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Is Intel's Core i3-530 Fast Enough For Performance Gaming?
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Test-System Configuration
CPUAMD Phenom II X3 720 Triple Core
2.80 GHz, 1.5MB L2 / 6MB L3 Cache
Intel Core i3-530 Dual Core
2.93 GHz, 512KB L2 / 4MB L3 Cache
CPU O/C3.67 GHz at 262 x14, 1.472V4.31 GHz at 196 x22, 1.296V
MotherboardGigabyte 890GPA-UD3H, 890GX/SB850
BIOS F4 (03/08/2010)
Gigabyte P55-UD3R, P55 Express PCH
BIOS F6 (02/11/2010)
CPU CoolerScythe Mugen 2 Revision BScythe Mugen 2 Revision B
RAMCrucial CT2KIT25664BA1339 (4GB)
DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24
Crucial CT2KIT25664BA1339 (4GB)
DDR3-1333 CAS 9-9-9-24
RAM O/CDDR3-1400 CAS 7-7-7-16DDR3-1568 CAS 8-8-8-18
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB
725 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB
725 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000
Hard DriveWD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache
WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD AudioIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit NetworkingIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80-PLUS Gold
Corsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80-PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsATI Catalyst 10.2ATI Catalyst 10.2
ChipsetATI Catalyst 10.2Intel INF 9.1.1.1020


Though our main configurations are listed above, we also added AMD’s Phenom II X4 965 and Intel’s Core i7-870 to today’s charts to see how the above configurations compared to the CPU limits of our motherboards.


With these processors initially installed at stock settings, we increased the data rate of our memory to DDR3-1600 at CAS 8-8-8-18 and 1.60V to represent the performance parity of higher-priced platforms. This should be fair for comparing the low-cost overclocks as well, since the speed-versus-timings equation is nearly identical.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: Very High Details, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Details, 4x AA
Dirt 2 DemoIn-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Far Cry 2Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: Ultra High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.XPatch 1.02, DirectX 10.1, in-game benchmark
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatS.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Test Set 1: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
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