My system uses an Asus P5N32-E SLI motherboard based on the nVidia 680i chipset, so the best processors I can run are the Duo Core 45nm or Wolfdale CPUs. The E8200 is the entry point in this line, and I usually go with the entry point because they often offer more to gain from overclocking than a CPU that already runs fast out of the box. When I bought the new CPU, however, the faster E8400 was actually available for less money, so I went that route.
Pictures of the CPU, stock cooler, packaging, and included (by the reseller) bunny-suited technician key-chain are below. Though unable to perform any diagnostic or installation work on its own, the key-chain tech is cute. It also illustrates the ridiculous working conditions required to put the chips together, which may explain why the factory-sealed stickers were going on tightly enough to damage the box corner. Thankfully the internal packaging showed no damage.
The reason for the price discrepancy is tied into why low-end-of-the-range chips tend to overclock better than flagships: Chip making is not an exact science, and not every CPU off the line performs identically. As a result chipmakers will often label and sell CPUs as significantly slower than they are actually able to run in order to meet the demand for the slower processors and maintain their ability to charge a premium for the faster ones.
The E6300 that is being replaced was the entry point of its family, and I have been thrilled to have it run at 2.98Ghz for the couple years that I have had it. Keeping it stable at 1700 Front Side Bus (FSB)- (like all of Intel’s non-Extreme chips, the E6300’s multiplier is locked) required some extra voltage to the CPU, and I also bumped the Northbridge voltage. CPU-z screens are below. The combination of a Zalman CNPS9700 on the CPU and ThermalTake Extreme Spirit II on the Northbridge helped this happen without heat problems.
The next article compares stock and overclocked performance of the E6300 and the E8400 on the following system.:
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Stock: 1.87Ghz OC: 2.98Ghz, L2 Cache: 2MB
- Motherboard: Asus P5N32-E SLI, Rev A2 Chipset: nVidia 680i
- Memory: 2 X 1GB OCZ2P8001G OCZ Platinum PC2-6400 800Mhz
- Video Adapter: BFG 8800 GTS (640MB DDR3, PCIe 1 x16, 500Mhz)
- Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar 250GB WD2500KS, SATA 300, 16MB Cache, 7200 RPM
- Power Supply: Silverstone Zeus 750W ST75ZF
- Optical Drive: Sony DVD RW DRU-820A
- Enclosure: Thermaltake MozartTX
- OS: MS Windows XP Home SP2 5.1.xxxx