Overclocking Intel's Core 2 Duo E8400 Xeon Counterpart, the E3110

I'm sure all of our readers have seen all seen the online reviews of Intel's new Core 2 Duo E8400 and E8500 dual-core processors. They're big news. These new processors codenamed Wolfdale benefit from a die shrink from 65nm to 45nm, and improved architecture which results in better clock for clock performance compared to the Conroes. As well, L2 cache has been increased from 4MB to 6MB, and the bus speed bumped from 1066MHz to 1333MHz (quad-pumped). Initial reports from around the web place the E8000 series Wolfdales as great overclockers. Looking at many review websites and user experiences from forums, the E8400’s and E8500’s are hitting upwards of 4GHz with air cooling without much voltage increase. Adding this performance with a retail value of around $200US, the E8400 is a great value.

The current problem with the E8000 series is availability. There aren’t many stores, if any, which have the E8400 or E8500 in stock. These processors are high in demand, and so far supply from Intel hasn’t been able to keep up.

This is where Intel’s Xeon E3110 processor comes in. On paper it has the Xeon branding, but under the hood it’s the same as the Core 2 Duo E8400. They are 45nm Socket 775 processors, and have the same 3GHz operating frequency with 1333MHz quad-pumped bus. Their architectures and instruction sets are the same as well.

As we can see, the specifications for the E8400 and E3110 are essentially the same. Getting down to it, both processors are the same. They share the same CPUID and stepping. The VID voltage range is slightly different, and this could be a result of differences in the binning specifications of the processors. It is believed that the Xeon series of CPU’s are binned processors that require less power than its standard desktop counterparts. Availability wise in Canada, I found the Xeon E3110 to be a bit easier to find than the E8400. At the time of my order, the E3110 was in stock at a popular Canadian online retailer, but the E8400 was nowhere to be found. Looking at their website, it looks like DirectCanada will have stock again on March 25, 2008.