Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale CPU

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Intel ships their new Core 2 Duo E8x00 lineup of processors with an incredibly small aluminum alloy cooling unit, which tells volumes about the power consumption and heat production of the chip.  While the new cooling system follows the same basic design as prior generation Core 2 retail cooling systems, Intel has stripped away the copper core and cut the surface area by roughly one half. The new cooling system is all aluminum alloy and is about half the height, but the chip still runs at very low temperatures (under 100F in most cases) and the fan never needed to spin up to high levels.

The chip supports C1E/Speedstep as well, which allows the chip to clock itself down to 2.0 GHz (6x multiplier) when processing levels are low. When processing loads kick up, the chip runs at 3.16 GHz (9.5x multiplier). Some new motherboards don’t support the .5x multipliers by default, which is the cause of most boards needing a BIOS update. If your motherboard doesn’t support half-step multipliers, the chip will boot up and run at 3.0 GHz (9.0x), which will allow you to get running and obtain a BIOS update.

For our overclocking testing, we threw on a much larger cooling unit with a copper core, heatpipes, and a much larger fan in order to see what this new chip was capable of. Combine the factors of a new architecture, new manufacturing process, and low power consumption/heat production by default, and we should have a solid overclocker. While the chip which Intel supplied to us is an ES (Engineering Sample), which means it does not have a multiplier lock like the final shipping chips will, we did not use this function in our overclocking tests. We left the multiplier at 9.5x to simulate what you will be able to obtain at home. Here’s what we were able to obtain on air cooling alone.


Core 2 Duo E8500 - Stock Clocked @ 3.16 GHz


Core 2 Duo E8500 - Overclocked @ 4.3 GHz

Yep. There it is. 4.3 GHz on air. Mighty impressive, considering Intel’s 65nm Conroe architecture struggled to make it past 4 GHz. These are some of the first 45nm chips out of the gate, and getting beyond 4.0 GHz is actually pretty easy with these chips. We’ve been stuck in the ~3.0 GHz range for so long, that seeing a system boot up with 4.0 GHz+ clock rates is quite exciting. This particular chip maxed out at 4301 MHz at its absolute peak, although it was not 100% stable throughout all of our tests. The highest stable overclock we were able to achieve, which could pass all of our benchmarks and stress tests was 4250 MHZ (4.25 GHz), which frankly, is still pretty impressive. In order to reach this clock speed, we had to bump up the core voltage up to 1.4V. We’ve included a whole set of benchmarks in the following pages of the E8500 running at this clock rate.

Power consumption is the other interesting variable which we were curious about. We tested using our standard methods of a hardware watt meter, with power loads tested with idle and full CPU load scenarios. Platforms remained identical, with the same components used across the board, with exception of the motherboard for Phenom comparison testing. Full CPU loads are tested while running the Cinebench R10 multi-core rendering test, which places 100% load on the CPU. C1E/Speedstep/power management was disabled for idle load scenarios, in order to eliminate this variable from the mix.



Our power consumption numbers show solid improvements for Intel’s new 45nm manufacturing process.  At idle, the new 45nm Wolfdale 3.0 GHz dual-core consumes 152 watts, compared to 177 watts of a 65nm Conroe 3.0 GHz dual-core, a difference of 25 watts. That extends to 30 watts under full load.   The E8500 chip consumes less power than most of the modern dual and quad-core processors in its price range. Even when it’s pushing 4.2 GHz+, the chip still consumes about the same amount of power as a stock-clocked Q6600 chip, which is surprisingly tolerable given the clock speeds we’re dealing with here.

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Comments
1nteljunki3 6 years ago

Impressive performance, and it will run on my Johannesburg backup machine just fine, so excited for these to come out.

LaMpiR 6 years ago
To be an enthusiast? Sure is. But it looks very expensive hobby :)
SiGfever 6 years ago

 All the new processors and boards out are an addicts dream. Cool

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

You know it.

Kamrooz 6 years ago

 The yorkfields are going to be monsters. I just wish they had a 9x mutliplier like the q6600 >_<...But regardless of that, if I was to pick one up. The q9450 would be it for the SSE4 instruciton set. I work with video after all ^_^.

SiGfever 6 years ago

 Yes I was very disappointed in their Multi. A 9x would have made this chip a killer.

Kamrooz 6 years ago

Imagine taking those sexy quads above 4 ghz..>_<..GOD!..That would honestly rock. But that 8/8.5 multi is a slap in the face. But you have to give a hand to intel, this will still drive people towards the q6600 considering the price is going to drop to 200, as well as have a 9x multi for great overclocking. =P 

SiGfever 6 years ago

 Yes when the prices drop I will replace my e6600 with a q6600 in one of my servers and buy a board for the q6600. I have been wanting to try a different board on a q6600 just to see what the possibilities are. Currently my e6600 sits on a P35-DS3R which is a great Cruncher board.

jtm55 6 years ago

Hi All,

The Wolfdale CPU's are very impressive. That's why I'm going with the E8400 paired with a Maximus Formula Motherboard. 

SiGfever 6 years ago

I have been tempted to buy that MB when I get my second quad. 

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

[quote user="jtm55"]That's why I'm going with the E8400[/quote]

I'm leaning towards that myself.

 

Kamrooz 6 years ago

If I was to get a new rig, the maximus formula would definitely be the choice if I went x38. That black/blue finish is beautiful =D...Love the features, and pci-e 2.0 is nice to have for future drop in video card upgrades. The only downside is the factor of nehalem =P....So I think it'd be best to nab a p35 board and save some cash ^.^

jtm55 6 years ago

[quote user="Kamrooz"]

If I was to get a new rig, the maximus formula would definitely be the choice if I went x38. That black/blue finish is beautiful =D...Love the features, and pci-e 2.0 is nice to have for future drop in video card upgrades. The only downside is the factor of nehalem =P....So I think it'd be best to nab a p35 board and save some cash ^.^

[/quote] 

Hi All

Nehalem, if it lives up to expectations will be a Monster. However, do we know when it's to be released? Do we know how much it's going to cost? Intel, if they follow their normal routine releases their Flagship Top of the line processors first. Suppose there's a delay in Intels release schedule? Point being I see no reason to wait for a Processor that isn't even out yet & are not sure when it is to be released.

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

I agree and don't like waiting. If you can afford to upgrade and want something now... go for it. Don't get me wrong, I feel it is important for the buyer to know at least a bit about upcoming tech so they can estimate a window of viability. I say this because it would suck if the buyer were completely out of the loop and jumped on something that was actually "on it's way out" only to see the next big thing come out very shortly after their purchase. Granted most of the forum goers here are very up on the bleeding edge, but I think you guys see my point. 

If I spend 2 or 3 c notes on a processor and another 2 on a board that supports wolf/york and DDR2 for a total of $500, I wouldn't mind if in the worst case scenario I was only able to ride it for 12 mos. because I game ALOT so I'd get plenty of use out of it in that time. Not to mention that after only 12 mos. I can probably get at least $300 for the set on e-bay(or craigslist)and more if I throw in the DDR2. So essentially I'd be paying $200 for a solid year of use of a nice cpu and board... not to shabby at all IMO.

SiGfever 6 years ago

 Nehalem will be very expensive at first so anice Maximus Formula and a 45nm chip could stave off the addict's hunger for a while at least. Big Smile

Kamrooz 6 years ago

I do agree that if you need a upgrade, best just go for it...Heck. If I could get a new rig now, I would in a heartbeat. My rig is way too dated to even considering waiting for Nehalem.

But if you do have the cash, best not to go too crazy. Nehalem will indeed be a monster....On some of the forums I visit, there are a few users who work at intel, and they assure me that my jaw will drop. So We'll have to wait and see how this sucker performs ^_^. In terms of pricing, always extreme edition first at around 1000 or so. Than Q1 2009, we'll have our 150-600 dollar range. =P....I'm just praying Nehalem is a overclocking god just like Core =P. 

Lithotech 6 years ago

Couple of quick questions.

 I am very curious, what is the cause of the very high memory latency in the Phenom systems in Sandra's bench?

 Also, I am wondering exactly what air cooler you used in the overclocking tests?

 Thanks! Great parts coming down the line, hard to resist an upgrade with these results!

.

Kamrooz 6 years ago

Lolthotech: Unfortunately, AMD took a backwards plunge when it came to memory performance on K10...Mostly due to the architecture and route they took with their l2/l3 cache. I'm not 100% sure on this one though, so if someone more informed on the barcelona architecture could drop their thoughts, I'd appreciate it. But the x2's have a much higher memory bandwidth then Barcelona when you compare them via synthetic benchmarks. I really do need to read more into barcelona...To get a bigger picture of why it's so flawed 

Crisis Causer 6 years ago

I just know that Phenom's L3 cache runs at a fixed speed (1800Mhz iirc), unlike L2s which run at the CPUs speed.  This is why scaling isn't so good with Phenom's as other CPUs; less performance is gained per MHz.  I don't know why the synthetic benchmarks are weird thoug.  Just felt like pointing that out.

Lithotech 6 years ago

[quote user="Crisis Causer"]

I just know that Phenom's L3 cache runs at a fixed speed (1800Mhz iirc), unlike L2s which run at the CPUs speed.  This is why scaling isn't so good with Phenom's as other CPUs; less performance is gained per MHz.  I don't know why the synthetic benchmarks are weird thoug.  Just felt like pointing that out.

[/quote]

Yeah, I thought I understood what was going on with the Phenom, it's HT link and L3 cache... but some numbers I saw in a recent magazine (Maximum or CPU Mag -- dunno which) were not nearly that far off, they were getting 88-98ns for latency. I remember now that this is with gangmode off, latency went up. With gangmode on the numbers were only a 10ns or so up from what the same ram would get in an Intel system. So there is still a couple hundred ns that's not accounted for here!

I'll dig around for the issue and if I find it will report back to clarify.

 .

 

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