The Pentium G3258 Cheap Overclocking Experiment

Results: Arma 3, Battlefield 4, Grid 2 and Metro: Last Light

Arma 3

The average frame rates in Arma 3 look fairly similar to what we saw in our first look at the Pentium G3258 pitted against AMD’s Athlon X4 750K. The Athlon picks up a little speed, as does Intel’s CPU. Bottom line: at 4.4 GHz, the Pentium does less to bottleneck a GeForce GTX Titan than the Athlon at 4.3 GHz. As you scale back graphics horsepower, the difference between both CPUs will invariably shrink. But if you’re talking potential, well, there it is.

Each configuration appears to encounter occasional frame time variance spikes, though only the stock Athlon’s appear frequently.

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 at its Ultra detail setting is taxing enough that these CPUs all appear to be fairly similar. This test does come from the single-player campaign though, which is decidedly graphics-bound.

We’ve certainly heard your calls for more testing from the multi-player component of Battlefield 4 and have even talked to DICE directly about developing something more representative of that aspect. However, they concede the difficulty of generating accurate benchmark numbers, given the ever-changing multi-player world.

At the very least, it’s good to see plenty-playable frame rates, even with a dual-core processor. Frame time variance is incredibly low on average, though we rarely encounter a Haswell-based chip landing in last place. Despite its less efficient architecture, AMD’s four integer units appear better able to facilitate a smooth performance than Intel’s two execution cores.

Grid 2

Grid 2 is notorious for its dependency on CPU and memory performance. But as we’ve seen in the past, four integer units aren’t enough to stave off two Haswell cores. A small win at stock clock rates grows in the face of overclocking, showing Intel’s Pentium G3258 to be faster than an Athlon X4 750K.

Even though the Athlon has little trouble matching (and even beating) the Pentium’s peak performance, Intel more consistently maintains higher average frame rates. Where it falls behind again is in our frame time variance measurement; the G3258 encounters higher spikes more often, though they’re not any more problematic in Grid than they were in Battlefield.

Metro: Last Light

The Athlon and Pentium both enjoy significant speed-ups due to overclocking, nearly matching Intel’s Core i3-4330. Unfortunately, they still register minimum frame rates under 30 FPS when the going gets tough.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • Someone Somewhere
    First page (in bold heading):
    Wait, Did You Say B81?
    You mean either H81 or B85, I'm guessing.
  • Nuckles_56
    so 2x4GB=16GB RAM and also 2x4GB=32GB RAM

    Maths fail?
  • vertexx
    Are you seriously running the Athlon on DDR3-1600 RAM? Please confirm as it's too difficult to be sure with all of the ridiculous adware you have baked into this article.
  • blackmagnum
    Spoiler: Old girl Athlon gets whipped by jock strap Pentium.
  • edlivian
    athlon whimpers into the corner, and pentium flexes its skinny little arms
  • LucoTF
    13828161 said:
    First page (in bold heading):
    Wait, Did You Say B81?
    You mean either H81 or B85, I'm guessing.


    they were offered both and settled on the H81
  • tomfreak
    U guys should throw in Core 2 quad 9550/9650 and bench together or even the Nehelem quad core to compare.
  • cangelini
    @ Nuckles_56: the modules we used came from one standardized kit. Because the H81 and A78 platforms only offer two slots, we pulled two modules from the kit. The other boards gave us four slots, so we used four modules from the same kit. On an X79- based board, you'd see all eight in play.
  • Traciatim
    @TomFreak, Tom's have already done an old vs new article that tested the core2duo and Quad vs newer i3's an i5's. No reason to redo the tests since you can pretty much extrapolate about where your performance would sit if you look over both articles. Bottom line is it's probably not worth going from a Core2Quad that overclocks pretty reliably to an i3 or Pentium, but in most cases the i3 and newest unclocked Pentium would perform slightly better and use less power.,3487-9.html
  • bdiddytampa
    If you are in the US and are close to a Microcenter, they offer a G3258 and MSI Z97 board bundle for $99. Killer deal for a cheap starter system.