Core 2 Duo Vs Pentium Dual Core

Posted: May 30, 2008 in Hardware
Tags: ,

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

Game Benchmarks

Application Benchmarks

Comments
  1. expertester says:

    Comparison to the Pentium D

    Although using the Pentium name, the Pentium Dual Core is based on the Core technology, which can clearly be seen when comparing the specification to the Pentium D series. For example, the Pentium Dual Core has a maximum of 1MB of L2 Cache while the Pentium D processors can have up to 4MB of L2 Cache. But the major difference is the Pentium Dual Core processors only consume 65W peak while the Pentium D consumes a considerable 130W peak consumption which shows its relation to the Core power saving technology. Despite having a smaller L2 cache, the Pentium dual-core has proven to be much faster than the Pentium D under a variety of CPU intensive applications.

  2. expertester says:

    I found this interesting post from devhardware forum…credit goes to the author.

    *********

    I’d definitely take the E4500, Core 2 Duo; without hesitations. And here’s why.

    I’d bet one hundred bucks that if you were given two processors with the same cache size but different clocks speed, say, one with 2.2GHz and the other with 2.4GHz you wouldn’t notice any difference in real-world applications and herein including games and processing/rendering apps. I am not saying that the processor with the higher clock speed won’t act faster, it certainly will, and this makes sense architecturally, however, you as a normal human being wouldn’t notice the difference in these days between those two modern CPUs.

    The times when moving from a K6@300MHz to K6-2@400MHz was considered a huge step are behind us.

    Now as an extension to my previous scenario, on the other hand, if you were given two processors running on the exactly same clock speed frequencies, say, 2.2GHz, but with different cache sizes, one having 1MB and the other 2MB, I’d bet that amount of money that you are going to notice the difference in real-world applications starting from multi-tasking in windows up to rendering/processing and gaming.

    As a British guy posted on a random forum, the following analogy applies the most: “If the clock speed is the engine and the cache is the fuel tank. With a small fuel tank, all the speed in the world won’t help much if you have to keep stopping for fuel every few miles, a large fuel tank means you can floor the pedal and appreciate the speed for quite a while.”

    Therefore, doubling the amount of L2 cache is damn worth those $30 bucks. Unfortunately, nowadays, the cache is between the most underrated factors when choosing processors. It surely matter, it’s all about cache size. Ask any hard drive, how does it ran with 8MB compared to 16MB. Doubling the amount of information that can be stored means less overall disk access, ultimately, less “time” is spent on redundant tasks that can be saving up thanks to the higher amount of cache. The same applies with your processor. The cache is ranked on the 2nd top level of the memory hierarchy. As a result, they are the most often used after the registers.

    The L2 cache is entirely built up by transistors (SRAM). As a result they are very expensive but they are damned faster. Just to think of it, the access time of the L1 cache (on-chip) is 2-8 ns (nanosecond) and of the L2 cache (off-chip) is 5-12 ns. How do they compare with the main memory (DRAM) that sports 10-60 ns (sometimes even more) access time or with hard disk drives having 3,000,000 – 10,000,000 ns access time? Now I hope you do understand why is it critical to have large amounts of cache storage because it certainly doesn’t matter how much it takes to fill it up with new stuff. And always remember, 2MB is 2x1MB, thus, it is double. As a result, you can place twice as much data than you could with the 1MB. And all of that for just an extra 30 bucks.

    The CPU doesn’t like to wait doing nothing (idle) until the memory I/O is done. As a result, it does multiple things at once (superscalar execution, pipelining, and all that). Since it is impossible to fit everything in the cache, the processors requires data thousands of hundreds of times each second. We call these cache misses, it tries to locate something in the registers, they don’t have it, then it checks the cache, it doesn’t have either, so it slowly gets loaded from the RAM (which was loaded from the HDD).

    Now, after this usage, sometimes the cache must be also cleared. The frequency of clearing the cache (emptying) happens much often with a smaller cache (hence top priority tasks have access/storing priority). Then in case of redundant tasks (usually anything is redundand excluding streaming media) chances are the data that was located once in the cache might be required later on, but since the cache is small, it was wiped off in order to make space for the new data to come in, but the processors needs the previous data again, so it gets refilled, again much I/O access time, and so forth. In case of a larger cache due to branch prediction, parallel processing, and other hi-tech microprocessor architecture technologies, the data may stay in much longer in the cache. As a result, you save up large amount of I/O time.

    All in all, I’d personally say that doubling the cache amount is worth much more than those extra 200 MHz and here we haven’t mentioned the other microprocessor architectural benefits coming from the E4500 which aren’t in E2220. In pure raw mathematical calculations, FFTs, calculating PI with 2^32 digit precision, perhaps the higher clocked processor might outperform the another. But in everyday usage, general purpose, multitasking, gaming, basically anything that you can think of, the extra cache will make a notable difference.

    Remember, millions of those extra nanoseconds do add up…

    ***************

    My advice, why settle with 2 MB cache if Intel already offer 3 and 4 MB L2 C2D cache. If you are not super budget conscious, go for 4 MB or more L2 cache. Note : Clock speed could be crank up via overclocking but L2 Cache, you can’t.

    I myself use Pentium Dual Core and C2D. For normal use, I don’t see any different. But for CPU intensive application such as converting DVD to DIVX and virtualization, I notice C2D beat Pentium Dual Core. However mind you, my C2D cost me 3x more than my Pentium Dual Core. Money wise, the performance is not justify the money i spend up. But that is life.

    But still, I stick with : Intel Pentium Dual Core is the best choice for biggest bang for buck. Top scorer for Performance over Money chart.

  3. Gray says:

    What is the range for FSB 533mhz & 800mhz that found in laptop & desktop cpu?

  4. ikshayar says:

    Informative stuff :)

  5. Gadang Gentur Wihardy says:

    thx dude… this article helps a lot for me to decide which processor i will buy..

  6. Nice and informative article. Keep it up!

  7. ivan says:

    today i save about $100 thanks to you

  8. homedude says:

    “If the clock speed is the engine and the cache is the fuel tank. With a small fuel tank, all the speed in the world won’t help much if you have to keep stopping for fuel every few miles, a large fuel tank means you can floor the pedal and appreciate the speed for quite a while.”

    Not a valid analogy because doubling cache from 1MB to 2MB doesn’t double your overall performance/distance like that of doubling your gas tank.

    Certainly bumping up cache size will help, but Intel’s architecture seems to be designed with maximizing performance with 1MB of L2 cache, because decreasing the L2 cache to 512kb knocks performance considerably, but increasing it to 2MB only gives it a modest increase in performance.

    The CPU architecture is already optimized for reducing cache misses, especially with at the L2 1MB level. If you are multitasking, cache misses are going to happen regardless. Now, if you really want a faster overall computer, it’s best to invest in the slowest component, the hard drive.

  9. Rejoice says:

    i compared my dual core processor with my friends core 2 duo processor.
    dual core processor 2.16 Ghz with 1 MB L2 cache with core 2 duo processor 1.8 Ghz of 2 MB L2 cahe using bench marking. its amazing my dual core processor suceeded in 15 th rank in overall performance but his processor succeded only in 21th rank. dual core is more powerful than core 2 duo in some cases.

  10. expertester says:

    Rejoice,

    Definitely your dual core 2.16 GHz will (most of the benchmark) beat C2D 1.8 GHz. We are comparing almost identical twin (Pentium Dual Core which is C2D with limited l2 cache).

    316 MHz is too much for 1 MB extra L2 cache to handle :)

    • Hazrot Ali says:

      Dear Sister,
      I need to know which better between Dual Core 3.00 GHz 2mb cache and Core 2 Dua 2.33 GHz 4mb cache.
      Regards,
      Ali

  11. Jon says:

    homedude, your “critique” of expertester’s analogy is also not valid — it’s extremely flawed. It’s laughable.

    We aren’t measuring performance as “how far you can travel before your tank goes to E” — we’re measuring total mile output over total time. Doubling the size of a gas tank doesn’t mean you get to destination X in half the amount of time. In fact, depending on long it takes to fill up on gas, doubling the size of a gas tank can have an extrmely miniscule effect on the overall time required — just like a processor cache. The analogy is perfectly valid.

  12. Weinter says:

    Actually the real thing is much more complicated.
    It depends alot on the program you are running.
    If it has more branches a large L2 Cache will help more as it can store more decoded instructions to be used later.
    Homedude is right when he said doubling the cache will not double the performance.
    However I am not so sure about how much performance improvement you can get with a doubled cache.

    I tested Intel BPU and AMD BPU using PerfMonitor from CPUZ .
    You can say Intel BPU is observable a lot better scoring high 9X% all the time while AMD falls between 8X-9X%

  13. Mathu says:

    There are computers being sold in the market that are branded as having dual core processor, other have the core duo and others the core 2 duo . I have doubts about the dual core particularly. Can any one explain the differences between the 3 in terms of performance? Thanks in advance.

  14. I Caps says:

    Difference between Dual Core vs Core 2 Duo vs Pentium D explained in details at http://www.ialwayscapital.com/2009/07/difference-between-intel-core-2-duo-vs.html

  15. h@cker says:

    very informative.i will buy a pentium d at 2.8ghz.pentiums z!can be overclocked more easyly.try to reach core 2 duo at 6ghz.it is imposible

  16. h@cker2Duo says:

    Very Helpful Thanks…..H@cker2Duo

  17. Mehrab says:

    Actually boys, you people thought that C2D is better than PDualCore? Yes..it is but smtime its not.
    Stillsome people dont underestimated that.
    What i think,,, both are almost identical only
    some less%%is difference..

    Many people thinks PDC is bad,,,but its wrong…
    Pentium Dual Core you can utilise it for doing work in PC i.e you can take C2O for gaming or take the latest Corei7……………..

    I prefer for both PDC or C2o (2 Core)

  18. [...] the difference between the DDR2 600 and DDR2 800 variants? First one, Core 2 Duo vs Dual Core: Core 2 Duo Vs Pentium Dual Core Expertester Secondly, the Quad Core is a product class, not product model. Quad Core basically means 'having 4 [...]

  19. Athlon 64 says:

    great post.. usually i never know more about Core 2 performance.. but this is very usefull article.. nice dude..

  20. tareq says:

    I bought dual core and invested the saving in higher RAM was it wise decision

  21. imam says:

    Thanks it was useful info

  22. asra says:

    I am even more confused

  23. Is the core duo better than the dual core?

  24. anitha1234 says:

    Best Software Downloads and Reviews. the most comprehensive source for free-to-trysoftware downloads on the WebBEST 4 DOWNLOADS

  25. [...] the meaning of the term is the same, the differences applies only for the Core 2 Duo.Because of the energy saving technology, Core 2 Duo is best for laptops and other mobile devices such as notebooks that run on [...]

  26. Nabeelhasan47 says:

    Every1 plz Help me!!!
    Dell precision 670 (intelXeon 3.4×2 dual Core Pro) with 40gb hd,650w psu,256mb quadro fx, 2gbram,dvd) in Rs.12000/=

    VS

    intel core 2 duo e7500 2.93ghz, dg31pr mb(1yr warr),80gb hd,280w psu,2gbram,dvd.in Rs15000/=

    PLZ SUGGEST ME WHAT SHOULD I BUY???
    PRIMARY PURPOSE: Gaming.

    Thnx

  27. Somebody says:

    If you want to play game, graphic card is more important than processor. That is the hard truth. Since you do not mention any graphic card in your c2d system, i will go for xeon. at least it got graphic card and a bit cheaper.

  28. NabeelHasan47 says:

    Sorry Forgot 2 Mention Grapix Card. well ive few in mind but if u kno some cheaper & good Result grapix Card U can Mention but Wat Abt da PC??? imean except for Grapix card wat is better for Gaming???
    ive already got (1gb Nvidia9500 gt) and (Cuadro FX 256mb)

  29. cns949 says:

    Credit where it’s due – this is a quality article!

  30. darren says:

    so,wat.de.hell..just.tell.whih.is.better.u.dnt.hav.2.show..pls

  31. Rick says:

    The Dual Core is one step above a Celeron. Intel cranked out the Core 2 first and then thought… we can save x number of pennies on these chips by castrating them and reducing cache. We can then sell them a bit cheaper but still make a nice fat profit. That’s what a Celeron is… a castrated chip. This is a nasty trend corporations have been taking. Things used to be built right back in the day and now things are rather cheaply made. The reason is simple: greed. When a company rolls something off the assembly line and they cut corners by let’s say 50 cents a unit. You plan to sell 2 million of these things. You just saved a million dollars. By using lesser quality parts all over the place, creating a product that will fall apart in half the time, you made another bonus. Now the consumer has to buy a new one. Kaching! Sell them another piece of crap that is even worse than the last one.
    I wandered a bit off the path but, the main difference between the C2D and the DC is not only a reduction of the cache size but also front side bus speed is lowered to 800. Also the C2D has hardware virtualization (VT) where the DC does not. Under normal applications, you might not see a huge difference but once you load the machines down with a LOT of stuff you will notice some.

  32. NabeelHasan47 says:

    Thanks Man Though late But Still ThanksALot!

  33. Omar says:

    Hi Guys
    I work in IBM where we are using the dual core’s for our servers. We are currently using around 16,32 ,64 CPU’s per server built on dual-core. This is because after extensive tests we conducted we found out that not only cost wise but also performance wise dual core are better than core 2duo’s in the long run.

  34. cxj says:

    Thank you, the information you provide is useful, add your blog in favorites :)

  35. moinkhan45 says:

    please confirm which is best

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  37. Riza says:

    Your site was really a big help to us! It’s very informative I think I’ve found the right choice.

  38. David Willcox Larbi Sasraku says:

    Intel dual core and intel core 2 duo-which is strong and powerful and which should i buy?

  39. NabeelHasan47 says:

    @ David Willcox Larbi buy Core2duo, In simple words by: both are Dual core but Core2duo is better in Performance then Dual core.

  40. shubham says:

    core2duo is muchhhhhhh better thannnnnnn pentium

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