Intels' Core 2 Duo E6400 joins the Price/Performance Charts


How could we have left out Intel's Core 2 Duo E6400 from our Price/Performance charts? Several readers complained last week about the lack of Intel's E6400/E6300 mainstream processors in our charts which provide a weekly update on the best value in the retail processor market. This week, the data of the E6400 became available - and began to cause more headaches for the green team.

Last week, we took a look at the performance power and value of a handful of processors from both Intel and AMD. At the time, AMD provided less value in the high-end market but offered a very reliable pricing structure. Intel, on the other hand, had relatively over-priced entry-level models and erratic pricing across the board. However, they did offer more value per dollar in their high-end products, like the Core 2 Duo processors.

Now, one week later, we've taken another look at the prices of these processors relative to their performance - in anticipation to see another adjustment of prices that typically surfaces towards the end of every week. We were not disappointed, as average prices of processors have shifted since a week ago. Keep in mind that we are looking at average market pricing data that is provided my These numbers are always dynamically changing and you may be able to find each processor for a substantially higher or lower price, depending on the retailer.

Additionally, this week, the guys over at Tom's Hardware put to the test an overclocked Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor, at 3.34 GHz. We took the benchmark data from that, as well as from a standard E6400, and added them to our data. While you cannot buy an overclocked version of that processor, the additional performance and improved positioning in our chart may be especially valuable to users who enjoy overclocking their processors. We will be enhancing our charts with a performance/watt chart as soon as sufficient and reliable data is available, which may change the location of such overclocked processors in the ranking.

This week revealed slight price fluctuations of between $4 and $15 pretty much across the board, which is to be expected in a dynamic market. The more noteworthy changes include the price of Intel's Pentium D 840 processor, which dropped 9% or $51 over the past week. The D 820 fell by 11% or $29 and now costs $106, which is dramatically less than our reference processor's (Pentium 4 520) $155. The Pentium EE 965 dipped by $31, though that's hardly a dent in the wildly overpriced processor. The Netburst architecture-based processor currently sells for an average of $1050, while the newer, Core-based Core 2 Extreme sells for $1003 - which is just $4 above Intel's $999 tray price.

The only notable increase on the Intel side comes from the Core 2 Duo E6700 - the company's fastest mainstream processor. Last week, the average price for one of those was an even $500. This week, it rose to $526, which could be an early sign of the approaching holiday season and higher demand for those processors. Most places that sold the processor in the sub-$500 range last week have the chip on backorder this week.

The AMD side offers an interesting story and it appears that at least half of the firm's batch hasn't found its pricing spot yet. Half of the eight processors we're looking at showed significant fluctuations. The Athlon 64 FX-62 and X2 4800+ dropped by $31 and $35, respectively, AMD's high-end gaming processor was priced in the $1000 a few weeks ago, now you can get it for a more affordable and average $677. The mainstream X2 side also brought some price drops this week: The X2 5000+ decreased by 14% or $69 to $429. A particularly popular processor appeared to be the 4400+ version, which increased its pricing by more than 50% to $383, making it more expensive than the 4600+ and 4800+. The 4400+ is a major factor that shifts AMD's price-performance correlation this week.