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Picking A Sub-$200 Gaming CPU: FX, An APU, Or A Pentium?

Overclocking Benchmarks

Up until now, we've primarily gauged performance based on stock clock rates. However, most of Intel's CPU suffer manufacturer-imposed limitations on overclocking, while AMD facilitates a more enthusiast-friendly attitude to the modification of its chips.

Given this significant differentiation, we thought it important to more aggressively tune the multiplier-unlocked models in our round-up to see how the results change.

Because StarCraft II proved to be such a good indicator of processor performance, we'll start our testing with that game.

All of the overclocked models (except AMD's A8-3870K) post notable performance gains, with results comparable to Intel's stock Core i3-2100. With that in mind, though, none of the processors come close to challenging an unmodified Core i5-2400.

Overclocking helps each of AMD's unlocked chips gain in meaningful ways. However, none can reach the Core i3-2100's minimum frame rate. Meanwhile, the Core i5-2400 remains comfortably out of reach.

A trend emerges in this third data point. The overclocked processors perform behind or close to a stock Core i3-2100.