E8400 or E5200 - No OC

I am in the process of buying my daughter a new computer for college to replace her aging P4 system and she has her heart set on a particular unit, the problem is deciding between an E5200 or E8400 CPU, they both have 64-bit vista and 4GB/800 MHz memory. She will use it for word processing, internet, music, video and very basic photo editing but in the future maybe a bit more. No gaming whatsoever. My problem is all else being equal the E8400 is about $250 dollars more than the E5200 which sounds ridiculous to me - if it was $100 more I would get the E8400 no question, if nothing more than to try to future proof it a bit. Would the E5200 be noticeably slower than the E8400 in this case or is it more than adequate? If it is more than adequate, what type of possible apps would tax it or noticeably slow it down in comparison to the E8400?

You guys know the specs so I wont go over them again but everything I have found out so far deals with overclocking of the E5200, she will not be doing that.

Thanks very much for any help/insight.
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  1. From your description it doesn't look like she needs a very powerful CPU, so the E5200 would be fine, the E8400 would most likely be overkill.

    I'm just curious, how is the E8400 $250 more than the E5200? I'm assuming you're speaking of the total system cost right? Because the actual price difference between the two chips is around $80.
  2. definitely go for the e5200...its an excellent cpu and will definitely be more than enough for her tasks...
  3. epsilon84 said:


    I'm just curious, how is the E8400 $250 more than the E5200? I'm assuming you're speaking of the total system cost right? Because the actual price difference between the two chips is around $80.


    Just to clarify I am buying a preconfigured "name brand" computer, not building one. The EXACT same computer with the E8400 is $250 more than with the E5200 (total system cost) and I know the actual price difference between the two CPUs is less than $100. That's why I am debating between the two - if it was just $100 more (a fair price for the upgrade) I would go ahead get the one with the E8400, it might help for apps she decides to use in the future.
  4. moon unit said:
    Just to clarify I am buying a preconfigured "name brand" computer, not building one. The EXACT same computer with the E8400 is $250 more than with the E5200 (total system cost) and I know the actual price difference between the two CPUs is less than $100. That's why I am debating between the two - if it was just $100 more (a fair price for the upgrade) I would go ahead get the one with the E8400.


    Yeah, thats what I thought. They are grossly overcharging for the E8400 system. I know its just business at the end of the day but thats just purely preying on the ignorance of the average buyer if you ask me. :non:
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    Could I get some examples of popular apps (no gaming) that would tax the E5200 in comparison to the E8400? Clock speed seems plenty but I'm a little worried about the 2mb L2 cache.

    Thanks again.
  6. lol...that 2mb L2 cache will certainly do...if im not mistaken, the performance gain from a larger cache is only about 5% or so...
  7. moon unit said:
    Thanks for the replies.

    Could I get some examples of popular apps (no gaming) that would tax the E5200 in comparison to the E8400? Clock speed seems plenty but I'm a little worried about the 2mb L2 cache.

    Thanks again.


    Here you can see the breakdown in performance between 3MB and 6MB: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2duo-e7200_4.html#sect0

    Most of the large gains are seen in gaming, since thats out, I'd say 2MB is fine. :)
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