Intel Pentium G3258 CPU Review: Haswell, Unlocked, For $75

Results: Grid 2

Flipping back the other direction, we know Grid 2 to especially tax a system’s memory subsystem. But because all of these configurations employ DDR3 memory at 1600 MT/s and a GeForce GTX Titan, we can be certain that the big performance swings are a result of swapping CPUs in and out.

The Pentium’s average frame rate jumps more than 20% due to overclocking, while the tuned Athlon is a little over 10% quicker. Intel’s Core i3-4330 is barely faster. The Core i5 enjoys a greater margin, though at significant expense.

Looking at the frame rates over time nicely illustrates the impact of cores, clock rate, and architectural differences.

Much credit goes to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, but frame time variance is remarkably low across the board. In the sample over time, AMD’s Athlon X4 750K stands out most prominently in orange, and it does encounter a handful of spikes. However, the 95th percentile figure is still a scant 3 ms.

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  • Smallfilou
    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...
    27
  • Smallfilou
    47103 said:
    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...
    16
  • envy14tpe
    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.
    15
  • Other Comments
  • Heironious
    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.
    9
  • Heironious
    And just like that, the pictures change the price and I look like a fool.
    9
  • envy14tpe
    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.
    15
  • silverblue
    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.
    8
  • Smallfilou
    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...
    27
  • knowom
    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.
    -18
  • dark_wizzie
    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.
    1
  • lunyone
    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
    0
  • Smallfilou
    47103 said:
    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...
    16
  • Memnarchon
    1639546 said:
    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.
    5
  • wtfxxxgp
    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.
    4
  • lunyone
    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: $629.86
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-06-17 04:48 EDT-0400
    -9
  • crisan_tiberiu
    Nice chip ^^^to badyou need a "Z" Mobo, those extra 30$ could go into a more potent GPU :)
    -4
  • Achoo22
    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..

    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.
    6
  • blackmagnum
    Your dad's Pentium was never like this!
    2
  • Novuake
    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
  • silverblue
    Quote:
    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..
    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.

    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.
    1
  • mapesdhs
    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.
    4
  • Onus
    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.
    3
  • apocalypseap
    I would've loved to see an i5-4570 in this review to compare to the 4690k, but I understand that you can only put in so much.

    I'd also like to see a review like this with a GPU that a person who buys a G3258 is more likely to buy, to see how much of a difference the higher-priced CPUs would actually make, if any. It'd be nice to find out what the threshold is for the difference.
    -1