Final ThoughtsAs expected the newer 45nm Core 2 Duos delivered some added performance, which is twice the good news when you consider it basically comes free of charge.
Although these new 45nm Core 2 Duo processors are yet to hit their target price, the E8200 and E8500 models are still relatively hard to come by, with a majority of large online retailers only listing the E8400 $30 or so above its intended retail price.
If you already own an E6000 series processor, upgrading to the E8200, E8400, or even the E8500, is not going to provide you with noticeable performance gains, even more so if you have played the (fairly generous) overclocking card at 3.0GHz or beyond. Although the overclocking abilities of these new 45nm processors are superior to the older 65nm versions, remember that once you get past the 3.0GHz mark, there is little to be gained in gaming applications.
In the past we have found that a 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor is more than capable to keep up with not one, but two GeForce 8800 GTX graphics cards. Therefore any performance gains obtained from higher clock rates will be more noticeable in business type applications as we saw in our CINEBENCH test, whereas even the most demanding games such as Crysis looked far less impressive, relatively speaking.
While an E8000 processor may not be a worthwhile upgrade for those already running older Core 2 Duos, anyone looking at building a new dual-core system should really only consider one of these new 45nm processors. But as mentioned, the new CPUs are barely hitting the shelves, so if you are not in a rush, you can save a few bucks by waiting a mere 2-4 weeks.