We welcome the 24% performance increase Intel's Pentium G860 added to our media encoding and productivity applications, though we also understand that neither test suite is a strong point of today's build. Simply put, each and every time we outfit our gaming PC with a dual-core processor, we sacrifice its alacrity in those disciplines.
Of course, we can’t deny the amazing per-clock performance of Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture, or the fact few games know what to do with quad-core CPUs. Even locked at 3 GHz, this chip does make sense for budget-minded gamers. The Celeron G530 previously showed itself to be adequate in our gaming suite. But this quarter's average frame rates at all resolutions jumped 16% thanks to our Pentium (and despite a less-powerful graphics card).
Consuming, on average, 11% less energy, while delivering a 21% boost in overall performance, this quarter's machine strikes out with a crushing win in efficiency.
Graphics overclocking provided a needed frame rate boost at certain key settings. However, the additional voltage and clock rate ate up power, taking a sizeable bite out of the tweaked configuration’s overall efficiency.
- Serious Gaming, On The Cheap
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Limited To Graphics Overclocking
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 And DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim And StarCraft II
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary And Efficiency
- Did We Spend Our Money Wisely?