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Conroe vs. Wolfdale: To the Limit

Testing Core 2 Duo E6550, E6850, E8200, E8500.

July 23, 2008



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This article won't touch upon "holy wars" (we warn you in advance, if you wonder why no AMD here). These processors are not included, because they are not necessary here. We shall examine two interesting families of Intel processors with 333 MHz (1333 MHz Quad Pumped) FSB, based on the relatively old (Conroe) and relatively new (Wolfdale) cores. On the face of it, they differ only in L2 cache size (4 MB in Conroe and 6 MB in Wolfdale). However, as we already mentioned, these cores have deeper differences. What concerns our selection principle, it's very simple and consequently very informative: we selected the slowest and the fastest model from each series. Thus, even if you are not interested in the comparison of cores, you will still get useful information about performance ranges of two interesting Core 2 Duo processor families.

Hardware and Software

Testbed configurations


CPU Motherboard Memory Video
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 ASUS Maximus Extreme Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DIN GeForce 8800 GTX
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 ASUS Maximus Extreme Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DIN GeForce 8800 GTX
Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 ASUS Maximus Extreme Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DIN GeForce 8800 GTX
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 ASUS Maximus Extreme Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DIN GeForce 8800 GTX
  • Memory: 4 GB (4 x 1 GB modules)
  • HDD: Samsung HD401LJ (SATA-2)
  • Cooler: Thermaltake TMG i1
  • PSU: Cooler Master RS-A00-EMBA

Processor Core 2 Duo E6550 Core 2 Duo E6850 Core 2 Duo E8200 Core 2 Duo E8500
Core name Conroe Conroe Wolfdale Wolfdale
Fabrication process, nm 65 65 45 45
Core clock, GHz 2.33 3.0 2.66 3.16
Number of cores 2 2 2 2
L1 cache, I/D, KB 32/32 32/32 32/32 32/32
L2 Cache, KB 4096 4096 6144 6144
FSB clock, MHz 333 (1333) 333 (1333) 333 (1333) 333 (1333)
Multiplier 7 9 8 9.5
Socket LGA775 LGA775 LGA775 LGA775
Heat dissipation 65 W 65 W 65 W 65 W

Software


Application 64-bit Multi-threaded*
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 + +
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 + +
Autodesk 3ds max 9 SP2 + +
V-Ray 1.5 SP1 + +
Autodesk Maya 2008 Ultimate + +
NewTek Lightwave 3D 9.2 + +
SolidWorks 2007 SP0.0 + +
PTC Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 M120 + -
UGS NX5 5.0.0.25 + +
Wolfram Research Mathematica 6 + +
MapleSoft Maple 11 - +
MathWorks MATLAB 2007 + +
Adobe Photoshop CS3 10.0 - +
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 + +
Apache HTTP Server 2.2.8 - +
PHP 5.2.5 - +
MySQL Community Server 5.0.51a - +
ACDSee 10 Photo Manager - +
xat.com Image Optimizer 5.10 - -
IrfanView 4.10 - -
XnView 1.93.4 - -
Paint.NET 3.30 + +
7-Zip 4.57 + +
WinRAR 3.71 - +
UltimateZip 3.2 - -
FLAC 1.2.1 - -
LAME-MT 3.97 + +
Musepack MPC Encoder 1.16 - -
Nero Digital Audio Encoder 1.1.34.2 - +
Ogg Encoder 2.83 (Lancer) - +
Canopus ProCoder 3.0 - +
DivX Codec 6.8.2 - +
XviD Codec 1.1.3 Final - -
x264 Codec rev 807 - +
VirtualDub 1.8.0 - +
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Patch 1.5) - +
Call of Juarez (Patch 1.1.0.0) + DX10 Enhancements Pack - -
Crysis (Patch 1.2) + +
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (Patch 1.006) - +
Unreal Tournament 3 (Patch 1.2) - +
Company of Heroes (Patch 1.71) - +
World in Conflict (Patch 1.007) - +

* Means that two or more simultaneously active threads are actually present during tests; not just the fact that a process generates several threads.


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