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Power Consumption And Efficiency

Intel Pentium G3258 CPU Review: Haswell, Unlocked, For $75
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The following chart reflects power consumption throughout our benchmark suite, which gets logged every two seconds. The long, straight section at the end represents 30 minutes of idle time inserted by our automated script to better reflect actual use when we calculate averages.

Our comparison is principally between Intel’s Pentium G3258 and AMD’s Athlon X4 750K. We’ve seen how both CPUs size up in the performance metrics, and now we get a better idea of how much power they pull down along the way.

All four configurations spike into similar territory. Three settle around the same idle power, while one (the stock Pentium G3258) idles quite a bit higher. Interestingly, this is the same behavior observed from Intel’s Core i7-4790K on MSI’s Z97 Gaming 7. Since the Core i7-4770K was fine, I’m inclined to believe there’s some firmware work to do for Intel’s newest multiplier-unlocked models.

That long stretch in the middle, which is our Visual Studio test, best represents a CPU-heavy task with no graphics intervention. It shows the stock Pentium using the least power, followed by the overclocked Pentium, the stock Athlon, and the overclocked Athlon, just as each CPU’s TDP would indicate.

Based on the length of the lines, we also see that the stock Pentium G3258 is the slowest entry, followed by the stock Athlon X4 750K. You can’t really see it behind the other lines, but the overclocked Pentium wraps up first.

When you average out power consumption across the entire line graph, you get the above chart. The stock Pentium G3258 should probably be quite a bit lower. However, because there appears to be an issue with it idling at stock clock rates, 30 minutes is spent more than 20 W too high.

At any rate, the overclocked Pentium certainly uses more power in its quest, due to the higher voltage and clock rate. But we also know it finishes the tasks we throw at it faster. Meanwhile, overclocking AMD’s Athlon X4 750K doesn’t have a profound impact on average power use at all. That likely indicates good things for efficiency.

A glance at the line graph gave us this same information, but we more clearly see the finishing order of our entire suite. Intel’s Pentium G3258 starts as the slowest contender and, through overclocking, ends up fastest.

Multiplying power consumption and run duration gives us a Wh rating for each system.

Intel’s Pentium G3258 starts off using little power. However, mediocre performance and a poor idle combine to delivery lackluster efficiency. Only the stock Athlon X4 750K is worse. Its performance is better than the Pentium’s, but a 100 W TDP hurts the equation.

Overclocking to 4.3 GHz helps the Athlon improve its performance even more without affecting power consumption much. But the Pentium can’t be stopped. Average power use jumps 10 W (12%), while the benchmark suite finishes 23% quicker. The result is a first-place finish in efficiency.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Smallfilou , June 17, 2014 1:38 AM
    What if "the fool" who bought that Pentium G and Z97 did so expecting to swap the processor in one year or two for a broadwell, once he got the cash? That would make him a very wise fool indeed... I'd say!

    Because of course buying a pentium G and fitting it with a 150USD board and 50USD cooler does not make sens by itself ,but you have a 100% future-compatible system that can be upgraded very very easily...
  • 16 Hide
    Smallfilou , June 17, 2014 1:49 AM
    Quote:
    Could get a Q9550 for that price on Ebay nice try Intel, but that would kick the crap out of that weak Pentium it's reasonably on par with the i5. Way too damn expensive for what it is in reality.


    No, sorry. That is not true. Check this article:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-wolfdale-yorkfield-comparison,3487-10.html

    You should overclock your Q9550 to get performance that barely comes close to an ivy-bridge I3 on games and lightly threaded workloads (and it gets stomped by any i5 on any workload)... I personally have an OC'd QX9650 and am not even close. I believe if I change to that Pentium G, and overclock it as well, that would still be an upgrade...
  • 14 Hide
    envy14tpe , June 17, 2014 12:43 AM
    It's always great seeing the full potential of technology but I'd rather see the Pentium on a mobo somebody would really buy and see how overclocking on a budget would be...more realistic.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Heironious , June 17, 2014 12:37 AM
    Article title says its $75, the picture used says its $3 more than the i3. 75 and it's a deal otherwise no point in paying 3 bucks more for it rather than the i3.
  • 8 Hide
    Heironious , June 17, 2014 12:38 AM
    And just like that, the pictures change the price and I look like a fool.
  • 14 Hide
    envy14tpe , June 17, 2014 12:43 AM
    It's always great seeing the full potential of technology but I'd rather see the Pentium on a mobo somebody would really buy and see how overclocking on a budget would be...more realistic.
  • 13 Hide
    tea urchin , June 17, 2014 12:44 AM
    Having looked, the fool would build a cheap pc with that chip and a z97 board, and the wise man would use the i3 and an h81 board. Similar priced systems..
  • 8 Hide
    silverblue , June 17, 2014 1:13 AM
    AMD really needs a new model featuring Steamroller cores and a disabled GPU, say, a 770K. It wouldn't change the gaming scores all that much, but various benchmarks would definitely improve. As it is, the G3258 is a nice processor, but it won't go for that $75 to begin with.
  • 23 Hide
    Smallfilou , June 17, 2014 1:38 AM
    What if "the fool" who bought that Pentium G and Z97 did so expecting to swap the processor in one year or two for a broadwell, once he got the cash? That would make him a very wise fool indeed... I'd say!

    Because of course buying a pentium G and fitting it with a 150USD board and 50USD cooler does not make sens by itself ,but you have a 100% future-compatible system that can be upgraded very very easily...
  • 1 Hide
    dark_wizzie , June 17, 2014 1:46 AM
    Hyperthreading is typically considered to be bad for Chess. It increases inefficiencies in search and although you get a larger kilonodes per second which looks nice as a benchmark score, you are actually lowering the strength of the engine. So when I look at Fritz benchmarks on PC sites I take them with a grain of salt.
  • 0 Hide
    lunyone , June 17, 2014 1:49 AM
    I'd probably look at something like this for this kind of CPU:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Pro3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($90.00 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($75.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.92 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280 3GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $629.86
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-17 04:48 EDT-0400
  • 16 Hide
    Smallfilou , June 17, 2014 1:49 AM
    Quote:
    Could get a Q9550 for that price on Ebay nice try Intel, but that would kick the crap out of that weak Pentium it's reasonably on par with the i5. Way too damn expensive for what it is in reality.


    No, sorry. That is not true. Check this article:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-wolfdale-yorkfield-comparison,3487-10.html

    You should overclock your Q9550 to get performance that barely comes close to an ivy-bridge I3 on games and lightly threaded workloads (and it gets stomped by any i5 on any workload)... I personally have an OC'd QX9650 and am not even close. I believe if I change to that Pentium G, and overclock it as well, that would still be an upgrade...
  • 5 Hide
    Memnarchon , June 17, 2014 1:50 AM
    Quote:
    Having looked, the fool would build a cheap pc with that chip and a z97 board, and the wise man would use the i3 and an h81 board. Similar priced systems..


    Yeah that would be better unless Intel decides to let o/c on Pentium with other chipsets like H97.

    Leaked BIOS Enables Pentium Anniversary Edition OC on Some MSI H97 Boards
    MSI H97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $88.99

    So if this happens and intel decide to let even lower mobo chipsets to do o/c only for pentiums it would be nice to pair $60 mobo, $75 CPU and a $25-30 CM 212 EVO or plus, to a total of ~$160 for a o/c ready system.
  • 4 Hide
    wtfxxxgp , June 17, 2014 2:11 AM
    Smallfilou - I totally agree with you. Some people tend to forget that when you're working on a budget you need to make choices. The smart choice is to get a decent mobo now that Intel has finally provided the right CPU for enthusiasts. I honestly think this is exceptional value for money. A decent mobo is very important in any event. I don't get why anyone would hate on this Pentium...it looks like a gem of a performer when o/c'd.
  • -9 Hide
    lunyone , June 17, 2014 2:15 AM
    I'd probably look at something like this for this kind of CPU:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Pro3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($90.00 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($75.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.92 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280 3GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $629.86
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-17 04:48 EDT-0400
  • -4 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , June 17, 2014 3:01 AM
    Nice chip ^^^to badyou need a "Z" Mobo, those extra 30$ could go into a more potent GPU :) 
  • 6 Hide
    Achoo22 , June 17, 2014 3:09 AM
    [quote=tea urchin ]Having looked, the fool would build a cheap pc with that chip and a z97 board, and the wise man would use the i3 and an h81 board. Similar priced systems.. [/quote]
    As you say, the price difference is negligible. The performance difference is also fairly small, and both platforms leave lots of headroom for future upgrades. I am under the impression that any motherboard that can house this new Pentium can also run a blazing-fast i7. The article, unfortunately, doesn't mention that the AMD solution can't even run a FX chip. For someone looking to just get into an inexpensive PC with an eye towards future upgrades, the Intel solution is dramatically more attractive.
  • 2 Hide
    blackmagnum , June 17, 2014 3:27 AM
    Your dad's Pentium was never like this!
  • -1 Hide
    Novuake , June 17, 2014 3:28 AM
    Wow this was unexpected.

    Compelling CPU, unfortunately your still stuck with buying a mildly overpriced Z-series board.
    Now if this CPU had Iris or Iris Pro, then it would be MUCH MUCH more compelling.

    Anyway I can see this being a good buy for an enthusiast that isn't quite making it to get an I5 or I7 at their price point but needs a machine performing decently NOW and wants to overclock, he can then upgrade to and I7 or I5 at a later date.

  • 1 Hide
    silverblue , June 17, 2014 3:35 AM
    Quote:
    [quote=tea urchin ]Having looked, the fool would build a cheap pc with that chip and a z97 board, and the wise man would use the i3 and an h81 board. Similar priced systems..

    As you say, the price difference is negligible. The performance difference is also fairly small, and both platforms leave lots of headroom for future upgrades. I am under the impression that any motherboard that can house this new Pentium can also run a blazing-fast i7. The article, unfortunately, doesn't mention that the AMD solution can't even run a FX chip. For someone looking to just get into an inexpensive PC with an eye towards future upgrades, the Intel solution is dramatically more attractive.[/quote]
    The point is rather moot as you probably wouldn't upgrade from a Kaveri-based APU to a Piledriver-based CPU, and FX in its current form is dead anyway.
  • 4 Hide
    mapesdhs , June 17, 2014 4:01 AM
    knowom writes:
    > Could get a Q9550 for that price on Ebay ...

    An i7 870 on P55 would be a better buy than a Q9550. 870s dropped below
    50 UKP on ebay UK this week. Never mind S775, my 870/P55 setup was faster
    than a friend's X58/930 system for gaming (lower latency with P55, and some
    boards do have x16/x16 CF/SLI).

    Ian.

  • 3 Hide
    Onus , June 17, 2014 4:12 AM
    I'll need to go over the charts some more, but it looks to me like i3+H87 (or H81) is going to beat G3258+cooler+Z97.

    I would expect a round of price drops from AMD over this; otherwise they're done in the gaming market.
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