ended up faster than AMD's FX-62 in almost every single benchmark. If you're not an overclocker, then the Athlon 64 X2 4200+ looks to be a competitive alternative to the Core 2 E6300.

The E6400 finds itself in between the X2 4200+ and X2 4600+ in price, but in performance the E6400 generally lands in between the 4600+ and 5000+. Once again, with these 2MB parts the performance advantage isn't nearly as impressive as with the 4MB parts (partly due to the fact that their native clock speed is lower, in addition to the smaller L2 cache), but even with AMD's new price cuts the Core 2 is still very competitive at worst. If you're not opposed to overclocking, then the E6400 can offer you more than you can get from any currently shipping AMD CPU - our chip managed an effortless 2.88GHz overclock which gave us $1000 CPU performance for $224.

There are two potential concerns with building a budget Core 2 Duo system. The first is availability, and hopefully we will have a clear answer on that subject in the near future. The other is motherboard cost. The ASUS P5W-DH we used in this article is currently the best overclocking motherboard we've seen for the socket 775 platform, but at $250 it is anything but cheap. We have seen quite a few of the P965 motherboards that can also overclock the budget Core 2 chips to reasonable levels, with prices hovering much closer to $140. Unfortunately, none of those boards can support SLI or CrossFire at present.

If you are simply interested in maximum processor performance, P965 with any of the Core 2 Duo parts is going to be very fast. Gamers on the other hand are probably going to at least want to think about SLI/CrossFire, as typical gaming settings will be GPU limited with just about any current single GPU. That means they might need to pay more for an appropriate motherboard, especially if overclocking is a primary concern. We're also waiting to find out how nForce 500 for Intel does in the overclocking arena; at present, there's definitely concerns about whether or not the NVIDIA motherboards can reach the high FSB speeds that are required for overclocking everything but the X6800.

The E6300 and E6400 can easily overclock to E6700 and Core 2 Extreme X6800 levels, though the smaller cache does limit performance a bit. That being said, our overclocked E6300 was able to equal and in all cases but one outperform AMD's Athlon 64 FX-62. In fact, in quite a few benchmarks, the overclocked E6300 is essentially out of reach of anything AMD can offer with their current K8 designs. At $183, the value here is tremendous, and if you're willing to overclock the benefits don't get any clearer than that.

Gaming Performance using Oblivion
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • jonp - Sunday, September 2, 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?
  • 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..
  • sergejvictorov - Wednesday, August 2, 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 they even have a competitive response in the pipeline?
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gary Key - Saturday, July 29, 2006 - link


    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. :)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now