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Core 2 Duo - Which should I buy: E6300 or E6320?

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April 23, 2007 9:10:06 AM

These processors are about the most I can afford with my new build.
I was set on the E6300, but then saw the E6320...

I ran a comparison of them:
Comparison of E6300 / E6320

They seem about the same apart from the 6320 has 4Mb L2 Cache and the 6300 only has 2Mb. The price is essentially the same (£107 / £111)

On the face of it I'd go for the E6320 as it has more L2 Cache, but would I notice the difference for gaming?

Would I lose some of the OC potential of the E6300 if I went for the 6320, or is it exactly the same but with a bigger cache?

Any thoughts please?
April 23, 2007 9:13:18 AM

No question. Go for the 6320.

Better performance, same price. Overclocking shouldn't be any different.
April 23, 2007 9:41:59 AM

I'm not even sure why they're the same price, since the E6320 is obviously the better CPU. I doubt you'd lose any overclock headroom either.

If you intend to overclock the E6320, make you you get a mobo that can handle ~500FSB (Gigabyte 965P DS3 is a cheap and popular option), and memory to match (which means DDR2-1000, or good quality DDR2-800 that overclocks well).
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April 23, 2007 9:49:19 AM

I would assume that the bigger cache would give you a nice speed increase while also keeping you from upgrading for a little bit longer. Then again, I'm no CPU guru :cry:  . I'm just using logic here.

I see no reason why you shouldn't get the 6320 over the 6300.
April 23, 2007 9:55:43 AM

The extra cache brings a few extra % in performance, nothing major, not enough to be the difference when deciding on an upgrade. Still, it's nice to have that little boost in performance. ;) 
April 23, 2007 10:04:57 AM

Thanks for the points everyone. I guess it confirms what I thought but I'm getting nervous, as I'm getting to the point when I press 'buy' on my purchases!

This is what I'm proposing to get; please let me know if you see any problems with compatibility with the 6320!

ASUS P5B Deluxe WIFI (£114)
Core 2 Duo E6320 (£111)
Connect3D Radeon X1950XT (£147)
Corsair (TWIN2X2048-6400) XMS2-6400 2048MB 5-5-5-12 2X240 DIMM Black XMS2 Heat Spreader (£110)
Coolermaster 600W PSU (£63)
TOTAL = £541
(I'm trying to keep close to £500)

I'm looking to keep the following components of my current (AGP based) system:
Viewsonic VP2030b Monitor
Jeantech Phong Case
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 Hard Drive
Pioneer DVR-111DSV DVD writer
ASUS 52x CD burner
Creative X-FI Gamer Sound Card
April 23, 2007 10:09:57 AM

I think a 8800GTS 320MB would be a better buy than the X1950XT. How much do they go for in pounds?

While Corsair RAM is good, I think the G.Skill line of DDR2-800 is better value. The G.Skill DDR2-800 HZ series are legendary for their overclocking prowess at 2/3 the price of more popular 'brand' names.
April 23, 2007 10:32:46 AM

That seems like a nice monitor; what resolution are you planning on using? (I assume it's the 16x12 native res).

One last thing; what do you usually play/ want to play?
April 23, 2007 4:03:09 PM

An 8800GTS 320MB is around £200 from what I can find - a bit out of my price range, I'm afraid.

The way I'm looking at it, I'll go for the (cheaper) X1950XT knowing that it's a great card but doesn't support DX10... wait for Vista / DX10 to settle down and a few games to appear using it... upgrade to a DX10 card in a year or so. My main target right now is to get over onto PCI-E from my current AGP setup - it's a big update and big cost!

I'll have another look at the G.Skill memory; I did have a look at that before, but couldn't find anywhere in the UK which stocked it and had it in stock.

I do like my monitor! Although it's not widescreen, it's very clear and good quality colour. I had to replace my first unit as it had a dead pixel straight out of the box (about a year ago), but since getting it replaced it's worked perfectly. I try to use it in 1600x1200 but my current hardware struggles at that with some games; I'm looking for my new setup to support that!

I'm playing NWN2, BF2142 and Oblivion at the moment. (Although I'm looking forward to Crysis!)
April 23, 2007 4:50:36 PM

Quote:
I'm not even sure why they're the same price, since the E6320 is obviously the better CPU. I doubt you'd lose any overclock headroom either.

If you intend to overclock the E6320, make you you get a mobo that can handle ~500FSB (Gigabyte 965P DS3 is a cheap and popular option), and memory to match (which means DDR2-1000, or good quality DDR2-800 that overclocks well).


Well cache really doesn't affect performance that much, from what i've read you are looking at 2% improvement. So, yes the E6320 is better, but the difference isn't perceivable. Given the lack of price disparity, I would go 6320 as well.
April 23, 2007 5:35:26 PM

I think the more cache will also mean more heat, but I might be wrong.
April 23, 2007 7:26:34 PM

Quote:
I think the more cache will also mean more heat, but I might be wrong.


It does, you are correct, but not enough to materially alter overclocking. My best guess is 100Mhz on the worst side, but more likely around 60MHz. Do I have any data for this? Nope, just my intuition and the fact the 6600 scale just as well as 6300.
April 24, 2007 8:33:11 AM

NovaThunder; I did look at the 8600 (which is about £150 in the UK for the BFG Model, but I saw a review on Custom PC which says it didn't perform on DX9 as well as the X1950XT.

I know it supports DX10, but I can't help feeling that I'm not likely to want DX10 for (say) a year, so I'd rather concentrate on maxing out my quality / power for DX9 now and upgrade the GPU in a year's time to a good DX10 one then. They're bound to be a lot cheaper and more powerful then!
April 24, 2007 8:51:39 AM

Quote:
I'm not even sure why they're the same price, since the E6320 is obviously the better CPU. I doubt you'd lose any overclock headroom either.

If you intend to overclock the E6320, make you you get a mobo that can handle ~500FSB (Gigabyte 965P DS3 is a cheap and popular option), and memory to match (which means DDR2-1000, or good quality DDR2-800 that overclocks well).


Well cache really doesn't affect performance that much, from what i've read you are looking at 2% improvement. So, yes the E6320 is better, but the difference isn't perceivable. Given the lack of price disparity, I would go 6320 as well.

It's a bit more than 2%, around 3.5% on average (yes I'm nitpicking :p ) though in certain cases (like video encoding) the difference can be as large as 10%.
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=2...
April 24, 2007 11:46:16 AM

Seems hard to believe that 2Mb extra cash does not do a whole lot. Cost wise, in this case its nothing. But in the past like when I bought my laptop that extra 1 or 2 MB cache was a lot more than 4 bucks. Of course that was Dell pricing. I guess in the end its a marketing ploy. FYI, I went with the e6420 :) 
April 24, 2007 2:46:28 PM

Meh, you are right. :) 
!