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

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rootheday

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To all the people complaining that i3 includes a gpu that the end user may never use... don't you all realize that the same is true for the northbridge of the chipset on 78x based AMD motherboards? and the same was true for P45 based Intel chipsets last year? AMD and Intel didn't make special chipset die just for the discrete graphics market - they used fused versions of their integrated graphics chipsets. The die area investment for historical igps is not huge. The cost to have two different die from an engineering and inventory perspective means that having a "wasted" igp is actually *cheaper* than your hypothetical alternative.
 

rootheday

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To all the people whining that i3 includes a gpu that the end user may never use... don't you realize that the same is true for the northbridge of the chipset on 78x based AMD motherboards? and the same was true for P45 based Intel chipsets last year?

AMD and Intel don't make special chipset die just for the discrete graphics market - they used fused versions of their integrated graphics chipsets. The die area investment for historical igps is not huge. The cost to have two different die from an engineering and inventory management perspective means that having a "wasted" igp is actually *cheaper* than your hypothetical alternative.
 

Andon48

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I just built a new i3 system primarily for gaming, and with it clocked to 4.00 Ghz (at 3.500v) and 2 OC'd 9600GT's in SLI it is freaking awsome. On BF2 I have everything on high, 8xAF, no AA, and HBAO turned off I get a solid 60 fps with vsync and it looks great. Of course I came from an E2220 and 1 9600GT so it wouldn't take much to impress me but my framerate in all games has at least tripled. I love the i3 and it feels much faster than the Athlon II X4 620(@3.1 Ghz) system I just built my dad. Now I need a better card to really test it out!
 

hixbot

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It would have been nice to see you test with lower visual quality settings and lower resolutions, just to see how cpu performance stacks without any GPU bottleneck.
 

Onus

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:eek: :eek: :fou: :fou: :pfff: :pfff: ARRGH! What a sad commentary on the state of [American] primary education... Please, people, "would've" is a contraction of "would have." No doctor ever twisted my brain around as badly as seeing "would of" does.


Anyway, the question now becomes, "How low can you go," or, "what's the cheapest CPU I can get and still expect reasonable performance in modern games, at typical resolutions?"
 

youssef 2010

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Great article But, in fact, it would've been much nicer to include AMD's Athlon II x4 635 into the tests as it would show AMD's advantage in price/performance over intel.Also, It would help show the difference between the processors if you include crossfire results.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]ARRGH! What a sad commentary on the state of [American] primary education... Please, people, "would've" is a contraction of "would have." No doctor ever twisted my brain around as badly as seeing "would of" does.[/citation]
I could care less. In fact, there are many things that I actually care less about. It even annoys me that most people say "I could care less" when they mean they care so little, they couldn't care less.
 

PaTrond

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[citation][nom]izliecies[/nom]I totally agree. Reviewers should include GTA IV when benchmarking CPUs.[/citation]

Yes. To me it seems that the CPU isn't that necessary any more. And in that case: YIPPY! But I still need a core i7 for rendering in Maxwell, which will make my new desktop cost similar to 2000USD (I live in Norway) =(
 

haplo602

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hmmm I do wonder about you price points ... over here a i3-530 costs 112e and an X4 630 is 93e ... that's almost 20e difference ... so I think any intel chip except the 4c/8HT ones does not make sense ...
 

bongobrain

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Well, this article does make up a little for the ongoing delay in the "balanced pc"-series, in which six processors are coupled with six graphic cards (and where a lot of flat lines on higher resolutions also indicate a gpu bottleneck). But I do think this calls for further exploration:

Combining the info from this article, the balanced pc-series, and the best cpu/best graphic cards series might be the start for the ultimate buying guide of balanced gaming pc's: given the gaming resolution you want to play at, the best graphics -series already gives an idea for the graphic card (or tier in the hierarchy chart) to look at, and some further testing might reveal what cpu (tier in hierarchy chart) is enough, given that card (or tier). Obviously, if gaming is your main concern, a i5/i7 is overkill unless you have a multi-card setup (and the use of OC-ing your cpu gets at least disputable).
Would it be possible, for starters, to add a minimum cpu hierarchy tier to the "best gaming card" series (to fully use this card, you'll need at least a cpu of this class)? Or to add the maximum graphics card tier to the gaming cpu-series (beyond this gpu-class, your cpu will be the bottleneck)? Might even lead to a "best gaming cpu/gpu combo for your money"-series!

 

ream

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Bad benchmarks.

All CPUs perform almost the same, because the whole was bottlenecked by the GPU.

What's the point of these tests? Do a GTA4 test or something. Or rendering if you will.
 

ream

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[citation][nom]PaTrond[/nom]Yes. To me it seems that the CPU isn't that necessary any more. And in that case: YIPPY! But I still need a core i7 for rendering in Maxwell, which will make my new desktop cost similar to 2000USD (I live in Norway) =([/citation]

I bought a i7 860 with Ga p55m ud2 and Gskill 1600cl7 with noctua cooller (you can use the mogul from that test) and it cost me 400 Euros. I use old case, old graphics card and rendering goes well (overclocked). You dont need no 2000USD
 

bongobrain

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[citation]All CPUs perform almost the same, because the whole was bottlenecked by the GPU.What's the point of these tests?[/citation]
Last sentence of conclusion: So, our tests prove that a low-cost CPU will do the job just as well as a high-priced part.
 

hundredislandsboy

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Proves what Nvidia and ATI have been saying along - that you don't need an expensive i7 or Q965o - if you're on a budget, spend the cash with a priority on the GPU and with what's left get the fastest dual core you can buy.

But I'll go further to say AMD for the CPU and ATI for the GPU are better value these days.
 

kiss4luna

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you should add some CPU-intense games rather than these GPU-intense games
i must say this comparison is valueless
 

tauhid

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Toms hardware deserves a distinction grade for this. Superb analysis and remarkable evaluation. carry on. a regular reader -Tauhid
 

hixbot

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jtt33, thanks for the grammar lesson. In fact, I did know the correct term is "would have", but I typed it so fast, my mind was thinking "would've" and my fingers typed "would of", since they sound exactly the same.
That doesn't directly mean I'm unaware of correct grammar in this instance. It means I didn't care enough to proof read. I didn't notice the simple mistake my fingers made in the rush of interpreting my thoughts to typed words. Next time, just save your lessons and condescension.

Back on topic, the reason I ask for lower resolutions and picture quality, is just to see what comparable head room there is between CPUs. With the existing GPU bottleneck at high resolutions, its impossible to see what CPU headroom there may be. The solution is to lower the resolution to remove the GPU bottleneck, or to use more powerful cards (perhaps 5870 Crossfire).
I agree the existing tests show exactly what minimum CPU is required for current games, but I'd like to see the CPU headroom for CURRENT games, to see how good a CPU may be for FUTURE games.

Please ignore any spelling or grammar mistakes, it is not indication of my education, but rather my lack of effort, attention to detail, and complete lack of proof reading. After all, this is a tech site, not an English site, my intended meaning is all that's important.
 

LoBi

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Great news for people with budget or those who spend more on cars than PC. There does need to be more on AFFORDABLE non enthusiest tech tested on sites and it's brilliant that it can be found on toms.
 

b-riz

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Frankly, I think it is amazing that even after the release of socket 1156 the X3 720 is still one of the best gaming CPU's.
 
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