3.33GHz Clock Speed with dual processing cores (dual-core)
1333MHz front-side bus
10.0 fixed clock multiplier
6MB unified L2 cache
45nm high-K metal gate transistor technology
107mm2 die size, 410M transistors
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST)
Intel 64 Technology
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT)
Supports Execute Disable Bit (XD)
LGA-775 socket interface
Intel Trusted Execution Technology
0.850v - 1.3625v Core Voltage
65W Max TDP
$266 1k tray unit price
On paper, the E8600 boasts some formidable specs for a dual-core CPU. As we mentioned earlier its 3.33GHz clock is the highest of any Core 2 CPU, including Intelís vaunted Core 2 Extreme line. But all isnít perfect with the processor. Take a look at this image:
That, dear readers is the cooler Intel shipped with our E8600 sample. Intelís heatsink/fan unit is tiny, and doesnít even boast a copper slug to improve cooling, instead Intel relies on an all aluminum design with their standard fan. The heatsink itself measures just over half an inch in height!
While we donít doubt that the E8600 is more than capable of running just fine at stock speeds with this cooler, when you fork over $270 or more for a processor you obviously expect to get a better heatsink than this.
Obviously we ditched this cooler for our trusty all-copper Zalman CNPS9500 that we use for all our Core 2 reviews, including overclocking.
Intelís latest Core 2 Duo may also be its last. Based on leaked Intel roadmaps, itís been speculated by some that the E8600 may be Intelís last Penryn-based dual-core CPU before dual-core Nehalem-based CPUs arrive next year. The chip is also the first Core 2 Duo CPU to be based on Intelís new E0 stepping, previously Wolfdale processors relied on Intelís C0 stepping.
According to Intel documents, the new E0 stepping contains ďSpeed path improvements enabling higher speed binsĒ. This should stimulate the attention of any enthusiast who is interested in overclocking, as it could potentially lead to greater OCíing potential. For power misers, the E0 stepping also features a new power status indicator and new instruction extensions (XSAVE/SRSTOR), along with greener, more environmentally friendly halide-free packaging.
The new feature youíre probably most interested in though is overclocking. Here the E8600 didnít disappointÖ
Over the years weíve seen some CPUs that were pretty serious OCíers, but weíve never seen anything like the E8600, this chip is just begging to be overclocked. Donít believe us? We hit 4.0GHz at default voltage with our E8600 chip! Thatís a 670MHz OC and we still havenít touched the CPU voltage setting in BIOS!
Slowly but surely we continued to crank up the FSB and voltage, eventually settling on 1.375V of juice and 452MHz FSB. Right around this point we needed to go beyond 1.4V in order to achieve complete Vista stability: 1.4V bought us 100% stability at 458MHz, and 1.45V got us past 460MHz. Eventually we settled on an FSB speed of 464MHz, yielding a final clock of 4.64GHz:
Weíre pretty sure we could have pushed the CPU even further if we were willing to go even higher on the voltage, but obviously considering this is a 45-nm processor we didnít want to kill the processor.