Intel Pentium G3258 Processor Review – Overclocking Quest For 5GHz

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Intel Pentium G3258 Processor Retail Packaging

The Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition Processor was a very fun processor to use and we are extremely happy with the results of our testing. This processor won’t out perform the mighty Intel Core i7-4770K or Core i7-4790K Devil’s Canyon, but we found it to be a very affordable chip that was an excellent overclocker. If you are on a strict budget, looking to build a Steam Machine or just want something inexpensive to play around with, the Intel Pentium G3258 should be of interest.

When it comes to gaming performance there are many games titles that people play that do well on dual-core processors and love high clock frequencies. An example of these game titles would be those using Source (think DOTA 2, Counter Strike: GO, TF2 and so on). If you are playing older game titles that aren’t heavily optimized for quad-core processors, the Intel Pentoum G3258 should prove to be an excellent little chip when overclocked to 4.4GHz and beyond. This processor would go great in a budget gaming build with something along the lines of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti ‘Maxwell’ video card, 4-8GB of RAM and a decent little CPU cooler. You could go crazy and stick a GeForce GTX 780 Ti in a system with this processor like we did in our Metro LL game testing, but you’ll be bottlenecked by the CPU.

Intel Pentium G3258 Processor

Overclocking performance was far from disappointing. We weren’t able to hit 5GHz, but we were able to hit 4.8GHz with full stability on our processor and that is awesome. We took a 3.2GHz processor and overclocked it by 1.6GHz! That is a 50% clock frequency increase on a low-end budget minded processor and enough to turn it into a single-threaded monster! The Intel Pentium G3258 has mad overclocking skills and is begging to be overclocked. The 3.2GHz baseclock set by Intel is very conservative and this chip begging to be overclocked. We are very happy that Intel has finally allowed a processor to be unlocked outside of the K-series! It would have been nice if Intel included the Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material found on Devil’s Canyon processors on the Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition Processor, but for some reason Intel decided against it.

Intel Pentium G3258 at 4.8GHz

Right now the Intel Pentium G3258 can be purchased at Micro Center for $59.99 plus tax. That is where we bought our retail processors from and spent $65 each after taxes, which is a great price and below the Intel suggested tray pricing of $72. For those that don’t have a local Micro Center, you can head on over to Amazon and order one for $89.99 shipped. We expect that price to come down once the initial interest dies down a bit, but we have a feeling the Intel Pentium G3258 will be fairly popular. You can build a very inexpensive system with the Pentium G3258 and overclock the heck out of it. We an see the G3258 running well in a general purpose PC, Steam Machine, budget gaming rig and a zillion other builds. If you are looking for a budget-priced Intel Pentium processor that has serious overclocking headroom look no further than the Pentium G3258. The best part of the G3258 is that if you fry a chip or degrade one by overclocking for a long period of time, you can replace it relatively cheaply. I feel much better running more than 1.45V to a $65 Pentium G3258 than a $279 Core i7-4790K!

Happy 20th Anniversary Pentium! We will celebrate by overclocking the crap out of you and give you the Editor’s Choice Award!

Legit Reviews Editors Choice Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition shows that Intel still has some love for enthusiasts and they have given the community an inexpensive chip that has serious overclocking headroom!

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  • Bambul

    Here is nice simple and effective guide to overclock G3258.
    https://youtu.be/1UI8yuXQW34

  • ferryporsche

    Can the g3258 run the ram at 2133mhz? It would be stepped down to 1333 right?

  • soumen

    man is it x86 or x64? which is it?

  • Wickedpedia PHil

    the G3258 at 3,8ghz will be more than enough for me i just traded my PS3 for a GTX 750 TI i’ll be pairing it with that

  • Shalesh

    65$ cpu with corsair h105 please try to overclock it with stock cooler and share the the result with us i am trying to build a budget gaming pc there isn’t any room for a aftermarket cooler

  • Who the heck is going to pair this cpu with a GTX 780? This cpu is aimed at enthusiasts but also is perfect for budget rigs and a GTX 780 is not a budget video card.

    • Valentin Rafael

      I pair it with GTX 960 and in top popular twitch games runs better than high-end cpus from Intel. Also has upgrade path to i5/i7 if the buyer wants to go streaming or something else that needs more cores.

  • Baumy15

    Could you some testing with the stock cooler and see what you can get?
    I would like to see how far you could overclock it

  • DudeNice

    Why is a $65 budget CPU being compared to $300 powerhouses?

    People who are interested in this processor will be comparing it to i3s, i5s, quad-core FX chips and low-end APUs. Why none of these were included for comparison is beyond me.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      DudeNice – That is what I had tested at the time and I had this 5,000 word review up and done in under 24 hours. Other LR staff members are doing follow-up articles with additional low-end processors, but for now this can give people an idea of what they are looking at in terms of performance both in stock form and when overclocked to 4.8Ghz.

    • Selman Dinรง

      hi, this is true . i am wondering i3 vs g3258 @4,5 ghz. this tests not important for me and has no passmark test .

  • Terry Perry

    Why the Low Price because the M.B.’s aren’t selling there is a Huge back up Seriously when did Intel EVER give us a cheap CPU that was a Monster in Speed Never. I remember those so called Good Old days when Intel put out a new M.B. every 6 months because they were all Garbage I went through 12 M.B. in 3 years before I realized it was the O.C. that was killing my M.B. Intel Never told you this.

    • Kreno

      If you’re going to overclock make sure you’re cooling your motherboard’s components otherwise yeah you’re gonna burn out some boards. Research is your friend.

    • faaaaq

      Intel never explicitly said you could kill your mobo by overclocking, and youre mad at them? When you OC, and something breaks, its your fault, not theirs. And unless this was 20 years ago, pretty much every manu warns that OCing can damage things if you dont knwo what youre doing (and clearly you did not)

  • Cicero_68

    Kinda silly to combine a $65 CPU with a $100+ cooler.
    Why not test this CPU in a “budget gaming build with … a decent little CPU cooler”?

    • dood

      This removes any bottlenecks and shows the full potential of the CPU, all good testing is done this way in order to insure that the results are not skewered by bad hardware choices.

      • Nathan Kirsch

        ^^ Plus it keeps the power numbers consistent. Swapping the CPU cooler could change the power draw by a good 3-5 Watts and when dealing with 30 Watt idle temperatures, that is a significant difference. We bought a bunch of these processors (I think 4 and counting) and we’ll be doing more articles with them in the future. Right now Dan is working on a gaming performance article with a bunch of different game titles.

      • Kreno

        Exactly. It would be silly to use a crap cooler with it. You could probably get some pretty close results though with a Hyper 212 Evo though ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Anything beyond about $30 makes a stock i3 a better choice ๐Ÿ˜›

        • Intranet

          You can overclock to at least 4.0GHz on the crap Intel stock cooler. The cpu is a 65w part – the stock cooler can handle 95w cpus. There are some reviews overclocking to 4.4-4.6GHz on the stock cooler with golden voltage chips.