If you have a good deal of patience, and dollars matter, the Conroe you may end up getting is this one.
The E4300 has 2Mb of cache, is stripped of advanced features like VT and vPro. So what so good about it?
1) Unlike its 266MHz brothers, it has an FSB OF 200MHz Why is that important? It’s important because a lower FSB will almost guarantee a lot more overclocking room than the other Conroes.
The E4300 has a 9X multiplier, compared to the 7X and 8X multipliers of the E6300 and E6400. Since the primary bottleneck for Conroes is going to be FSB, an E4300 will run faster at any given FSB than the other cheapish Conroes.
At 400MHz, the low-end Conroes will run at the following speeds:
Since it looks like Conroes can do around 3.6GHz with little muss or fuss, the E4300 will be able to realize almost all if not all of Conroe’s overclocking potential. Mind you, running a E4300 at 3.6GHz would be a 100% overclock.
2) The E4300 will probably be a lot cheaper If the pricing on the Pentium D 805 compared to other Pentium D dual cores is any future indicator, the E4300 is likely to be a lot cheaper than the E6xxx chips. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say $133 would be a conservative estimate for a starting price, and it could be less.
The Bad Part
The only bad part about this chip is that it isn’t supposed to show up until Q1 2007. Then again, that could have some advantages:
Based on what we know now (and assuming the E4300 can overclock as much as we think), there’s a pretty good chance the E4300 will be able to beat even a Revision G AMD CPU.
And if that’s the case, what overclocker is going to buy an AM2 system when you can beat it with a $100-ish processor?
To AMD: If You Have Lemons, Make Lemonade
If I were AMD, and I really don’t have anything to counter this, I’d know what I’d do: I’d announce some 65nm socket 939 processors like . . . now, and then make some.
The impression I get from AMDers is that the campers are not happy, but that many with relatively new socket 939 systems will upgrade the processor and accept the lower performance simply because a processor upgrade is a lot cheaper than a system upgrade.
Such people aren’t going to buy AM2 systems, period. They’re going to try to milk what they have until AMD comes out with something seriously good, and no doubt some will find a cheap Conroe impossible to resist.
The best way for AMD to counter that (and maybe more importantly, boost their morale) is to announce that 65nm socket 939s CPUs will be made. AMD certainly did that a few times during the Jerry Sanders era (i.e. the K6-3), they could do it again.
If I had to guess, I would guess that we will eventually see such a beast, but it will be one of those AMD trademarked last-second 180-degree turn decisions which will come too late to do the most good.
So if it happens, we’ll see it sometime deep into next year.