I'm purchasing a new CPU very soon, and I have narrowed it down to either the core 2 duo E4500 or the E6320. They are both the same price at my local fry's, thus I was wondering, which of the 2 is the better deal? Does the E6320's 4MB L2 cache make that much of a difference? I will be using it mostly for gaming. Also, I will definitely be overclocking, and I want to hit at least 3GHZ.
the fact is that the e4 series are a dream to OC BUT you must remember they are second rate chip below the e6 devision which will OC high and even if it doesnt bet the incease clock speed it will definatly be the faster chip
I'll say my views on e4400 and e6420 (better than e6320)
If you want to overclock you might want to know the number of multipliers. Higher means easier and sometimes better OC. When I say easier, I mean you don't need to spill out another $100-200 on better ram or a $100 cpu cooler. Cpus with higher multiplier won't need as a high end hardware in general.
e4400 ~$125 has 10x I believe
e6320 ~$165 has 8x I believe
e6420 ~$175 has 9x I believe
Above I might have the multiplier wrong but i am 100% sure the e4400 has the most number. In my case, I got the e4400 since that saves me $50 right off the bat, plus I don't need too much high end gears to OC to 3 Ghz. Stock fan etc worked fine for me. But again as I say, if you have the cash to spill the e6420 might be a good choice as it has 4mb cache, but then again you could save that money and stay with the e4400 and upgrade to the 45nm CPUs when it comes out.
With RAM prices the way they are now, you won't be spending an arm and a leg on RAM either way. DDR800 should easily get an e6320 to 3.0ghz. A 430mhz FSB results in the RAM running at 860mhz on a 1:1 ratio. Most quality DDR800 will do that no problem. I did it on a build using Corsair DDR675. Also remember that more memory bandwidth (i.e. faster RAM) results in higher system performance as well.
The extra cache will only result in about 5% better performance. Depending on your budget, you should either get the e4400 or e6420. The multiplier of the e4400 is 10x. The multiplier of the e6420 is 8x, not 9x as someone else said. You should hit 3ghz with the e4400 and ddr2 800. The e6420 will also hit 3ghz easily, and likely overclock up to 3.6gz. Overall it should go higher than the e4400, but not guaranteed. The e6320 has only a 7x multiplier, not 8x. So with ddr2 800, you can only hit 2.8ghz without having to overclock your ram or use faster ram. So, if you're looking for the least expensive choice to get only 3ghz, the e4400 is your bet choice. If you really want to go higher, get the e6420.
True, but I have yet to find a set of quality DDR800 RAM that will not overclock to 860. If 3ghz is the goal, the e6320 will do it with the same hardware as the e4400. The performance increase will exceed 5% with the increased FSB speed/memory bandwidth. The only question is if it is worth the extra $$... maybe not.
E6320/E6420, having the highest multiplier can be useful, but if your mobo can hit over 400 FSB, you won't have much trouble getting an E6320 or E6420 that high. As for ram, my current kit can get over 1000Mhz and I spent $90 for 2GB of it. Even my old Corsair 675 could hit 830Mhz without issue on stock voltages, so it isn't like ram is going to cost you a bundle to get to the 400-450Mhz FSB mark. The extra cache is always nice too. My vote is for an E6 series CPU.