Everyone's wanted to trade up at times. Sure, you
can get the 8oz steak for $15, but the 12oz steak is only $17.... Sometimes
the choice can be as easy as calculating performance versus price, but other
times it's worth to pay more if it will really satisfy your needs. In this
review PCSTATS is testing out Intel's Core 2 Duo E8500 processor,
paced at just a hair faster than the popular Core 2 Duo E8400
The 3.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 CPU is
a dual-core chip based on the 45nm 'Wolfdale' core that falls into the upper
end of family, supplanted only by the relatively expensive Core 2
This socket 775 processor packs in 6MB of L2 cache and operates with
a 1333MHz Front Side Bus speed. The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 retails for around $230 CDN ($200 USD, £130 GBP),
which makes it considerably more affordable than quad-core processors with
equivalent clock speeds and cache.
The base multiplier for the Core 2 Duo E8500 processor is 9.5x, and having a
such a high frequency multiplier will likely be a big benefit for overclocking,
so PCSTATS is anticipating expecting good overclocking results. The
more important question is whether that extra jump in performance will make your
computing experience that much better.
Intel's Core 2 Duo E8500 processor is physically similar to the Core
2 Duo E6750 (Conroe) and Socket 775 Pentium D processors that came before
it. All of these processors use the Land Grid Array 775-pad package.
|| 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Processor
Core 2 Duo E8500
Code name: Wolfdale
L1: 2 x
Bus: 1333 MHz
Cost: $230 CDN
Intel's move to a 45 nanometer manufacturing
process means the silicon die here is approximately 104mm2 in area and contains
around 410 million transistors. While the Core 2 Duo E8500 is a Socket 775 CPU,
it isn't compatible with all Socket 775 motherboards, due to different voltage
requirements and processor power envelopes.
Currently the Intel X48, X38, P45, P35, G35, G33 and G31 chipsets have native
support for 45nm 'Wolfdale' processors and will support the 1333MHz Front Side
Bus speed. Motherboards with older chipsets may support Wolfdale processors like
the E8500 processor though BIOS updates, although compatibility isn't universal.
As always, check the vendor's support page before you pick up any new parts.
Due to its 45nm die-shrink, the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor can be
clocked at higher speeds yet maintain the same thermal design power (TDP) as the
older 65nm E6000 series of processors. The typical TDP for the Core 2 Duo E8500
processor is 65W.
1333 MHz Front Side Bus Speed / 45nm Wolfdale
Wolfdale processors are currently Intel's fastest dual-core
processors. You can identify a Wolfdale processor by its family series. The
Intel E5000, E7000 and E8000-series are all based on the Wolfdale core, and
share the same 45nm manufacturing process.
The Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 is a member of the highest end family. All
E8000-series processors have 410 million transistors, 6MB of L2 cache, run at a
1333MHz front side bus, and have a TDP of 65W. The lower end of the Wolfdale
dual-core processor families scale down accordingly: the E7XXX family of
processors have 3MB of cache and run at a 1066MHz FSB, and the Intel E5XXX
family, which has 2MB of cache and runs at 800MHz FSB.
Intel has also added some new instruction sets for its Wolfdale (dual-core)
and Yorkfield (quad-core) 45nm processors. The new SSE4 (Supplemental Streaming
SIMD Extension, if you were wondering) instructions consist of 47 new vector
instructions, most of which focus on improving the processor's co-ordination
with graphics and video acceleration.
|Intel Socket 775 'Wolfdale' 45nm Processors|
|Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
|Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
| Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
|Intel Core 2 Duo E8300
|Intel Core 2 Duo E8200
|Intel Core 2 Duo E8190
|Intel Core 2 Duo E7500
|Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
|Intel Core 2 Duo E7300
|Intel Core 2 Duo E7200
Hardware virtualization has also improved, better for applications like
VMware. Intel's improved hardware assisted virtualization is better at managing
requests from the virtual manager, which allows both the virtual machine and the
native operating system to make calls to the hardware without conflicting with
one another. The larger, 6MB cache on the high-end Wolfdale processors is also
very useful in these environments.
Intel's also talked a lot about how power efficient these new 45nm Wolfdale
processors are going to be - so of course PCSTATS is going to put their claims
to the test...