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Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 or Athlon x2 4600

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May 13, 2007 9:21:30 AM

Hi everyone

I have done a little searching for a good comparison between these two processors but to no avail. I am on a very tight budget but want to be gaming. i am realistic however and know it wont be on anywhere near top settings.

I have also looked on the CPU charts over on the main part of the site but they don't cover this cpu. So i am asking would i see a noticeable increase with the core 2 duo if it is even better that is? Or would i be better sticking with the cheaper 4600 or even drop to a 4200.

One more thing as well are the core 2 duo motherboards more expensive?

Cheers for any help i receive
Tet
May 13, 2007 9:49:59 AM

Go with the e4300 and no core2duo motherboards aren't more expensive.My suggestion is either go with the e4300 or e6600 if you can afford it, the difference between e4400 and e6600 is less than 100 bucks.
May 13, 2007 10:01:36 AM

The E4400 overclocks really well because of it's 10X multiplier. Crank up the FSB to 266mhz and you're running at 2.66Ghz on the stock fan easily.
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a b à CPUs
May 13, 2007 10:02:05 AM

Both are decent cpus, but the e4300 is better. If they are similar prices then go for the e4300, you can buy the asrock 775dual-vsta mobo pretty cheap, and its good if you dont overclock. If you have a little more money to spend then go for a better quality board, but the asrock will do you if you dont intend to overclock or put in a high end video card.
May 13, 2007 10:11:08 AM

Quote:
Hi everyone

I have done a little searching for a good comparison between these two processors but to no avail. I am on a very tight budget but want to be gaming. i am realistic however and know it wont be on anywhere near top settings.

I have also looked on the CPU charts over on the main part of the site but they don't cover this cpu. So i am asking would i see a noticeable increase with the core 2 duo if it is even better that is? Or would i be better sticking with the cheaper 4600 or even drop to a 4200.

One more thing as well are the core 2 duo motherboards more expensive?

Cheers for any help i receive
Tet
The E4400 and the x2 4600+ are fairly evenly matched in gaming(both win some). In most other apps the E4400 is faster, and it also has great overclocking capabilities. Yes C2D boards are slightly more expensive(on the whole), but there are good ones that can be had for cheap. If you aren't planning on overclocking, DDR2-533/DDR2-667(667 is adequate for O/Cing) is plenty...and keep in mind that fast RAM(DDR2-800) is of utmost importance in an AM2 system. Both are good fast processors, though. GL :) 

Check this review out:
Xbitlabs Review..4600+/E4400 and others
May 13, 2007 10:18:03 AM

Thanks a lot for your quick and detailed replies, i have noticed that on this forum people are very helpful since i joined, so thanks a lot again.

I am in the UK so i don't know whether the prices will be as close as $100, but because i am 16 and only have a Saturday job that is still a lot for me :D  .

I am going to check some prices and get back to you and i will read that review you gave me 1Tanker

Cheers Tet
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2007 10:21:27 AM

I dont even have a job, stop complaining :lol:  I'm concentrating on my studies, next year is when I will earn some real cash, and I will likley do a whole system rebuild.

EDIT: How terrible is this new forums look? All squished up. And my bold sig doesnt show up as bold anymore... :( 
May 13, 2007 11:16:39 AM

Quote:
I am on a very tight budget but want to be gaming. i am realistic however and know it wont be on anywhere near top settings.


Your underestimating those CPU's mentioned because they both have plenty of power for any game you will want to use now and for sometime to come. Performance is similar and you will not be disappointed with either.AMD's 4600+ usually retails cheaper in the UK.
Some of the posters have suggested buying a E4400 and overclocking. There is nothing wrong with overclocking because it's a boast for free, but pushing Overclocking to far can damage components. When ever one overclocks one should consider if one afford a new CPU if it all goes wrong? :)  .

Regards
SpeedBird
May 13, 2007 11:22:45 AM

Hi,

Everyone giving you advice seem to have misread your post. 8O 8O

Quote:
Hi everyone

I am on a very tight budget but want to be gaming.

Tet


I am fairly sure anybody knows the Intel architecture is supposed to be so superior. But if you are not over clocking, these two CPU’s are very close to each other and nothing wrong with either one.

Do yourself a very big favour and read Toms "System builder marathon" article. http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/11/system_builder_m...

Buy any one of these CPU’s (preferably the cheapest one) keeping an upgrade path in mind and the best GPU you can afford.
May 13, 2007 1:18:15 PM

Cheers for the help people

To WJC i have read that article and it seems like the E4400 is the better choice for me because i do have a little experience in overclocking even if it was way back in Athlon Xp days. Correct me if i am wrong but isn't the 775 socket here to stay for a while, if that is the case then i would like to go Intel. I will, if i do overclock, consult the sticky in the overclocking section though.

The GPU i am looking to buy is the X1950GT for £85 and that is the top of my budget really.

Cheers again
Tet
May 13, 2007 4:42:02 PM

Quote:
Hi everyone

I have done a little searching for a good comparison between these two processors but to no avail. I am on a very tight budget but want to be gaming. i am realistic however and know it wont be on anywhere near top settings.

I have also looked on the CPU charts over on the main part of the site but they don't cover this cpu. So i am asking would i see a noticeable increase with the core 2 duo if it is even better that is? Or would i be better sticking with the cheaper 4600 or even drop to a 4200.

One more thing as well are the core 2 duo motherboards more expensive?

Cheers for any help i receive
Tet
The E4400 and the x2 4600+ are fairly evenly matched in gaming(both win some). In most other apps the E4400 is faster, and it also has great overclocking capabilities. Yes C2D boards are slightly more expensive(on the whole), but there are good ones that can be had for cheap. If you aren't planning on overclocking, DDR2-533/DDR2-667(667 is adequate for O/Cing) is plenty...and keep in mind that fast RAM(DDR2-800) is of utmost importance in an AM2 system. Both are good fast processors, though. GL :) 

Check this review out:
Xbitlabs Review..4600+/E4400 and others

A small correction: the memory type difference (800 vs 667) for the AMDs make only a tiny difference in results (less than that critical 10% difference that is just perceivable by expert users). But since 800 is so cheap now, you might as well get 800 for either Intel or AMD IMO.

btw, don't use out of date charts. Charts should include the x2 5600 for example in order to be useful (that is, to include the best processors to compare. imagine a chart with out 6400s or 6600s).
May 13, 2007 7:05:47 PM

Quote:
Hi everyone

I have done a little searching for a good comparison between these two processors but to no avail. I am on a very tight budget but want to be gaming. i am realistic however and know it wont be on anywhere near top settings.

I have also looked on the CPU charts over on the main part of the site but they don't cover this cpu. So i am asking would i see a noticeable increase with the core 2 duo if it is even better that is? Or would i be better sticking with the cheaper 4600 or even drop to a 4200.

One more thing as well are the core 2 duo motherboards more expensive?

Cheers for any help i receive
Tet
The E4400 and the x2 4600+ are fairly evenly matched in gaming(both win some). In most other apps the E4400 is faster, and it also has great overclocking capabilities. Yes C2D boards are slightly more expensive(on the whole), but there are good ones that can be had for cheap. If you aren't planning on overclocking, DDR2-533/DDR2-667(667 is adequate for O/Cing) is plenty...and keep in mind that fast RAM(DDR2-800) is of utmost importance in an AM2 system. Both are good fast processors, though. GL :) 

Check this review out:
Xbitlabs Review..4600+/E4400 and others

A small correction: the memory type difference (800 vs 667) for the AMDs make only a tiny difference in results (less than that critical 10% difference that is just perceivable by expert users). But since 800 is so cheap now, you might as well get 800 for either Intel or AMD IMO.

btw, don't use out of date charts. Charts should include the x2 5600 for example in order to be useful (that is, to include the best processors to compare. imagine a chart with out 6400s or 6600s).Sorry i didn't show a chart that presents (your cherished)AMD as the winner(due only to lower prices). He mentioned not seeing a chart with the x2 4600+ and the E4400 against each other....that's what i gave him! If you read, you'll see i said the 4600 wins some....and both are fast chips. Don't fret, i didn't give AMD a bum rap here. :roll: Keep your fanboyish ego out of it. :x
May 13, 2007 9:25:41 PM

The E4400 performs slightly better on stock and overclocks much better; any doubts left?!
May 13, 2007 11:41:10 PM

i thought the e4400 only gets slightly trounced by the 4800x2 in a few benchies...
May 13, 2007 11:51:37 PM

Quote:


A small correction: the memory type difference (800 vs 667) for the AMDs make only a tiny difference in results (less than that critical 10% difference that is just perceivable by expert users). But since 800 is so cheap now, you might as well get 800 for either Intel or AMD IMO.


DDR2-667 being 5 - 10% slower than DDR2-800 is not a 'tiny difference'. That is the equivalent of 1 or 2 CPU speed grades. An X2 4600+ with DDR2-667 performs like an X2 4200+ with DDR2-800.

In comparison, the 1 - 2% loss experienced by C2D is a 'tiny' difference.

1 - 2% = small, 5 - 10% = not so small. :wink: :lol: 

Of course, DDR2 *is* getting cheaper, but that applies to ALL speed grades. So while DDR2-800 is much cheaper than before, DDR2-667 is even cheaper still. 8)
May 14, 2007 12:07:57 AM

But but but... when I get a bag of chips with 10 percent more, I open it and ask.. soo where's my 10 percent?

:cry:  . o O (holds a couple of chips in his hand)
May 14, 2007 12:28:48 AM

Quote:
But but but... when I get a bag of chips with 10 percent more, I open it and ask.. soo where's my 10 percent?

:cry:  . o O (holds a couple of chips in his hand)


:lol:  Pity they ain't like bottles where they highlight the extra 10% at the top. :wink:
May 14, 2007 1:09:37 AM

For the absolute budget gaming system, i would recommend the following:

E4300 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
Asrock 4core VSTA http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=4CoreDual-V...
Generic 667 DDR2 2 X 1 GB (Check prices at your local retailers)
The best GPU the rest of your money can buy.

Explanation:

Any e4300 can easily overclock @ 2.4 Ghz reaching the clock of an e6600, with the stock cooler and stock voltage. Asrock made an excellent board which overclocks @ 266 no problem, since it can be used with all the Conroes AND is dirt cheap without being left behind more than 3% in speed than i965 solutions.
You will not need faster RAM than 667 anyway, so go for the cheaper 667 and spend the money where it really matters, the video card.
I have built 4 systems like that for student friends and they are all more than happy since they bought really good video cards saving money from other components. They all beat my rig in gaming by tens of fps although i have an expensive mboard and CPU but only a 8600GT !!!
Good luck, whatever configuration you choose.
May 14, 2007 1:38:19 AM

Quote:


A small correction: the memory type difference (800 vs 667) for the AMDs make only a tiny difference in results (less than that critical 10% difference that is just perceivable by expert users). But since 800 is so cheap now, you might as well get 800 for either Intel or AMD IMO.


DDR2-667 being 5 - 10% slower than DDR2-800 is not a 'tiny difference'. That is the equivalent of 1 or 2 CPU speed grades. An X2 4600+ with DDR2-667 performs like an X2 4200+ with DDR2-800.

In comparison, the 1 - 2% loss experienced by C2D is a 'tiny' difference.

1 - 2% = small, 5 - 10% = not so small. :wink: :lol: 

Of course, DDR2 *is* getting cheaper, but that applies to ALL speed grades. So while DDR2-800 is much cheaper than before, DDR2-667 is even cheaper still. 8)

This is quite interesting if true, since I reviewed this once and thought it averaged close to 5% difference for an AM2 system (DDR2 667 vs 800), not near 10%. Could you offer any links?
May 14, 2007 1:39:57 AM

Quote:
For the absolute budget gaming system, i would recommend the following:

E4300 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
Asrock 4core VSTA http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=4CoreDual-V...
Generic 667 DDR2 2 X 1 GB (Check prices at your local retailers)
The best GPU the rest of your money can buy.

Explanation:

Any e4300 can easily overclock @ 2.4 Ghz reaching the clock of an e6600, with the stock cooler and stock voltage. Asrock made an excellent board which overclocks @ 266 no problem, since it can be used with all the Conroes AND is dirt cheap without being left behind more than 3% in speed than i965 solutions.
You will not need faster RAM than 667 anyway, so go for the cheaper 667 and spend the money where it really matters, the video card.
I have built 4 systems like that for student friends and they are all more than happy since they bought really good video cards saving money from other components. They all beat my rig in gaming by tens of fps although i have an expensive mboard and CPU but only a 8600GT !!!
Good luck, whatever configuration you choose.


Good point re video card. I second that one with emphasis.
a b à CPUs
May 14, 2007 5:40:39 AM

So BigBlack, why did you buy expensive mobo etc, when you clearly came up with a better budget build just now?
May 14, 2007 8:05:48 AM

Because of three reasons

1st I had the money :lol:  and i needed the goodies (firewire, extra sata and usb controllers etc)

2nd Gaming is not my priority, otherwise i would have bought a 8800GTX to go with the rest of the system. A 8600GT is more than enough for occasional gaming.

3rd I do video editing, where processor power counts most, so i went with an e6600 mildly overclocked @ 3000

In fact, i have a second system with the configuration i am suggesting but with an old 9200 AIW for video grabbing from tv and of course as a backup system. See, the mboard supports both AGP and PciXpress so i can use older cards and even create a 4 monitor config!
I have overclocked the e4300 @ 2400 with no issues in every case, even used old DDR 400 in my system and it is still very fast (processor wise) without costing a leg and an arm...
Cheers!
a b à CPUs
May 14, 2007 8:24:22 AM

Nice, guess its just my gamers bias coming into my posts again. A quad core processor will come in handy in the future for video editing. And at least a 30" monitor (almost drooling over the thought). I so love 30" LCDs... why do they have to cost so much tho? (rhetorical question)

EDIT: I do pity those with >24" monitors who use these forums, this new layout must really suck for them.
May 14, 2007 8:37:44 AM

Quote:


A small correction: the memory type difference (800 vs 667) for the AMDs make only a tiny difference in results (less than that critical 10% difference that is just perceivable by expert users). But since 800 is so cheap now, you might as well get 800 for either Intel or AMD IMO.


DDR2-667 being 5 - 10% slower than DDR2-800 is not a 'tiny difference'. That is the equivalent of 1 or 2 CPU speed grades. An X2 4600+ with DDR2-667 performs like an X2 4200+ with DDR2-800.

In comparison, the 1 - 2% loss experienced by C2D is a 'tiny' difference.

1 - 2% = small, 5 - 10% = not so small. :wink: :lol: 

Of course, DDR2 *is* getting cheaper, but that applies to ALL speed grades. So while DDR2-800 is much cheaper than before, DDR2-667 is even cheaper still. 8)

This is quite interesting if true, since I reviewed this once and thought it averaged close to 5% difference for an AM2 system (DDR2 667 vs 800), not near 10%. Could you offer any links?

Yeah no problem...

http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2800&p=7
May 14, 2007 9:13:11 AM

E4400.
May 14, 2007 9:13:46 AM

Hey guys and girls, time for my ten cents
im sure all of you read the system builder marathon (since its linked in here allready ;p)
Based on that, clearly if your looking for a gaming PC on the cheap, then get a 3800 X2 pair it with some cheap DDR2 667 ram (at least one gig!!)
and the most expensive graphics card you can get. if your into OCing, then dont skimp to much on the mobo, otherwise you will run into problems like exploding capacitors etc later on maybe, not to mention the fact that you wont get all the OCing options.
Plus you should be comfortably able to OC the 3800 to 4600 speeds ;p
oh and spend the extra on a good CPU cooler too if your going to OC. might add a few years of life onto your cpu :) 
Thats what i would do anyways, well i wouldnt because i never build on a tight budget these days, but if i was ;p
May 14, 2007 10:19:18 AM

Have just completed a similar system for a good friend of mine, we looked at the following options:

AMD System:
AMD AM2 Athlon 64 4600 + Windsor Core, Dual Core 2.4GHz, 2x 512KB Cache, Energy Eff' Retail - £75.19
Gigabyte GA M61SME-S2, NF405, AM2, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 400/533/667/800, SATA II, ATX - £33.32
1GB CorsairXMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-12 - £45.40
Total - £160.94 inc p&p

Intel System
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300, Socket 775, 1.80 GHz, 800MHz FSB, Allendale Core, 2MB Cache, Retail - £73.17
Abit IB9 i965, S775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, ATX - £64.50
1GB CorsairXMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-12 - £45.40
Total - £190.09 inc p&p

Either add another 1GB later or swap 1GB for 2GB:
2GB (2x1GB) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-12 - £80.65

Or if that's still too expensive, change the ram for the cheaper:
1Gb Micron Major, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-12 - £31.71
Which will take about £15 off the price, or £20 if you go for 2GB.

256MB Sapphire Radeon X1950GT, PCI-E(x16), Mem 1200MHz GDDR3, GPU 500MHz, 36 Pipes, RoHS - £86.96

1GB AMD with X1950GT - £247.90
2GB AMD with X1950GT - £283.14
1GB Intel with X1950GT - £277.05
2GB Intel with X1950GT - £312.30

These prices are from scan.co.uk. You could also try microdirect.com, or ebuyer.com. overclockers.co.uk is another good site in the UK.

Just thought this might be of interest. When you do decide to buy, price up your system at each of the sites i mentioned, depending on the offers at the time you may well get it cheaper at any one of those sites.
!