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Intel Low-End Processors

It's not as obvious as it seems.

September 11, 2008



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Tests

  1. Our test method is described here.
  2. All data types are reduced to one relative integer score: performance of a reviewed processor compared to performance of Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, which is considered 100 points.
  3. Detailed results are available in this cumulative Excel spreadsheet. The article contains only summaries of each benchmark class.
  4. If detailed results are worthy of your attention, we mention them.

Professional tests

3D modelling



Everything is natural in this case. It's just a bit surprising that a Pentium dual-core processor, the fastest in the series positioned as low-end, outperformed not only Core 2 Duo E4300, but E4400 as well. Despite the fact that Intel positions the bottom part of the Core 2 Duo series, including E4xxx models, as middle-end. And also despite the fact that these two have double the cache than Pentium dual-core. Still, clock rate turned out to be more important.

CAD/CAM



Hardly any difference between Celeron 440 and Celeron E1400 clearly indicates how this application treats multi-core. But the effect of a larger L2 cache is obvious: Pentium E2180 outperformed Celeron E1400 by 23%. Still, 1 MB L2 turned out to be well enough, as another doubling of L2 cache (Core 2 Duo E4400) resulted only in 8% performance growth. And again we have to make a special mention of Pentium dual-core E2220, the fastest in its series, due to its result outstanding for a low-end CPU.

Compiling



All claiming that the current compiling test is "single-threaded" should compare clarifying results of Celeron 440 and Celeron E1400. The effect of a larger cache is also noticeable: 30% in case of Celeron E1400 vs. Pentium E2180 and 16% in case of Pentium E2180 vs. Core 2 Duo E4400. At that cache size turned out to be so critical in this test that 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo E4300 performed nearly on par with 2.4 GHz Pentium E2220!

Professional photo processing



Having the same core clock rate but double the cache, Core 2 Duo E4600 outperformed Pentium E2220 just by 4%. This is not impressive, to put it mildly. Either Adobe Photoshop is content with 1 MB of cache (dynamically shared between cores), or it needs more than 2 MB of it for the next performance boost. In general, it's clock rate that is critical: Pentium dual-core is on the heels of identically clocked senior brothers from another family. The example of 2 GHz Celeron E1400 is even more indicative. Having just 512 KB cache available for both cores, it successfully catches up with 1.8 GHz Pentium E2160!

Scientific suites



This test hardly benefits from multi-core (the performance of Celeron 440 and E1400 is precisely identical), but a larger cache provides a decent boost: Pentium E2180 outperforms Celeron E1400 by 25% and loses 10% to Core 2 Duo E4400.

Web server



Strangely enough, this test generally favors clock rate more than large cache as well: Pentium E2200 outperforms Core 2 Duo E4400, though the clock rate of the latter is just 0.2 GHz lower and the cache is twice as large.

Total professional score



Results of Core 2 Duo E4300 and Pentium E2180 are the most indicative: 1.8 GHz + 2 MB L2 is on par with 2.0 GHz + 1 MB L2. Pentium E2220 surprises as well -- by the very fact that it performs on par with not the slowest Core 2 Duo E4xxx.


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Page 1: Introduction, testbed

Page 2: Professional tests

Page 3: Non-professional tests



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