$89 Pentium Dual Core that Runs at 3.2 GHz

Do Not Go For Similarly Priced Pentium 4 Or Pentium D CPUs

If you already checked Pentium Dual Core prices, you might have found several offers on Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors at similar price points. The clock speeds of up to 3.8 GHz are especially appealing, but these products are all based on the outdated NetBurst microarchitecture. It was designed to run high clock speeds, but it is clearly less powerful on a clock by clock basis when compared to Core 2. In other words: a Core 2 Duo CPU can process more instructions per clock than a Pentium D or Pentium 4. Please have a look at our Interactive CPU Charts, where you will find proof that the Pentium Dual Core E2160 at 1.8 GHz can sometimes even beat a Pentium D 960 at 3.6 GHz. In addition, the Pentium Dual Core requires less than half the energy, which results in a lower energy bill and fewer cooling requirements.

What About Core 2 Duo?

Core 2 Duo E6750

We also included some benchmarks with the Core 2 Duo E6750 and E6850 for the sake of completeness. These two processors operate at 2.66 and 3.0 GHz, and ultimately are the products to compare to the overclocked Pentium Dual Core E2160 and its 3.2 GHz. Typically, the Core 2 Duo E6750 is one of the most attractive CPUs for power users today. It comes with a 4 MB L2 cache, FSB1333 speed and 2.66 GHz core clock speed, and costs $200 and up. The E6850 is the current top model of the Core 2 Duo line. Although its nearly $300 price tag is high, we thought that including real 3 GHz results made sense. The 3.2 GHz Pentium Dual Core cannot beat the E6850, but as we'll see, it plays in the same league.

  • HansVonOhain
    That was an amazing chip at the day...
  • ripwind
    Yep - It was this very article that caused me to buy mine, along with a G92 8800GTS. My E2160 has been running @ 3.2GHZ with the stock cooler for almost 3.5 years. I'm only now considering an upgrade.

    Both that processor and that video card have scaled so well over the years that I'm still able to run what I want at 1920x1080 with reasonable settings.
  • presto84
    I've just bought a second hand motherboard for university and it came with this CPU onboard. Remembered this article so had to look to check it was the same chip. The board has an Intel P945 chipset and supports up to 1333mhz according to the website so might be worth giving this a go.
  • Noodletoe
    One of my all-time favorite Toms articles - used it to OC my E2180 to 3.0ghz 4 years ago and it's still running strong as my guest computer. I was just looking to upgrade the CPU to a E-6550 I found for cheap, but after re-reading this article I think I'll just leave it alone :)