Pentium D vs Core 2 Duo

Article Index
Pentium D vs Core 2 Duo
Test Setup and Info
Tests: Real-World Apps
Tests: Video Encoding and File Compression
Tests: Game Benchmarks
Tests: Game Benchmarks - Continued...

Products: Intel 805 Pentium D, Core 2 Duo E6600


Core 2 Duo is a tremendous step up from the previous generation of CPU's from Intel.  Even Pentium D wasn't a big jump in performance or thermal reduction.  Today we are taking a bit of a look at how the Core 2 Duo compares to the Pentium D in terms of real world performance.  We have tested six real world applications and six games in our quest to gather data.  We have put the brand new Core 2 Duo E6600 at 2.4GHz against the 2.66GHz Pentium D 805.

Although I realize that this is not a fair comparison, I thought it would be interesting to see how much faster the Core 2 Duo really is when compared to a slightly faster clocked Pentium D processor.  If you want to read and find out what all if new with the Core 2 Duo architecture, head on over and read this excellent article at PC Perspective.

Below is a list of specs and features as a comparison between the two processors.

Feature Comparison

The Core 2 Duo has 2MB of L2 cache per core and runs at 1066FSB with a 9x Multiplier.  This clocks the Core 2 Duo E6600 at a mere 2.4GHz.  In comparison the Pentium D 805 has 1MB of L2 Cache per core and runs at a mere 533FSB with a 20x multiplier.  This in turn clocks the Pentium D 805 at 2.66GHz - 266Mhz faster than the E6600.

The Test:

We have rounded up a few benchmarks to compare these two processors to see how much faster the Core 2 Duo is than it's low-budget predecessor.  It would have been a more interesting comparison if we could have taken the E6300 and put it against the 805D in a battle of the low-end dual core CPUs, but we have to make due with what is on hand.  We will put these two processors head to head in application benchmarks as well as gaming benchmarks.  What makes this test different than other benchmarks that we have done before is that all of these are real world tests.  We are not using synthetic benchmark programs.  We are using real-world applications to see how these will perform in day-to-day tasks.  Below is the list of tests that we've done.


  • Audio Conversion/Encoding.
  • PhotoShop CS.
  • Server Load (XML Parsing & Loading - Ultima Online).
  • Video Encoding - DivX 6.2
  • Video Encoding - Quicktime
  • File Compression & Decompression.


  • Age Of Empires 3
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1
  • Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Quake 4
  • Tomb Raider: Legend


We'll take a look at the test setup before we head into testing.