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Which Core2 DUO should I get?

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September 25, 2007 12:20:00 AM

Hi, I am about to upgrade my machine with a Core2 DUO.
I did not want to change my AGP Radeon x1950 GT graphics card and was thus locked to the ASROCK 4CoreDUAL-SATA2 motherboard.
This specific motherboard accepts AGP and PCI-e graphics cards, DDRII up to 667MHz and Core2 DUO CPUs up to 1066 FSB.
Also I hear it's not any good for overclocking.

I will be getting 2 GBs of RAM (either 533 or 667, depending on which CPU I'll settle on) and the CPUs that I'm considering are:

- E4400 800FSB at 2.00 GHz which costs 115 euros BOX
- E4500 800FSB at 2.20 GHz which costs 133 euros BOX
- E6420 1066FSB at 2.13 GHz which costs 168 euros BOX

Now normally that would be an easy pick except
a) I can't find the 4400 and 4500 at the CPU chart and thus cannot evaluate the difference in performance between them and with the 6420 and
b) I read that the 4x00 series does not have the "Intel Virtualization Technology" command set.
Basically this set according to Intel allows near-native performance to a virtual PC.
Now I do not know if this will make a considerable difference in my case.
However I do in fact plan to use a single Virtual Machine extensively.
At first I'll be using a VM inside XP to run Linux distributions to further accustom myself with them and to decide which suits me best and once that is done I will probably go the other way around, use a VM to run XP inside Linux to run the various applications that I won't be able to natively run under Linux (games in particular and pretty demanding at that).
(I wonder if WINE can benefit from the Intel VT command set).

So, with this given system at these price points which will make the most sense?
I'll be using the PC for all the usual uses plus some video/audio editing (but far less than what I used to with my athlon xp 3000+) and some modern games, NeverWinter Nights 2 and Starcraft 2 (when it comes out) for sure.

More about : core2 duo

September 25, 2007 12:56:30 AM

I'd say that the E6420 would be better if you can afford it, because it has the larger amounts of L2 Cache which in some applications will be a nice bonus, look at an E4300 compared to an E6320 for an idea of how the cache will effect game performance(those are in the CPU charts and have similar clock speeds).
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September 25, 2007 1:07:15 AM

I would go for the 4500 cpu. Don't know how picky the 4core vsta is about memory, but crucial usually works fine. I use corsair and 2 other brands with my dual sata II 939.
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September 25, 2007 3:11:02 AM

(Actually that's not the VSTA but the newer one SATA2)

Judging from the 4300 vs 6320 I'd say if the 4500 and 6420 compare similarly then the 4500 is probably better. The difference is not much and with the difference in price I can buy more ram (depending on which would be better I would possibly only get 1GB now and another later).

However what still concerns me is whether in virtualization applications the differences might not be that small.

Anyone?
September 25, 2007 3:29:17 AM

Wisest choice would be to wait. The industry is going through some big changes right now. Buying now would be a waste.
September 25, 2007 5:05:18 AM

If it wasn't the AGP issue I would but letting a good AGP go down because there won't be an AGP MoBo later would be a bigger waste.

Plus now I've already promised my cousin my MoBo/CPU/DDR/(old) GPU
(He was that lucky that I decided on the upgrade when his MoBo gave out :p )
!