Even though this CPU is called a 'Pentium', it is essentially the same as its bigger brothers in the Core2Duo range. This means it is power efficient (and therefore quieter) and fast.
The Pentium range has less 'Cache' - essentially on-board memory required for faster processing. This part is also one of the most expensive parts of the processor. The rest is the same as any other Core2Duo processor.
The reduced cache will result in a -10% to 15% drop in performance vs and equivalent speed E4XXX or E5XXX range of C2D and normally a much lower % cost.
You will notice the drop in performance when gaming, or video editing etc.
If you only want to surf the net, watch movies etc, do not by anything more expensive. You could even think about the E1XXX range for that.
Like all modern processors, installation of the CPU and fan is a 2-minute job, the fan has push in screws and the CPU will only fit in one way- but please note that the included fan is not silent and thermal paste it comes with is very basic. A better fan and paste will only set you back about £10, but will be of noticeable benefit.
Lastly, like all Core2Duo's this processor over-clocks very well very easily. With a new cooler/heatsink/thermal paste, mine went to 2.7 GHz with no problems or changes with voltages. This is enough to make up the performance drop I previously mentioned, and will now compete with a E4XXX or E5XXX series at 2.5ghz. At the time of purchase, I saved over £30 doing this.
Overall, for demanding games etc you should overclock it to get the most out of it. Otherwise, it is perfect for a 'regular' pc.
Intel wanted to make a processor that goes at the lower end of their core 2 range, and while brainstorming for names came up with the pentium dual core range. Although they are actually just standard core 2 processors with a cut down L2 cache and FSB speed, Intel chose this name because pentiums have had 10 years of advertising and are well known for quality, incidentally this is what you get with the E2180. I bought mine without a cooler, and bought an Artic cooling freezer 7 pro, 1 of the clips has broken from my fumbling but this processor still remains cool. As for performance this processor can when coupled with my 7900GS graphics card play any game i have thrown at it and has played them well. This product also has a lot of space for overclocking because of it's effecient design, it can go up to 3.4-3.6ghz in some cases, and at these speeds it's smaller amount of L2 cache does not matter, it blasts through any task thrown at it and carries on going, beating even 100 pound processors. Not bad for a "cheapo CPU" eh?
I recently purchased the Pentium Dual Core E2180 for my parents PC from ebuyer.com. I bought the retail version which comes with a fan for about £45. This price puts it at the low end of the scale in terms of Intel CPU pricing. It is clocked at 2.0ghz, this may sound low to lots of you but it is a improved design over old CPUs so is very good.
The CPU is packaged in a big Intel Box. There is a security seal so you know you are getting a genuine, tamper free piece. The CPU is in the top with the pads protected by a plastic thingy and the cooler in the main part or the box below. The packaging in simple, blue and good looking in my opinion.
The CPU was easy peasy to install. Yes, building a PC is like Lego, just thought I would say that to clear up the stereotypical image of nerds with soldering irons spending months to build one. The cooler was slightly harder to attach but I got there with no problems. Fortunately my new PC turned on first time.
I will not gauge the performance of this CPU with benchmarks as I don't have the time or facilities to do this. All I can really say about performance is that in Windows and all the apps my parents require it fly's. On their old PC it would take 5mins to load a responsive Windows desktop. With the E2180 that has been cut to 60secs.
The fan is quite noisy in my opinion but I am a bit obsessive. My parents don't seem to mind one bit which is what matters. The CPU stays nice and cool and there is plenty of headroom for a hefty over clock on the stock cooler, then again this chip is so good for what it is intended you don't need to.
Overall this chip is a splendid buy for someone wanting to build a cheap "parent" PC. In fact I wouldn't hesitate to put it in a more extreme gamers PC. It is really fast at its stock speed and can be over clocked plenty. What more do you want for £45?
I Brought This Product in December in replace my old Altlon 64 setup then I upgraded to the E2140 and now I have the E2180. The only Difference between the two CPUS is the E2140 is 1.6Ghz and the E2180 is 2Ghz.
The Great thing about this CPU is that the value is Very Good the Processor cost me £45. I have played Hell gate London and Medal of honour Airborne without any problems whatsoever and the game play is more smooth. The CPU is clocked at 2.0Ghz X 2 (4.0 GHz). The CPU performance on windows Vista is Very Good.
Some people have told me to get a top of the range Dual core and say to me that this CPU is more for Basic Gaming and use in Windows XP X64. But why waste money on a CPU which is better or just pay £45 to get a CPU which you need and will use the most of.
But I fell It has the power to run Games which need around 3.4 GHz to run. The CPU Fan is quite but when the dust comes in then it becomes a little noisy. This is not as noisy as my Altlon 64 Now that sounded like a plan taking off.
Overall it is a Good little upgrade from the E2140 as it has made my Vista rating from 3.2 to 3.5
There is Little Performance added to cretin problems but theses are not noticeable as I used benchmark software to test and compare the performance of both CPUs