Intel Pentium G3220 3.0GHz Dual Core Processor
The Intel Pentium name has been around for quite a long time, it's a name that used to be synonymous with the latest and greatest processor. These days though, the latest and greatest Intel processors are part of the Intel Core series. Today the Pentium processors are more on the lower end of the product stack, and cost relatively little by comparison. When it comes to the lower end Intel processors, I've had a question in my mind for some time now, and finally decided to satisfy my curiosity. How well will a low end processor run a gaming system these days? To answer this question I went to Newegg.com and ordered the Pentium G3220 for a whole $69.99, it wasn't until I had the G3220 in my hand that I realized that I could save a couple of bucks by hitting Amazon.com and paying $67.63. Where I ordered the Pentium G3220 from is a moot point, what does matter is that the G3220 is less than 22% of the cost of the Intel Core i7-4770K, the top LGA1150 processor!
The Intel Pentium G3220 is a pretty basic processor by today's standards. The G3220 doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of the top tier processors, for under $70.00 you really can't expect it to have everything under the sun. The Pentium G3220 is a dual core processor that cruises along at 3.0GHz and only fits in the latest Intel LGA 1150 socket. It's not exactly a rocket ship, but at a minimum it will make your computer go. With a little bit of luck the Pentium G3220 will give us a great end user experience and we will be able to play all the latest games. The main thing we have to keep in mind while looking at the G3220 is that it's not meant to be the fastest processor out there! It's meant for those building on a budget.
Before we get to far into the Pentium G3220 performance, let's take a look at the specifications of the G3220 along side the Intel Core i7-4770K
|Intel Pentium G3220||Intel Core i7-4770K|
|Number of Cores||2||4|
|Number of Threads||2||8|
|Max Turbo Frequency||N/A||3.9GHz|
|Intel Smart Cache||3MB||8MB|
|DMI2||5 GT/s||5 GT/s|
|# of QPI Links||0||0|
|Instruction Set Extensions||SSE4.1/4.2||SSE4.1/4.2,j AVX 2.0|
|Lithography||22 nm||22 nm|
|Thermal Solution Specification||PCG 2013C||PCG 2013D|
|Recommended Customer Price||Box:$64/Tray: $64||Box: $350/Tray: $339|
|Memory Types||DDR3 1333||DDR3 1333/1600|
|Max Memory Bandwidth||21.3 GB/s||25.6 GB/s|
|ECC Memory Supported||Yes||No|
|Processor Graphics||Intel HD Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 4600|
|Graphics Base Frequency||350 MHz||350 MHz|
|Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency||1.1GHz||1.25GHz|
|Intel Quick Sync||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Clear Video HD Technology||No||Yes|
|Intel InTru 3D Technology||No||Yes|
|Intel Wireles Display||No||Yes|
|Number of Displays Supported||3||3|
|PCI Express Revision||3.0||3.0|
|PCE Express Configuraion||1x16, 2x8, 1x8/2x4||1x16, 2x8, 1x8/2x4|
|Max # of PCI Express Lanes||16||16|
|Max CPU Configuration||1||1|
|T Case||72 Degrees Celsius||72.72 Degrees Celsius|
|Package Size||37.5mm x 37.5mm||37.5mm x 37.5mm|
|Graphics and IMC Lithography||22nm||22nm|
|Intel Turbo Boost Technology||No||2.0|
|Intel vPro Technology||No||No|
|Intel Hyper-Threading Technology||No||Yes|
|Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x)||Yes||Yes|
|Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)||No||No|
|Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT)||Yes||Yes|
|Intel My WiFi Technology||No||Yes|
|Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology||Yes||Yes|
|Thermal Monitoring Technologies||Yes||Yes|
|Intel® Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP)||No||N/A|
|Intel Identity Protection Technology||N/A||Yes|
|AES New Instructions||No||Yes|
|Trusted Execution Technology||No||No|
|Execute Disable Bit||Yes||Yes|
As you can see above, there are a number of differences between the Intel Pentium G3220 and the Core i7-4770K. Though as I mentioned above, for only 22% of the cost of the 4770K we can't expect all the same bells and whistles between the two pieces of Silicon!
The retail packaging for the Intel Pentium G3220 certainly isn't what I would call exciting, but it serves it's purpose of protecting the processor and giving us some information about the three year warranty.
This particular side of the Pentium G3220 packaging gives us a shot of the processor itself. Aside from that there isn't much interesting to see here.
Along another edge of the G3220 packaging we can find the batch number, L323B628, Product Code BX80646G3220 as well as the various other SKU numbers.
Opening up the retail package, the actual Intel Pentium G3220 is packed within a secondary plastic case. This added layer of protection helps keep the chip in place within the retail box and is great for handling and storing the G3220.
Let's take a look at the test system and get to benchmarking!
The Legit Reviews Test System
Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windowsa 8 Enterprise 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.
Here is a quick look at the CPU-Z information for our main test system that we'll be doing the testing on.
Intel Pentium G3220 Dual Core System Settings
Intel Core i7 4770K Quad Core Processor System Settings
The Intel Core i7-4770K LGA1150 processor was running on the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5 TH and was running the latest BIOS version F2. The Corsair Dominator Platnium 8GB 2133MHz memory kit was set to XMP 1.3 memory profile settings, which is 1.5v and 9-11-10-27 2T memory timings at 2133MHz. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M310 firmware.
|Intel LGA1150 Test Platform|
Intel Core i7-4770K
|GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5 TH Intel Z87 Motherboard||Click Here|
|8GB Donimator 2133MHz||Click Here|
|ASUS GeForce GTX670 DirectCU II||Click Here|
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD
Windows 8 64-Bit
3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs
Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.
Fire Strike Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: In the latest iteration of the 3DMark franchise, Fire Strike is a great indication of the way this system will run with various processors. The Intel Pentium G3220 is the lowest scoring of our processors, but it is also retails for only $67.63 which is in the realm of 20% of the price of the Intel Core i7-4770K which retails for $334.98. The performance definitely wasn't 20% of the Intel Core i7-4770K though, the overall score in Fire Strike was 4946, ~1100 points lower than the 4770K. The biggest hit was in the Physics score which was 3059 for the Pentium G3220 while the 4770K hit 11235. The Graphics scores across all three processors stayed pretty close across the board.
SiSoftware Sandra 2013
The Sisoftware Sandra 2012 SP3 benchmark utility just came out a few weeks ago and we have started to include it in our benchmarking. Sandra 2012 comes with support for Virtualisation (Virtual PC/Server, Hyper-V, VMware) and GPGPU (OpenCL, DirectX 11 DirectCompute), but today we will be using the program to look at memory and CPU performance!
Benchmark Results: I'm a little shocked that the Intel Pentium G3220 did as well as it did in the SiSoftware Sandra Memory Bandwidth benchmark. The G3220 was able to hit an aggregate memory bandwidth of 26.26GB/s while the Intel Core i7-4770K was a hair faster at 28.037GB/s. With only two cores and two threads I thought there would be a bigger difference between it and the four core/eight thread 4770K.
Benchmark Results: In the Sandra Processor Arithmetic benchmark the Intel Pentium G3220 had an aggregate native performance of 35.57 GOPS, while the Intel Core i7 4770K hit 121.09 GOPS.
Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3220 definitely wasn't a strong contender in the Sandra Multimedia benchmark and scored an aggregate multimedia performance of 46.32MPix/s, only 13.4% the performance of the i7-4770K!
Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3220 doesn't support the same data protection technologies as the 4770K and it certainly shows in the Sandra Cryptography benchmark. The Pentium G3220 has a cryptographic bandwidth of only .596GB/s while the 4770K was considerably faster at 6.85GB/s
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.
Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3220 had a score of 229 across both cores and 119 on the single core benchmark. The Intel Core i7-4770K has a turbo frequency of 3.9GHz, 900MHz faster than the G3220 which is 32% faster. This is almost a direct correlation between the performance which was 30% faster than G3220.
BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games, and published by 2K Games. BioShock Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock series, and though it is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games, it does feature similar gameplay concepts and themes. BioShock Infinite uses a Modified Unreal Engine 3 game engine and was released worldwide on March 26, 2013.
We tested BioShock Infinite with the Ultra game settings.
Benchmark Results: The gaming performance of the Intel Pentium G3220 is certainly better than I expected. At 1920x1080 the Pentium G3220 was slower than the other processors, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. The Pentium G3220 averaged 82.31 frames per seconds, only 6.3 fps behind the Intel Core i7-4770K average of 88.63 frames per second. Once we lowered the resolution to 1280x1024 the Intel Pentium G3220 lost some ground and averaged 104.83 frames per second compared to the 129.57 frames per second that the 4770K averaged.
Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth DirecX 11 video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. This game title uses the Glacier 2 game engine and was released on November 20th, 2012.
We benchmarked Hitman: Absolution with Ultra Settings.
Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3220 dual core processor was once again able to hold its own at 1920x1080 with an average of 30.4 frames per second while the flagship LGA1150 processor the 4770K averaged 31.8 frames per second. Once we dropped the resolution to 1280x1024 and reduced the load on the ASUS Direct CUII NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 the bottleneck shifted to the processor and we began to see a performance difference. At 1280x1024 the G3220 averaged 34.7 frames per second while the 4770K was able to average 43 frames per second.
On March 5th, 2013 Square Enix released Tomb Raider, billed as a reboot of the franchise. In Tomb Raider, the player is confronted with a much younger Lara Croft who is shipwrecked and finds herself stranded on a mysterious island rife with danger, both natural and human. In contrast to the earlier games Croft is portrayed as vulnerable, acting out of necessity, desperation and sheer survival rather than for a greater cause or personal gain.
The game has been built on Crystal Dynamics's game engine called the "Crystal Engine" and the graphics look fantastic. AMD and Crystal Dyanmic's worked on a new technology called TressFX Hair, which AMD describes as “the world’s first in-game implementation of a real-time, per-strand hair physics system” for this game title. We set the image quality to ultimate for benchmarking, but we disabled TressFX Hair under the advanced tab to be fair to NVIDIA graphics cards that don't support the feature.
Benchmark Results: In the Tomb Raider benchmark the Intel Pentium G3220 was able to squeeze out the top spot at 1920x1080 with an average of 84.13 frames per second. Though we are only talking about a difference of .43 frames per second between all three of the processors. Once we lowered the resolution to 1280x1024 there was virtually no difference in the performance of the three processors, the Pentium G3220 averaged 114.37 frames per second while the Core i7-4770K averaged 114.7 frames per second. Tomb Raider relies on the heavily on the graphics card rather than the processor, hence why we see next to no performance difference between them.
Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5 TH averaged 68.3 frames per second at 1280x1024 and 44.7 frames per second at 1920x1080 in Sleeping Dogs.
Metro Last Light
Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013.
Metro Last Light was benchmarked with Ultra settings
Benchmark Results: Metro Last Light was able to bring the Intel Pentium G3220 to its knees while the Core series processors fared a little better. At 1920x1080 the G3220 averaged 39.54 frames per second and only 2.75 frames per second faster with an average of 42.26 frames per second at 1280x1024.
Pentium G3220 Overclocking
Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.
The Intel Pentium G3220 is not a K series processor. This means that the multiplier is locked with the only adjustment going down. To see if we can push this processor beyond the designed limits we will need to overclock via the Base Clock. Overclocking via the Bclk is typically quite limited, but we're gonna go ahead and see if we can't get a little bit of free performance out of our G3220! Out of the box the Intel Pentium G3220 features a bclk of 100MHz and a CPU multiplier of x30 giving us a final processor frequency of 3.0GHz. The Pentium processors do not feature the Intel Turbo Boost so the highest we will see this processor go is 3.0GHz!
With a little bit of trial and error, I was able to increase the base clock to 103.6MHz. This brought our 3.0GHz dual core processor to 3.107GHz, a gain of 3.6%. It's not a record breaker, but it'll do!
Aside from the Bclk, the only other adjustment that was made we the CPU Vcore. The processor voltage was offset by +.03 Volts. Anything over 103.6 MHz was unstable and would lock up regardless of the Vcore applied to the processor.
Being able to increase the Intel Pentium G3220 by 3.6% doesn't give us the greatest gains in Cinebench R15. Though it is inline with the gains from overclocking, the CPU (all cores) jumped to 237, a gain of 3.5% and the single core increase to 122, a gain of 2.5%.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The Intel Pentium G3220 really left me surprised today. As a dual core processor I really wasn't quite sure what to expect from it, especially in terms of gaming performance. I had a bit of an idea about the CPU intensive tasks and knew not to expect to much from the G3220 dual core during the processor intensive tests like Cinebench R15 and the x264 HD Video encoding benchmark. The Intel Pentium G3220 is only a 3.0GHz Pentium dual core processor and definitely wasn't meant to contend with the Intel Core i7 4770K and the i5 4670K that are meant for completely different audiences. Though for only $67.63 it certainly held its own when it came to gaming!
The gaming performance of the Intel Pentium G3220 was definitely better than I though it would be across most of the games. What really surprised me though, was that the G3220 wasn't the bottleneck at the higher gaming resolution! When we ran most of the gaming benchmarks at 1920x1080 we were limited by the ASUS Direct CUII NVIDIA GeForce GTX670 that we had in our test bench.
|Gaming Performance at 1920x1080|
|Processor||Pentium G3220||Core i7-4770K|
|Metro Last Light||39.54||47.24|
The only game that there was any real performance difference at 1920x1080 was Metro Last Light. The Pentium G3220 held an average of 83.7% of the performance of the i7-4770K. When running the Metro Last Light benchmark, the Intel Pentium G3220 processor was getting utilized quite a bit as we can see below:
Intel Pentium G3220 Metro Last Light CPU Usage:
Intel Core i7-4770K Metro Last Light CPU Usage:
Looking at the two different processor usages above, it's easy to see why the Pentium G3220 struggled in Metro Last Light. The Intel Core i7-4770K is able to handle the game across all of it's threads while the G3220 is limited to only the two logical cores.
By no means is the Intel Pentium G3220 dual core processor a beast. After all, it's a dual core processor in a world where quad cores and more are prevalent. To be honest though, the Intel Pentium G3220 certainly performed quite a bit better than I had imagined that it would. I certainly wasn't expecting the G3220 to keep up with the Intel Core i7 4770K in the CPU intensive tasks, what I was hoping for was that we would be able to game on it without much of an issue. For the most part that held true today! For a $67.63 processor I was impressed by it, and I may just toss it into a little LAN box for myself down the road!
Legit Bottom Line: The Intel Pentium G3220 proved itself to be a solid processor for those on a budget. If you are trying to build a gaming rig on a budget, you can pick up a processor like the Intel Pentium G3220 for only $67.63 and spend a little more on the graphics card!