Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Processor Review – 45nm Wolfdale

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Intel Dual-Core Processors Go 45nm – Wolfdale

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When AMD released the quad-core Phenom processor series last November, Phenom shocked the industry with low performance numbers and clock frequencies. If that was not enough, AMD then had to deal with the TLB erratum number 298 that presented a BIOS workaround that fixes the issue for a large performance loss. Even during this bad news, other headlines from November to February revolved around video cards, as both NVIDIA and ATI launched new series that both marked significant improvements over previous generations. With all the media focus going to the new video cards and how bad Phenom is doing, almost no one noticed the refresh of their Core 2 Duo processor lineup.  The old 65nm Conroe dual-core processor that we have all come to know and love has been replaced by a new 45nm Wolfdale dual-core processor! The Intel Wolfdale based processors have the same technology benefits that LR has already talked about in previous articles, so if you don’t know about High-k + metal gate transistors or Intel’s lead-free technology you have some catching up to do.

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With a die size of just 107mm2 and 410 million transistors, it is smaller than its predecessor, the Conroe, as it had a die size of 143mm2 with 291 million transistors. The above pictures are not to scale, but they show what the layout of the dies look like.  Most of the 119 million new transistors are for the larger 6MB L2 cache on the Wolfdale as the Conroe had just 4MB. Other transistors are dedicated to the new SSE4 instruction set and the super shuffle engine. The TDP rating (Thermal Design Power) for the chip impressively stays the same, though, at just 65W. For comparison, the fastest single desktop processor that Intel has to offer right now is the quad-core Intel QX9770, which has a TDP rating of 136W. All of the Intel dual-core Wolfdale series processors are rated at 65W TDP and have 6MB of L2 Cache.

 Processor

Cores 

Frequency 

L2 Cache 

Bus Speed 

Multiplier 

1ku Price 

Street Price 

 E8500

 2

 3.16GHz

 6MB

  1333MHz

9.5

 $266

 $285

 E8400

 2

 3.00GHz

 6MB

  1333MHz

9

 $183

 $207

 E8200

 2

 2.66GHz

 6MB

  1333MHz

8

 $163

 $172

 E8190

 2

 2.66GHz

 6MB

  1333MHz

8

 $163

N/A

Intel currently offers four Wolfdale processors and, as you can see from the table above, half multipliers are back in action as the Intel E8500 has a multiplier of 9.5. Of the four dual-core Wolfdale processors you might be wondering what the difference between the E8200 and the E8190 is as they have the same basic features. Basically, the E8190 lacks Virtualization and Trusted Execution Technology. Many people don’t even know what virtualization is, so one can expect prices on the E8190 to eventually be less than that of the E8200. It should also be pointed out that some rumors are going around that Intel will have a Core 2 Duo E8300 with an 8.5x multiplier and an E8600 with a 10x multiplier coming out later this year. 

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 - CPU-Z Data

Today, we will be testing out the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor against six other processors, but keep an eye on the $269.99 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor and $259.99 AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition Processor as these processors are in the same price range.

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