Intel Wolfdale color-enhanced die-shot.
Processors come in various revisions as the manufacturers test and modify the circuits that comprise the finished product. The previous Wolfdale stepping, C0, was introduced with all previous versions of the E8xxx, E7xxx, and Q9xxx series processors. If you need a quick refresher on what was introduced with the original 45nm processors, check out Nate’s Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Processor Review.
The differences between the C0 and E0 steppings aren’t much on paper. There is a new function called the Power Status Indicator that will let motherboards drop their VRM down from a multi-phase circuit to a single-phase circuit to save power when at idle. There were also two additional instructions added to the instruction set, XSAVE and XRSTOR, neither of which are world changing. This stepping also features a step towards being green with the introduction of a halide-free package, just another step towards being cleaner like the move to lead-free processors. So, since the processors are electrically, mechanically, and thermally identical to the C0 stepping, why do they deserve a brief review? Simply, it’s all about that need for speed and the E8600 delivers.