Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fan, video card and hard drive model. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements POV-Ray 3.7 was run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load. All of the systems used identical hardware, minus the motherboard and processor.
Results: The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 is spectacular when it comes to power consumption. It’s clocked 19% higher and has 119 million more transistors than the Intel Core 2 Duo E6750, but it uses 3.5% less power at idle and 8.9% less at load! The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 is also lower than equally priced quad-core processors, which makes sense as it is just a dual-core.
The Intel Core 2 Duo processor series got a nice boost in performance and enjoys lower power consumption numbers thanks to the move to a 45nm process and other improvements made to the core. The additional L2 cache and the higher clock frequencies make it hands down a better choice than Conroe when it comes to building a new system. The move from 65nm to 45nm seems to be ideal no matter how you look at it, to be honest. The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 that we specifically looked at in this article did very well in the benchmarks and consistently beat the AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition quad-core processor. This goes to show how well the Wolfdale core has been developed and also how bad of a position AMD is in when it comes to processors. When it came to overclocking, the 45nm Wolfdale processors do great and hitting 500MHz FSB is easily possible, which means 2GHz DDR3 memory kits can be finally released and companies like Corsair Memory have already launched such products. If you are looking for a great dual-core processor, any of the Wolfdale processors are ideal and with prices starting at $163 on the Intel Core 2 Duo 8200 they are also affordable. The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor easily deserves the first Legit Reviews Editor’s Choice award that we have given out for 2008.
Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor is the fastest dual-core processor we have seen yet and the new 45nm Wolfdale core is better in every imaginable way than the 65nm Conroe core that it will be replacing.
If you are curious as to what processors are coming out in the future, AMD has triple-core processors coming out, but losing a core isn’t going to help them catch up on the benchmarks unless they can really increase the overall clock frequency. Our sources in the industry that have triple-core processors say that the clock frequencies are not much higher, if at all, so there goes that bit of hope. Intel, on the other hand, has had information about an upcoming processor called Dunnington leak out in recent days and it turns out that it is a processor using three of 45nm dual-core dies, but fear not, they are socket mPGA604 processors aimed at the server crowd.