The Test

While the major benchmark suites still lack support for the OS, we are trying our hands at testing CPUs under Windows Vista with this review.  By now we know not to expect a significant performance difference between Windows Vista and XP, but given Vista's compelling feature set we see it becoming the dominant PC OS for new system builds in the enthusiast community.  

With a substantial number of our CPU benchmarks available in 64-bit versions, using the 64-bit version of Vista wasn't a difficult choice.  Since we're also using modern components in our testbeds, driver support wasn't an issue either.  Given what we saw in our Vista Performance Guide, the ability to use more memory for features like SuperFetch warrants the switch to 64-bit if you don't have any legacy hardware without driver support. 

The only other change we've made to our test beds is the use of 4GB of memory; by no means is it necessary (yet) but Vista's added memory requirements coupled with its better use of free memory makes 4GB a good target for enthusiasts. 

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0GHz/1MBx2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.8GHz/1MBx2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6GHz/512KBx2)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (2.0GHz/512KBx2)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66GHz/4MB)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.40GHz/4MB)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86GHz/2MB)
Motherboard: ASUS P5B Deluxe (P965)
ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe (nForce 590 SLI)
Chipset: Intel P965
NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI
Chipset Drivers: Intel (Intel)
Integrated Vista Drivers (NVIDIA)
Hard Disk: Seagate 7200.9 300GB SATA
Memory: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 (1GB x 4)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 100.54
Desktop Resolution: 1600 x 1200
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
The Real Story is Pricing General Performance
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  • Sc4freak - Sunday, April 15, 2007 - link

    It's one of the few games out there that benefit greatly from multi-core. It would have been interesting to see how this new CPU benefitted one of the most CPU-bound games out there right now.
  • SilverMirage - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    AT fails to be completely honest with the situation:

    1. AT conveniently publishes this on the exact day AMD's price cuts come into effect. That's interesting. Although AT mentions this, they could have mentioned that AMD's previous prices were not able to compete.

    2. Benchmarking the 5000+ against the e6300 is inherantly biased since it will be the e6320 which is contending with the 5000+

    "5000+ will have to contend with the E6300"

    3. Now this depends a lot on the mobo, but I'd say that the conclusion from these benchmarks is that the E6320 and E6420 will be better for their price in a week or two.

    he Athlon 64 X2 6000+ is a realistic alternative to the E6600/E6400, the 5600+ competes well with the E6400/E6300 and the 5000+ can hold its own against the E6300/E4300

    (AT fails to mention again that the E6300 is an unfair comparison)
  • duploxxx - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    In the beginning of C2D launch we saw many reviews reducing the multiplier to see what 4mb of cache could do against 2MB of cache... it was only a few % depending on the type of apps... so stop the crap that a 6320 will outperform a 5000, same with the e6400 vs 5600. because for sure it will not!

    As for power consumption, yes a K8 consumes more power at load, It also consumes A LOT LESS in idle, how long is you're system idle a day? And buy a normal ATI chipset like the asus M2R32-MVP and the total power consumption at load will be less than the C2D system...

    any system can be oc'ed.... one bether than the other. you are talking about 5% of users maximum. the allendale tend to oc worse these days......

    nice review but start using the ATI chipsets also, they are equal performers against NVidia and cunsume a lot less and also cheap these days.
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    It is funny, you come here saying the Anandtech crew is full of BS, yet you do not bring any proof with you, so excuse me if I call BS on you. Things do not magically work one way, instead of another, JUST BECAUSE *you* say so.
  • DeepThought86 - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I don't understyand why only the CPU prices are considered?? Shouldn't the overall cost including a motherboard be a much more realistic measure? What about a performance/overall (CPU+MB) cost metric be very useful
  • Griswold - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I just skimmed over the article, but where are the numbers for power usage?
  • RedWolf - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    One thing that is in AMD's favor is that Dell is now selling AMD machines. The college I work for is buying all AMD machines this year. Even the slowest C2D machines are a few hundred dollars more than AMD machines. All of our machines this year, including laptops, are Athlon X2 powered machines because the price was so attractive. I simply could not configure a C2D machine that came close. That price difference allowed us to go to 2 gb of ram and still be under C2D pricing for the same machine. Granted we aren't building enthusiast machines or buying for business but we are buying AMD and getting them at great prices.
  • dm - Monday, April 9, 2007 - link


    The April 22nd price cuts aren't terribly aggressive, but they do restore a little balance to the equation . The 6000+ goes back to compete with the E6600 instead of the E6400, which does change things thanks to the E6600's larger L2 cache. The 5600+ now goes head to head with the E6400 instead of the E6300, and the 5000+ will have to contend with the E6300.

    It is important to note that Intel is also coming up with a better Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300 and Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6400, which are Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320 and Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6420. Both have full 4MB L2 cache and will be a lot better performer. I have done quite a few tests with them here (and it includes Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4400 as well):">


    The price is obviously quite steep, and those who are not opposed to overclocking would be better off buying a Q6600 and simply overclocking it to QX6800 speeds.

    You missed a wonderful processor, which is the quad core Intel® Xeon® X3210 (2.13GHz/8MB L2/1066MHz) which is an LGA775-socket compatible CPU and would appear to be binned to worked at a lower voltage. And according to guru3D ("> the price will be hovering the $430 range. I have done some testing with this Intel® Xeon® X3210 here:

    Part I (Stock Benchmark):">
    Part II (Overclocked up to 63%):">

    Anyway, overall, nice article!!!
  • skrewler2 - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Doing a google search, I see the price is around $750-800.. Too bad, you got me excited too
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    DM I didn't see any head-to-head comparison of 6300 to 6320 and 6400 to 6420 in your review of them. Am I reading your graphs wrong?

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