On Windows, the Intel Wolfdale processor has been reported by various publications as performing well. While we cannot comment on the Microsoft Windows performance of the Core 2 Duo E8400, we do know one thing and that's the Wolfdale does perform very well on Linux. With Ubuntu 8.04 LTS using the Linux 2.6.24 kernel we hadn't run into any troubles and that includes Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology and Intel Virtualization Technology with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine).
When comparing the performance of the Conroe E6400 to the Wolfdale E8400 with both processors clocked to 3.00GHz, the 45nm Wolfdale had possessed a significant lead over the earlier dual-core part. In the compilation, audio/video encoding, file encryption, and SQLite database benchmarks, the Wolfdale core was generally up to a few percent faster than the similarly clocked Conroe. With parallel BZIP2 compression, the benefits of the Wolfdale and its shared 6MB L2 cache were very clear: PBZIP2 had performed about 40% faster! With YafRay, the open-source ray-tracing renderer, the 3GHz E8400 had a 35% advantage over the E6400 running at the same frequency.
For those interested in a new processor for gaming, you will be satisfied with the Wolfdale as well. Aside from the ioquake3-based OpenArena, in the games tested and X-Plane, the OpenGL performance was greater with this 45nm creation. Of course, overclocking the Core 2 Duo E8400 had offered enhanced performance in all sixteen benchmarks. If you are interested in comparing your system to our tests on Linux, with the Phoronix Test Suite installed run phoronix-test-suite benchmark michael-4122-9804-4524 (PTS Global Entry).
From all points of view, the Core 2 Duo E8400 is a remarkable product. Within a 65 Watt TDP, Intel has delivered a processor that's able to outperform its previous-generation dual-core sibling in some of the tests by a very dramatic lead. In all areas from file encryption to code compilation to gaming, the Core 2 Duo "Wolfdale" had performed well and made it a great buy. We were using version 4.2 of the GNU Compiler Collection in our tests, and with GCC 4.3 users will see even greater boosts thanks to SSE 4.1 (Streaming SIMD Extensions) support.
With the move to 45nm manufacturing and innovations such as High-K metal gate transistors, the power consumption for this processing core is very low and offers phenomenal performance-per-watt. These improvements also delight overclockers with the Core 2 Duo E8400 easily sporting overclocked frequencies in excess of 4GHz.
At a retail price tag of under $190 USD, this 3.0GHz dual-core processor is an unbeatable deal for those needing a processor for gaming or other workstation tasks. While quad-core processors are the next iteration in computing, the similarly priced Core 2 Quad Q6600 "Kentsfield" at 2.4GHz can't outperform this dual-core part except for tests that are able to fully utilize all four processing cores. When the processing frequency means more than processing cores, the Core 2 Duo E8400 is a phenomenal offering and worthy of our Phoronix Editor's Choice Award.