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Intel Pentium G4620 And G4560 Review: Now With Hyper-Threading

Conclusion

In the face of AMD's impending Ryzen launch, Intel seems resigned to bulking up its low-end offerings to stave off the competition's historically competitive mainstream CPUs. No matter the motivation, Hyper-Threaded Pentiums are a ray of sunshine for budget-conscious builders. The technology facilitates a big boost over Intel's Haswell-based Pentium G3258, which came to be derided for its poor performance in games that expected at least four threads. Although we did notice a performance hit in workloads optimized for AVX extensions, you can use an OpenCL-compatible GPU to augment performance in applications written with heterogeneous computing in mind.

Despite Intel's careful segmentation, the more powerful Pentium family unavoidably takes the shine off of lower-end Core i3s, which cost more and don't always deliver the extra performance to match. But both of the Pentiums we looked at today are still slower than Core i3s, i5s, and i7s in threaded tasks like media encoding and file compression. If you truly need the muscle of a quad-core CPU, don't rely on Hyper-Threading to match Intel's beefier processors.

The Pentium G4620 is a compelling offering, and if integrated graphics fit in with your productivity-oriented plans, HD Graphics 630 is as good as it gets from a Pentium. Expect to pay just under $100 for marginal gains over the Pentium G4560, though. In many tasks, particularly games, a GPU bottleneck masks the gains of a faster, more expensive CPU, so you'll need to gauge the G4620's benefit based on what you're doing and what other components might limit performance.

We picked up the Pentium G4560 for a scant $64 with free shipping. While it's true that we measured lower performance from the G4560 in several games, the nimble chip always landed a few percentage points away in average and minimum frame rate results. Hyper-Threading technology and higher clock rates definitely yield big gains compared to the unlocked Pentium G3258, at times doubling the unlocked CPU's performance. As important, it provided the same smooth frame delivery as Intel's Pentium G4620.

There's little reason to pair a Pentium with a Z270-based motherboard, so you can save some money on something with an H270 or B250 PCH. All told, it should be possible to build a capable platform for a few hundred bucks, leaving more room in your budget for a faster graphics card.

AMD historically does well in the value space, and many believe it'll claw back lost market share with Ryzen. We do expect AMD to be aggressive with its pricing, and the company's chipsets will once again be modernized, so that's a good thing. But we can't deny the Pentium family praise based on what AMD might do. By adding Hyper-Threading to the Pentium series, Intel boosts performance in a way that might even cut into some of its Core i3 sales. Sounds like a win to us.


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  • cknobman
    Is it just me or are all the gaming benchmarks missing?
    Reply
  • lhsbrandon
    Why do you use an old Piledriver based Athlon? I would think the newer models would be a little more competitive.
    Reply
  • Sam Bittermann
    Why do you use an old Piledriver based Athlon? I would think the newer models would be a little more competitive.

    Because we know what the outcome would be, which is the same. Slowest of the bunch overall.
    Reply
  • Onus
    I would like to have seen the G3258 overclocked to 4.0GHz (even bad silicon should reach that; I got 4.2GHz with a better sample). After all, a lot of people who bought that chip specifically intended to overclock it, which they could do even on H81 boards. That's an 800MHz bump over stock, which should be substantial. We'll still see where lack of hyperthreading hurts, but we'll get a better picture of what this chip can do.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    ^agree, especially given that they OCed the Athlon, OCing the G3258 would have made sense.

    I also would have preferred an i3-6100 rather than a 6320 in the results, given that the 6100 is the closest in specs to the new Pentiums, making it the natural choice for comparing Pentiums w/ HT to an i3. Also, the 6100 was the go-to budget gaming CPU recommendation since Skylake came out (don't think I've ever seen anyone recommend a 6320), a title which the G4560 is poised to steal. Although obviously the 6100 and 6320 perform pretty similarly, so it's not a huge deal.
    Reply
  • Walter_35
    This is exactly what I was hoping for. Looks like for budget gaming, the 4560 is good enough and allows for a better GPU in the same budget. But for more professional applications, you still might want to make the jump to an i3 to get those AVX(2) instructions and in many cases this step up could be payed for by skipping the dGPU.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    19342093 said:
    Is it just me or are all the gaming benchmarks missing?

    Your probably on the wrong picture, use the arrow buttons to show the actual FPS benchmarks.
    Reply
  • anbello262
    "The 54W Pentium G4650 appears to offer better value with its 3.5 GHz base clock rate and $64 price tag."
    I think that should read "The 54W Pentium G4560"
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    19342878 said:
    "The 54W Pentium G4650 appears to offer better value with its 3.5 GHz base clock rate and $64 price tag."
    I think that should read "The 54W Pentium G4560"

    Good catch, fixed!
    Reply
  • warmon6
    19342227 said:
    Why do you use an old Piledriver based Athlon? I would think the newer models would be a little more competitive.

    As an owner of the A10-7850k apu that has over (Equal to the Athlon X4 860k) that have the steamroller cores, the difference is not that big at the same clock speeds.

    and base on anandtech review of the Athlon x4 845 (based on the Excavator core) when all generations of athlon bulldozer are benched marked together, the story doesn't change much there either.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10436/amd-carrizo-tested-generational-deep-dive-athlon-x4-845/10
    Reply