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Is Intel's Core i3-530 Fast Enough For Performance Gaming?

Benchmark Results: 3DMark Vantage

We begin today’s test with a “bragging rights” benchmark that doesn’t have any direct impact on gaming performance in the real-world, but is still a popular metric for enthusiasts to cite in comparing hardware performance.

3DMark’s system score shows the stock-speed Core i7-870 in a huge lead over the second-place Core i3-overclocked configuration. AMD’s top quad-core takes third.

3DMark’s GPU score benefits from CPU clock speeds well beyond three gigahertz. Could this be the CPU bottleneck so many enthusiasts are afraid of?

3DMark’s CPU score tells a different story, but only because it isolates GPU performance and relies heavily on the modern optimizations of Intel’s Core series processors.

  • Dekasav
    Excellently done. Thanks a lot THG!
    Reply
  • andy5174
    It should also take GTA IV (which is CPU intensive game and can utilize four cores) into consideration, although most games don't behave similar today. In addition, I would expect more and more to-be-released games to be able to utilize the full potential of quads.
    Reply
  • andy5174
    However, I do admit that i3's performance is really impressive!
    Reply
  • shin0bi272
    all similar fps results usually means one of two things... either youre gpu limited or those results are accurate (meaning you didnt ever become cpu limited ... which I thought was the point of this review). Please redo the test with a 5970 to see if the rankings change. Plus if youre saving money on your cpu you can spend it on the gpu ;)
    Reply
  • dapneym
    On the "Is Overclocking Needed" I think you forgot a few fours. A voltage of 1.72 would probably fry the processor quite quickly. You had it right later one with 1.472, but it shocked a me a bit at first to see such a high number, haha.
    Reply
  • tortnotes
    shin0bi272, correct me if I'm wrong, but the point of this article was to see how much the CPU really matters when paired with a reasonable single GPU. I think the result--that it doesn't much matter--is pretty good to know.
    If a super high end GPU was used, it wouldn't be relevant to gamers looking at CPU performance.

    For me personally though.... I'll stick with my i7. Beats any i3 at mental ray rendering any day.
    Reply
  • shubham1401
    ^Yeah!!

    If the user has money for Super high end GPU why would he look at an i3 processor?
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    Looks like some gamers will not have to spend as much money for a new cpu.
    Reply
  • I wonder who will buy such an exclusive separated Graphics card with the core-i3 processor. cause most of the core-i3 buyers don't want to waste money on a separated GPU.others will just keep their core-2(specially quad series) processor because they're better than core-i3 processors(According to 3D-Mark Result).
    Reply
  • amdfangirl
    Great article.

    We need more articles like this! A million better than a standard review.
    Reply