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Feature Articles
Q3 2007 CPU Performance Charts
By Vijay Anand - 29 Oct 2007,12:00am

A Processor Performance Recap

A Processor Performance Recap

Exactly a year ago, www.hardwarezone.com rounded up a whole slew of dual-core performance and enthusiast class processors to give our readers a complete breakdown of how they fared. While we would have really wanted to have this comparison going every half-year, the frantic pace in hardware evolution on all fronts has caused us to re-evaluate our priorities over time.

Finally after a whole year from our last endeavor, we are back again with an updated CPU Performance Chart fitting for this time frame. With Intel's 45nm process based desktop CPU and AMD's Phenom processors set for launch in a matter of weeks, we figured that there's no better time than now to roundup all the performance figures we've painstakingly gathered over the many months of testing and set the comparison stage for the forthcoming processors. One thing to note is the upcoming new range of processors are not going to replace the bulk of the existing processors in the market anytime soon, so this roundup is certainly going to be valid for several months down the road and we are hoping this will be a reference point for many deliberators in the upgrading scene. This time around we've gathered a wide variety of Intel Core 2 and Pentium Dual-Core processors as well as AMD Athlon 64 X2 series. Before we jump to the performance graphs, we've gathered the key specs in the respective tables below to help readers better relate each processor's specs with the performance shown.

Intel Core 2 Extreme / Duo / Pentium Dual-Core Series

A year after the last recap, Intel's highly publicized Core 2 series has grown in variety to offer something for every price point and has ousted the aging Pentium D series. For the enthusiasts, Intel has had quad-core series for the entire 2007 and has in more recent times updated the core stepping to the "G0" version that is a more power optimized version with lower TDP ratings than the previous version. In the mainstream performance segment, the original Core 2 Duo series have departed and in place of the faster 1333MHz FSB variants. The Core 2 Duo E6420 and E6320 models, while still available in the market, are fast being overshadowed by the E6550 and E6750 models for superior performance at similar price points. Still, we've included their results in the graphs as they have been very popular models just like their predecessors.

The E4xxx series are lower value series parts that is based off an Allendale core rather than the full-fledged Conroe cores used in the E6xxx series. The difference being is that the Allendale has half the L2 cache size and as a result has a smaller die size. These processors also use a lower 800MHz FSB and are great for low-end motherboard chipset compatibility. For more entry level systems, Intel has the Pentium Dual-Core series that is nothing more than the same Allendale core with a L2 cache size restriction to just 1MB. Still, as we've shown in our articles, the Pentium Dual-Core processors offer unparalleled value for money when overclocked. So here's how the processors from Intel stack up:-

Intel Core 2 & Pentium Dual-Core Series Processor Details
Processor Model / Processor Characteristics Clock Speed L2 Cache Front Side Bus (MHz) Max TDP (W) Estimated Price (US$)
Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.00GHz 4MB x 2 1333 130 $999
Core 2 Quad Q6700 2.67GHz 4MB x 2 1066 95 $530
Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz 4MB x 2 1066 95 $266
Core 2 Duo E6850 3.00GHz 4MB 1333 65 $266
Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz 4MB 1333 65 $183
Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz 4MB 1333 65 $163
Core 2 Duo E6420 2.13GHz 4MB 1066 65 $183
Core 2 Duo E6320 1.86GHz 4MB 1066 65 $163
Core 2 Duo E4600 2.40GHz 2MB 800 65 $155
Core 2 Duo E4500 2.20GHz 2MB 800 65 $133
Core 2 Duo E4400 2.00GHz 2MB 800 65 $113
Pentium Dual-Core E2180 2.00GHz 1MB 800 65 $84
Pentium Dual-Core E2160 1.80GHz 1MB 800 65 $74
Pentium Dual-Core E2140 1.60GHz 1MB 800 65 $64

Note that some of these processors are still very new to the market and we've not been able to obtain all of them for our internal testing. As such, the following models will not be participating in our performance review:- Core 2 Duo E4600, E4500 and Pentium Dual-Core E2180. Also missing in our comparison if the E4300 model, but that's because it has been discontinued.

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