I have to admit: I was one of those people who wanted a C2D as fast as possible. Due to my student life, I didn't have the budget to buy myself the first series of the X6800, E6700 or even the E6600. No, I had to settle with the slowest of them all: E6300, running at 1862Mhz. As the lowest and thereby cheapest product of the first line of C2D chips, the E6300 is equipped with the same features like its bigger brothers, but it has only the half of L2 cache on board (2MB instead of 4MB).
Pretty soon it became clear that the E6300 was good enough for the budget gamers, but due to the multiplier limit to 7 and the lower cache, it never reached the same performance as a E6600 or higher. The maximum multiplier of 7 limits the overclockers among us, because at that time, no motherboard could do over 500Mhz FSB easily. With the breakthrough of Intel's I965 and the new P35 chipset, these CPUs now reach higher speeds, unthinkable when they were first released. But is the old low-end CPU still a good deal for the budget gamers?
As time passed by, Intel released more and more C2D models, all with different clock speeds, L2 caches and FSB speeds. These new low-end C2D chips, the E4300 and E2160, run stock at 200Mhz FSB instead of 266Mhz. To reach 1.8Ghz, they have a multiplier of 9, ideal for higher overclocks.
With help of Leon from Dollarshops
I got my hands on a brand new E2160 and set out to compare its performance to the E6300. Both CPUs are still available in stores with prices for the E6300 ranging from €140~160, and from €80~100 for the E2160.
In the performance tests on the next pages you’ll find out if the lower CPU speed (-66Mhz) and lower L2 cache (-1Mb) will translate into a noticeable performance drop.Test Setup and Test Methodology
Intel Test Setup
|CPU ||Intel Core 2 E6300|
|Cooling ||Stock Aluminum Intel Heatsink|
|Mainboard ||DFI P965-S Dark|
|Memory ||2 * 512Mb PC5400 Corsair|
|Other ||NZXT Adamas Classic ATX Case|
Zotac 7300GT Video Card
Tagan 480W PSU
Western Digital 320Gb SATA HDD
Comparing the performance at stock speed as well as overclocked, I increased the FSB high enough so that each CPU was running at 3Ghz, additionally I pushed the E2160 a bit further to 3.3Ghz. Do note that with the E2160 the memory was running slightly faster. Overclocking was done with the stock Intel heatsink which kept the CPUs running stable even at speeds over 3Ghz.Benchmarks Used