Which Intel Core 2 Duo chip - E6400 or E6600?

  IT Phobic 20:19 29 May 2007

I'm looking to buy a new PC mainly for use with Microsoft Office. I want it to be easily capable of dealing with programs such as Quark Express and Dreamweaver in the future. I won't use it for gaming, but I want it to be a fast machine.

My computer supplier advised me to buy a E6400 Intel Core 2 Duo processor which is 2.13 GHz and has L2 Cache of 2M. I think I would be better buying a E6420 (also 2.13 GHz) or E6600 (2.40 GHz) which both have an L2 Cache of 4M. Although I was recommended the E6400, the way the salesman described it, I would be better off with the E6400 or E6600 because of the increased Cache.

The salespeople make me feel like I'm making a fuss about nothing. Does the L2 Cache affect the speed of the computer, or is it the clock speed alone that I should be concerned about? Can anyone give me some impartial advice? Thank you.

  howard64 21:57 29 May 2007

firstly with a core2duo the cores each run quite slowly - I was suprised when I got my e6300 each core runs at something like 1.8GHz. I was used to an AMD 4200 where it ran at quite a good speed. The core2duo comes into its own when you are multitasking it can do 2 things much faster than a single core can. When software becomes available for 2 and 4 cores things will speed up. If you are doing a single task you will not notice much difference from a pc from a couple of years ago.

  skidzy 22:11 29 May 2007

Go for the E6600 2.4 If you can afford this.

I have the E6300 1.8 and got to say it flies.I tinker with a few videos/dvds and a little photo editing.
My last system was a p4 2.6 , the new system knocks spots off the p4.

  I am Spartacus 22:24 29 May 2007

I've got the E6600 and overclocked it (easily) to 3.1Ghz with the standard heatsink and fan and it flies (as skidzy says) through video rendering. I would guess that the other versions will easily overclock too.

I wouldn't normally bother with overclocking but it's so easy with these and for a very little rise in temperatures.

  IT Phobic 09:49 30 May 2007

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this.

Can anyone explain what the difference is between an L2 Cache of '2' and '4', in terms of speed/performance?

I think that's the one major thing left that's confusing me.

  citadel 10:08 30 May 2007

l2 cache is a resovoir where frequently used data is stored for fast access so more is better. the new intel penryn processors are going to have even more.

  Quiet Life 13:16 30 May 2007

Size of L2 cache makes a big difference. skidzy is right go for the E6600.
One of the reasons Celerons were so poor was the very small L2cache compared with Pentiums

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