Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 45nm Wolfdale CPU Review

CPU by massman @ 2008-02-11

We take a closer look at the fastest dual core CPU from Intel, the E8500, dubbed Wolfdale, is manufactured at 45nm which translates in low power usage and excellent potential for overclocking. We compare the performance of this newcomer to a 65nm Core 2 Duo and overclock past the limit using LN2. Read on to find out if we froze the Wolf!

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E8500 pictures, test setup and methodology

E8500: Close-Up

Madshrimps (c)

The white box means this IS an engineering sample on our desk. Strangely enough, this does not look at all as an engineering sample, it really looks like a normal retail processor.

Madshrimps (c)

In the white box, we find of course the CPU and, I almost missed it, a disturbingly small heatsink. These are the heatsinks you normally find in the “Celeron” versions of the C2D-series, but now these are ought to hold the load of a high-end 45nm chip, amazing isn't it! To give you an impression of how small the heatsink is, I took a picture of the aluminum cooling system next to my ballpoint.

Madshrimps (c)

Last but not least, the CPU itself.

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The stepping makes me (and the entire crew of OC-Team.BE) wonder if this is a good sample to overclock or not. Q738 is quite an early stepping and early samples are known for their moderate overclocks. We'll find out what this chip is capable of, further on this review.

Test setup

Intel Test Setup

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  • Intel Core 2 E6300
  • Intel Core 2 E8500
  • Cooling
  • Stock Aluminum Intel Heatsink
  • nVentiv Mach2 Phase-Change
  • Liquid Nitrogen
  • Mainboard DFI Lanparty UT P35-T2R
    Memory 2 * 512MB Transcand PC-6400
  • Sparkle Calibre 8600GT 512MB (drivers FW 171.16)
  • Tagan 480W PSU
  • Western Digital 320Gb SATA HDD
  • Windows XP SP2 Dutch

  • Methodology

    To compare all motherboards, we used the following benchmarks:
  • SuperPi 1M/32M
  • Hexus Pifast
  • Wprime 32M/1024M
  • Prey
  • SiSoft Sandra 2007: CPU drystone and whetstone benchmark
  • Aquamark
  • 3DMark06 including CPU test
  • Cinebench 10
  • Winrar
  • Techarp X264 benchmark

    All tests were run on six different test setups:

  • E6300 default: 1862Mhz (266x7)
  • E6300 OC: 3500Mhz (500x7)
  • E8500 default: 3164Mhz (333x9,5)
  • E8500 OC1: 3500Mhz (500x7)
  • E8500 OC2: 4465Mhz (470x9,5 - Max overclock with Air Cooling)
  • E8500 OC3: 5206Mhz (548x9,5 - Max overclock with Subzero Mach2 Cooling)

    Madshrimps (c)

    The fifth frequency we listed is the maximum stable overclock using an Intel stock cooler and 1,39v, interesting for those who don't plan to change CPU cooling but like to overclock.
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    Comment from Rutar @ 2008/02/12
    you need to advertise the article better, like "5.8 Gigahertz for great justice and "965 > P35"
    Comment from jmke @ 2008/02/12
    Comment from Sidney @ 2008/02/19
    Price to peformance ratio, this may put the end to exotic w/c and even highend air cool. Well over 4G with stock cooler is another sign of what good engineering from the beginning means.

    I wonder the outcome if you put a Q6600 stock cooler in for an upgrade.
    Comment from jmke @ 2008/02/20
    Originally Posted by Sidney View Post
    I wonder the outcome if you put a Q6600 stock cooler in for an upgrade.
    4.7Ghz OC on air