We didn’t pay much heed to gaming because it mostly relies on the graphics card power and the quantity and speed of system memory, and these two processors are quite equal. We still played Fear, Americas Army Operation and Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars.
All the games resulted in a playable number of FPS (30-70). As we already mentioned it is mostly thanks to the graphics card and the memory. Even while gaming these two processors were quite on par and the average frame-rate difference was no more than 1-2 FPS.
As for over-clocking you’ve already seen that the processor easily reached 3.5GHz, and it probably could’ve gone higher. We spoke of this in our preview here.
It’s important to note that we used relatively cheap air-cooling, Thermaltake BlueOrbII made up of copper core and aluminum fins. Believe it or not, it is the PSU that halted further overclocking and it clearly shows the importance of a good PSU in an overclocked system, even when using a low end CPU.
Idle temperature of this processor was an incredible 40°C and it didn’t go over 50°C not even under a workload.
This cheap Core 2 Duo shows excellent results in overclocking. Whether it was just our sample, or the whole E2160 series is highly overclockable, we’re unable to say. However we can say that the whole Core 2 Duo family proved to be a god over-clocking material.
C2D E4300 with 2MB of cache scored well on many sites, and it is no exception here. Stock frequencies score similar results as a slightly cheaper AMD x2 3800, however Intel has much more overclocking potential.
Core 2 Duo E2160 is definitely a good choice if you’re running on a limited budget. This baby with 1MB of cache will take whatever you throw at it. If you’re more gaming oriented we’d recommend you a C2D E4xxx or even E6xxx series processor, but the price of these low end parts is tempting to say the least.
Paired with a mid range graphics card and 2GB of memory this processor will run all games on reasonable resolutions and with acceptable detail levels.
Priced at about €90, Core 2 Duo E2160 definitely looks tasty. If you consider that the tested sample easily performed an almost 100% overclock while air-cooled, we can safely say that it will get you a good bang for your buck, and therefore we recommend it.
Of course it would be a shame not to buy a better motherboard and some other components which would enable you to utilize its great overclocking potential.
We thank Genelec Tuzla for supplying the components necessary for this test.