Intel's Core 2 brand has been a roaring success, dominating for several years following its launch. During that time it's seen numerous revisions, and only now is it finally reaching the end of its life.
The Core 2 Duo E7000 series uses the 45nm Wolfdale-3M core, with 3MB of L2 cache, a 65W TDP and a 1066MHz front side bus.
The cheapest model will set you back $224 for a score of 1.39, which isn't great compared to $86 for a faster dual-core Athlon II.
The newer E8000 series is based on the full-blown Wolfdale core, which doubles the L2 cache to 6MB and raises the FSB to 1333MHz, while keeping a 65W TDP.
Spending $197 on an E8400 will get you 1.53, while ten dollars less buys the quad-core Phenom II X4 945 that scored 1.76. The top of the Core 2 Duo line even hits a ludicrous $375. Although the Core 2 Duo brand once stood for a legion of unbeatable CPUs, the Core i3 and i5 are Intel's new big-hitters.
Quad-core is no better. The current ranges are based on the 45nm Yorkfield core, with a 1333MHz FSB and 95W TDP, and varying amounts of L2 cache.
Like the Duo, the Quad is dead in the water. One new Core i5 costs $236 and scores around 1.77; Intel's fastest Core 2 Quad costs a massive $483 yet scored just 1.72. The Q8000 range is even matched by some of the Athlon IIs.
Unless prices fall dramatically - which is possible now that Intel is winding down production - there's little value to be had in buying a new Core 2. Those with LGA 775 boards should keep an eye out for bargains, but a move to LGA 1156 should be top of the agenda.
|CPUs rated and reviewed: click on image for larger size|