What is the main difference between budget CPU (Pentium Dual Core) vs premium CPU (Core 2 Duo)?
Some of you might still wondering, either it is a smart choice to fork out another RM 200 to get C2D with equivalent gigahertz. Well, the truth is, both CPU are 95 % identical, which the other 5% reserve to C2D processor has higher L2 Cache size. Thats it.
Core 2 Duo processor has 2, 3, 4 or even 6 MB Cache, depend on the product code. The cheapest C2D has 2 MB cache, which around RM 400 right now. Compare to Pentium Dual Core, which has 1 MB cache, you might think, C2D is a better choice. However, think again when you see Pentium Dual Core will only cost you merely RM 200. (RM 200 cheaper to C2D same GHz)
From various benchmark, having extra 1 MB cache might improve the performance of the CPU up to 10%, depend on application. But, C2D processor will cost you another 100 percent increase ( base on Pentium Dual Core price)
However, C2D currently running on 800, 1066 and 1333 FSB. Compare to Pentium Dual Core, it is limited to FSB 800 only. For me, this limitation is an advantage for Pentium Dual Core. Mainly, because we can overclock it to 1333 MHz FSB without any much problem, since most of current mobo run at 1333 MHz without any complain. But for most user who dont give a damn about overclocking, having faster FSB might improve their system responsiveness.
Link : See how Tomshardware overclock Pentium Dual Core 1.6 GHz to unbelievable 3.5 GHz without any exotic cooler. : HERE
Bear in mind, Pentum Dual Core is not Pentium D or Pentium 4 D. Pentium Dual Core is totally different CPU compare to Pentium 4. So, why the heck they name it Pentium Dual Core if the architecture of Pentium Dual Core equivalent to Core 2 Duo?
Simple, marketing gimmick. Intel want to separate premium segment CPU, midle segment and cheap segment CPU. C2D will represent intel CPU for premium segment, Pentium Dual Core to fight direcly with cheap AMD Athlon 64 x2 CPU and Celeron is targeted to fight Sempron.
So, back to the question. Is it worth to add another RM200 to get C2D which has same frequency with Pentium Dual Core? NO..it is not. Unless you go for 6 MB Cache Core 2 Duo processor, clocking at 3 GHz (8000 series) which will cost you around RM 600.00
Quote from Tomshardware :
The Pentium Dual-Core models E2140 and E2160 as well as the newer additions E2180 and E2200 all possess a full-fledged Core 2 Duo core that has only been pared down in two respects, allowing Intel to sell a low-cost part. For one thing, it only comes with 1 MB instead of 4 MB, for another, it is limited to a maximum clock speed of 2 GHz on an 800 MHz FSB.
Price List : PCZone PDF price list
Tomshardware Benchmark : Does cache really improve performance : HERE