Intel Pentium E2140 Dual Core Processor

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For a $95 (USD) processor, the Intel Pentium E2140 put up a surprisingly solid performance, which is a testament to this chip's overall value. Albeit under a new name, Intel is finally moving their Conroe dual-core architecture down to the budget markets, bringing true modern dual-core performance to low-end systems, which is something everyone can appreciate.

In terms of raw performance, the Pentium E2140 only runs about 10% slower in most cases than Intel’s cheapest Core 2 Duo processor, the E6300, which is impressive considering it has a lower clock speed and half the cache. However, the Pentium E2140 ($95) is currently 42% cheaper than the Core 2 Duo E6300 ($165), making it a better value compared to low-end Core 2 Duo processors. We should also note that, AMD does have dual-core Athlon 64 X2 processors which are as inexpensive as $55 in some cases, so if you’re looking for extreme low-budget dual-core processing, AMD still delivers the lowest price. For Intel-based dual-core computing though, the Pentium E2100-series chips are excellent choices for those with limited budgets.

When looking at the benchmarks, we also see that the Pentium E2140 can provide extremely good performance when overclocked. Notably, the chip performs great in workstation and basic office-class applications, where the smaller amount of L2 cache does not hurt performance as much as one would expect. Gamers, however, would be better served by a chip with a larger amount of L2 cache, as the smaller L2 compliment on the Pentium E2100 series does hurt its clock-for-clock gaming performance against the Core 2 Duo. While others have pushed these chips further with more exotic cooling, we pushed our chip to 2.9 GHz with the stock cooler. At this level, the Pentium E2140 processor can provide performance similar to a Core 2 Duo E6700 ($320) in best case scenarios. The Pentium E2140 can push very high clock speeds with very little work, and the stock cooler which Intel bundles is whisper silent most of the time, which makes for a great combination.

When a Pentium E2100 series processor is purchased with one of the many bargain-priced Socket-775 motherboards, coupled with a gig or two of inexpensive DDR2 memory, it can make the backbone for a very solid dual-core Vista-capable system for an extremely low price at this time. While it’s not the fastest thing on the market, we have no qualms recommending such a chip for a budget-level system. The new Pentiums are great for those looking for a cheap, overclockable dual-core processor.  And because they're so inexpensive, relatively speaking, it's quite fun to push them as far as they'll go without the fear of frying an expensive chip. Definitely a fun processor.

  • Bargain Price ($90-$100)
  • Efficient Conroe Architecture
  • Superbly Overclockable
  • Low Noise Stock Cooler
  • 1 MB Cache Hurts Gaming Performance
  • Low Stock Clock Speed
  • Not Widely Available Yet
  • May Require MB BIOS Update

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