Select any two CPUs for comparison
VS

Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i3-560 3.3GHz Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 104% 147%
Hitman 3 174% 232%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 174% 232%
The Medium 250% 324%
Resident Evil 8 126% 174%
FIFA 21 91% 131%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 98% 139%
Grand Theft Auto VI 235% 306%
Genshin Impact 54% 87%
Far Cry 6 222% 290%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i3-560 3.3GHz is noticeably better than the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i3-560 3.3GHz was released over a year more recently than the Core 2 Duo, and so the Core i3-560 3.3GHz is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Core i3-560 3.3GHz and the Core 2 Duo both have 2 cores, and so are quite likely to struggle with the latest games, or at least bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them. With a decent accompanying GPU, the Core i3-560 3.3GHz and the Core 2 Duo may still be able to run slightly older games fairly effectively.

The Core i3-560 3.3GHz has 2 more threads than the Core 2 Duo. The Core 2 Duo has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i3-560 3.3GHz uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i3-560 3.3GHz and Core 2 Duo are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i3-560 3.3GHz has a 0.17 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core 2 Duo has a 5632 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i3-560 3.3GHz, and although the Core 2 Duo does not appear to have an L3 cache, its larger L2 cache means that it wins out in this area.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core 2 Duo has a 8 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i3-560 3.3GHz. However, the Core i3-560 3.3GHz was created with a 13 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i3-560 3.3GHz is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by a small amount.

The Core i3-560 3.3GHz has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core 2 Duo, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the HD i3 560, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameClarkdaleWolfdale
MoBo SocketLGA 1156/Socket HLGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date29 Aug 201010 Aug 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs2
CPU Threads4vs2
Clock Speed3.33 GHzvs3.16 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
System Bus -vs1333 MHz
Max TDP73 Wvs65 W
Lithography32 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature72.6°Cvs72°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs128 KB
L2 Cache Size512 KBvs6144 KB
L3 Cache Size4 MBvs-
Max Memory Size-vs-
Max Memory Bandwidth-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsHD i3 560
Base GPU Frequency733 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX10vs-
Displays Supported2vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5mm x 37.5mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision2vs-
PCIe Configurations2vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Battlefield 3vs
The Elder Scrolls Vvs
Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i3-560 3.33GHz is a middle-class CPU based on the 32nm, Nehalem architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 3.33GHz and 4MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, Turbo Boost and HyperThreading are activated.

The processor integrates very weak Graphics called Intel HD i3 560, with 12 Execution Units, clocked at 733MHz, which share the L2 Cache and system RAM with the processor.
Both the processor and integrated graphics have a rated board TDP of 73W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz is a middle-class Processor based on the 45nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 3.16GHz and 6MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 65W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.

Vendor-Specific Features

Intel Quick Sync VideoIntel Quick Sync Video
Intel InTru 3DIntel InTru 3D
Intel InsiderIntel Insider
Intel Wireless DisplayIntel Wireless Display
Intel Flexible DisplayIntel Flexible Display
Intel Clear Video HDIntel Clear Video HD
Intel vProIntel vPro
Intel Hyper-ThreadingIntel Hyper-Threading
Intel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/OIntel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/O
Intel Trusted ExecutionIntel Trusted Execution
AES New InstructionsAES New Instructions
Intel Anti-TheftIntel Anti-Theft
Idle StatesIdle States
Intel SpeedStepIntel SpeedStep
Thermal MonitoringThermal Monitoring
Execute Disable BitExecute Disable Bit
Intel VT-x with EPTIntel VT-x with EPT
Embedded OptionsEmbedded Options