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

How We Tested Intel’s Pentium G3258 And AMD’s Athlon X4 750K

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i5-4690K (Haswell) 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), Quad-Core, LGA 1150, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i3-4330 (Haswell) 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), Dual-Core, LGA 1150, 4 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Pentium G3258 (Haswell) 3.2 GHz (32 * 100 MHz), Dual-Core, LGA 1150, 3 MB Shared L3, Power-savings enabled
AMD Athlon X4 750K (Trinity) 3.4 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), Quad-Core, Socket FM2, 4 MB Shared L2, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardMSI Z97 Gaming 7 (LGA 1150) Intel Z97 Express, BIOS 1.3
MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 (Socket FM2) AMD A85X, BIOS 2.5
MemoryG.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600, F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL @ DDR3-1600 at 1.5 V
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Pro 256 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB
Power SupplyCorsair AX860i, 80 PLUS Platinum, 860 W
Heat SinkNoctua NH-U12S, Fan set to 100% duty cycle
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Release 337.88

The Pentium G3258 isn't yet available; it's expected in stock towards the end of June. However, pre-order pricing puts it $5 lower than AMD's Athlon X4 750K. That's impressive of course, but it doesn't take into account the fact that overclocking Intel's K-series (and now 20th anniversary Pentium) processors require a higher-end platform.

Intel says its Pentium G3258 is compatible with 8- and 9-series chipsets, and we used MSI's Z97 Gaming 7 for our tests. Of course, you don't need a $190 board. Z97-based offerings start at around $100.

But AMD's Athlon X4 750K is more flexible in that regard. The MSI FM2-A85X-G65 we're using is no longer available. A rough equivalent, MSI's A88X-G45, goes for $120, though. And you can find plenty-capable A88X-based motherboards for under $75. Take that $25-or-greater (if you use a lower-end AMD chipset) difference into consideration when you talk about platform pricing.

Benchmark Configuration
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CCVersion x64: Create Video which includes three Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CCVersion 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CCVersion 7.0.0, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat XIVersion 11.0.0: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 and 2013Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.68a, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.30 Alpha: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.5
PCMark 8Version: 2.0, Creative (Conventional)
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.