Review: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600

Our score: 3/5
Reviewed: January 12, 2010 11:00 PM
3 want this Me too!
Published: January 12, 2010 11:00 PM
By Régis Jehl
The Core 2 Duo processors in Intel's E8000 aren't all that new (see inset), but they do well for dual-core processors.  And although they run at a very high frequency of 3.33 GHz, they don't enjoy the latest Intel technology like hyper-threading or Turbo mode.

Energy Consumption

Using just over 100 W while idle, the E8600 actually requires more power than the manufacturer's latest quad-core models from the 700 and 800 series.  That said, it's still an acceptable result, especially given that it only rose to 141 W for the whole computer while active.

Performance: Applications

This is a processor that can do a little bit of everything.  It's powerful enough to handle office applications, but it's also capable of rendering and encoding multimedia content.  Of course, it won't be as fast as a quad-core processor, but it's good enough for occasional amateur use.  In general, it's a little faster than an Athlon II X3 435 CPU, which has three cores.

Let's take a look at a couple of figures: in WinRAR 3.9, compressing our folder of files took 4 minutes 7 seconds; on the next model down, the E8500, the same task required 4 m 14 s.  Another example is encoding MP3s in iTunes: this processor took 1 m 22 s, while the E8500 took 1 m 26 s.


General overall average.
Click on the graph to see all of our results and compare this CPU to other models.

Performance: Gaming

Although it might be less happy than a processor with more cores when running demanding software, it's perfectly at home with games.  When we tried it out with our test games, only World in Conflict: Soviet Alert seemed to pose it any problems, with an average framerate of 45 fps compared to 54 fps on the Core i7 870, which comes with four cores and hyper-threading.  On the other hand, both models were neck-and-neck in Crysis Warhead, with an average framerate of 47 fps for each.

View Performance Index Table

3/5 Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 DigitalVersus 2010-01-13 00:00:00

Pros

  • Energy efficient while active
  • All-rounder that can handle most tasks

Cons

  • You can find faster processors for gaming
  • No Turbo mode

Conclusion

This is an excellent dual-core processor that combines powerful speeds with average energy consumption. On the other hand, we'd prefer a quad-core processor for encoding video or rendering 3D video.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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