Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz CPU Review

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Intel Pentium G850 Processor Review

Last week we reviewed the Intel Pentium G620 processor and found ourselves impressed by how well the these dual-core Pentium processors perform with the 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture. The Intel Pentium processor family is comprised of three SKUs, called the G620, G840 and G850. The Pentium G620, G840 and G850 CPUs run at 2.6GHz, 2.8GHz and 2.9GHz with current street pricing on these processors being $73.87, $88.52 and $95.38 respectively. We have already reviewed the lowest priced offering, so today we will be taking a look at the flagship model, the Intel Pentium G850.

Intel Pentium Sandy Bridge Series Processors

The Intel Pentium G620, G840 and G850 are all 32nm dual-core processors
rated at 65W TDP with 3MB of level 3 cache,
an integrated DDR3 memory controller, PCI Express 2.0 interface,
Direct Media Interface 2.0, and Intel HD Graphics 2000. The Intel HD
Graphics 2000 GPU has a base clock speed of 850MHz, but it is dynamic
and can increase up to 1100MHz when a graphics intensive task is called
upon. We’ve done several reviews on this GPU before and know that it is
up for basic HD tasks, but will fall short when it comes to mainstream
game titles. All of the Intel Pentium Processors are multiplier is
locked, so if you wanted to overclock one of these processors they only
way you can do so, is by increase the base clock frequency. 

Since these are entry level Intel Pentium series CPUs they lack features that the Intel Core i3/i5/i7 Sandy Bridge processors have. For starters these three Pentium processors have the anemic Intel HD Graphics 2000 GPU and come without Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost and both AES-NI, AVX and Intel Quick Sync Video have been disabled. As you can tell these processors are aimed at low-budget or entry level desktop systems and with the economy across the world being in flux the past several years these budget minded processors should be popular now that they have been released.

Intel Pentum G850 Retail Box Processor

The model that we will be looking at today is the Intel Pentium Processor G850, which is the most expensive offering in the Pentium processor lineup. This processor has a tray price of $86.00 with an actual street price of $97.99 shipped over at The lowest cost Intel Core i3 processor based on the Sandy Bridge architecture is the Intel Core i3-2100 at $121.21 shipped, so as you can see the entry level Pentium processor is nearly half the price of it’s bigger and more powerful brother. Our goal for this review is to take the Intel Pentium Processor G850 and see how it’s 2.90GHz clock frequency and two cores can do against several other Intel processors like the Pentium G620 and then the more expensive Core i3-2105, Core i3-2120 and Core i7-2600K. We’ll also be tossing the AMD ‘Llano’ A8-3850 and A6-3650 into the mix to see how those processors fare as well.

Intel Pentium Processor G850 Specifications:

  • Model #: BX80623G850
  • S-spec: SR05Q
  • Launch Date: Q2’11
  • Processor Number: G850
  • Supported Socket: LGA1155
  • # of Cores: 2
  • # of Threads: 2
  • Clock Speed: 2.90 GHz
  • Intel Smart Cache: 3 MB
  • Bus/Core Ratio: 29
  • Instruction Set: 64-bit
  • Instruction Set Extensions: SSE4.1/4.2
  • Turbo Core: No
  • Hyper-Threading Technology: No
  • Lithography: 32 nm
  • Processor Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
  • Graphics Base Frequency: 850MHz
  • Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency: 1100MHz
  • Max TDP: 65 W
  • Recommended Channel Price: $86.00
Intel Pentium G850 Retail Box CPU

Since our review sample it the retail box Pentium G850 (part number BX80623G850) the processor comes with a CPU cooler, case sticker and a three year limited warranty. If you buy a tray processor you do not get the Heat Sink Fan (HSF) combo or the longer warranty.

Intel Pentium G620 Sandy Bridge CPU

As you can see this Intel Pentium Processor G850 is not an Engineering Sample processor and batch number of L105B594. You can also see the S-Spec number SR05Q on the integrated heat spreader (IHS) and that it was made in the country of Malaysia.

Intel Pentium G620 Pins

The Intel Pentium G620/G850 looks identical to other processors that use Intel HD 2000 graphics, so when placed next to processors like the Intel Core i3-2105 or the Intel Core i7-2600K it will look visually different as it has a different arrangement of resistors on the bottom of the processor compared to some of the other Sandy Bridge processors since some use Intel HD Graphics 2000 and others use Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics.  In the image above you can see the difference between the Intel Pentium G620/G850 with Intel HD Graphics 2000 and the Intel Core i3-2105 and Core i7-2600K that both use Intel HD Graphics 3000.  If you want to use Intel Processor Graphics (PG) of the CPU you need to use a motherboard with the H67, or Z68 chipset that has video outputs and not the P67 based motherboards that don’t support Intel PG. You can always add in a discrete graphics card if you want improved graphics performance. 

Now that we know a little bit about the Intel Pentium G850 processor we can move on to the test system and then the performance benchmarks!

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