Introducing the contenders
In the blue corner we got the E7400 ( retailing around 120-150 euros ). In the red corner the awesome E8600 (in many shops available at twice the price of the E7400 ) Both CPU's are based on the "Wolfdale" core and therefore are both 45nm Dual cores. Main differences are the amount of Level 2 cache ( 3 vs 6Mb ) and the FSB ( 266 vs 333FSB ) More technical details are in the table below :
As you can see there's not much separating these 2 CPU's, besides the 0.5 extra multi (E7400) and the Virtualisation Technology available for the E8600.
The main objective of this article is to find out if the cache is really worth the premium price. The FSB difference between both CPU's can be corrected by running a small OC. For those that do not want to touch any of the bios settings, testing will be also conducted at the following speed : 10 X 266FSB = 2.66Ghz (so basically at E7300 speeds). Second test will be done at E8600 speed : 10 X 333FSB = 3.33Ghz. Most enthusiasts run these CPU's daily at 4ghz or higher. I opted for 2 different FSB speeds ( 10 x 400 and 8 x 500 ) This approach was chosen to determine if the Level 2 cache gets any benefits from a higher FSB and secondly to see if there's a better scaling in favour of the E8600 with its larger cache.