Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition Dual Core Processor

Intel Pentium G3258 Processor Earlier this week Nate & I were able to get our hands on the Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition Processor to take for a ride. While he was doing this, he focused most of his time on the X86 performance of the 3.2GHz Dual Core processor. He did touch a little bit on the graphics performance of the Intel HD graphics on the G3258 as well as pairing the processor with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 TI for a run through of Metro Last Light. I wanted to take the $72.99 dual core Intel Pentium G3258 processor for a spin and focus on gaming performance with a solid discrete graphics card and see how it would stack up against the same system with an Intel Core i7-4770K processor which retails for considerably more. Instead of the using the latest and greatest graphics card on the market, I'm going to stick my hand into the stack of cards that are getting a little long in the tooth and may be something that has been upgraded in a primary rig that would be great in a dedicated LAN box or a Steam Box. I pulled out the ASUS Direct CU II GeForce GTX 670 graphics card to use today. It's not the latest and greatest card out there, but it certainly has plenty of performance to build a great rig with still and is very affordable. Since we have already covered the Intel Pentium G3258 in detail here, we aren't going to dwell on it to much today. For a quick refresher though, you can find the specifications for the Intel Pentium G3258 anniversary edition below.
Intel Pentium G3258 Specifications
Processor Number G3258
# of Cores 2
# of Threads 2
Clock Speed 3.2 GHz
Cache 3 MB
DMI2 5 GT/s
# of QPI Links 0
Instruction Set 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE4.1/4.2
Embedded Options Available No
Lithography 22 nm
Scalability 1S Only
Max TDP 53 W
Thermal Solution Specification PCG 2013C
Recommended Customer Price BOX : $72.00 TRAY: $72.00
Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333
# of Memory Channels 2
Max Memory Bandwidth 21.3 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported Yes
Graphics Specifications
Processor Graphics Intel® HD Graphics
Graphics Base Frequency 350 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency 1.1 GHz
Graphics Video Max Memory 1.7 GB
Intel Quick Sync Video Yes
Intel Clear Video HD Technology No
# of Displays Supported 3
If the Pentium name holds true, the Pentium G3258 should be a great little processor to play with. Nate was impressed by his retail sample, I was previously impressed by the Pentium G3220 so I have my hopes high for the G3258. Let's take a quick look at the test system that I will be using on the next page and then we can get into the good stuff, the benchmarks!

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 using a fresh install of Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. It should be noted that we average all of our test runs. There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we’ve always done out testing ‘hot’ since the site started back more than a decade ago.
Legit Reviews Test System
CPU Intel Pentium G3258 Live Pricing
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H Live Pricing
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133MHz Live Pricing
SSD Operating System Kingston HyperX 120Gb Live Pricing
SATA & USB 3.0 Testing Corsair Nuetron 240GB Live Pricing
Power Supply Corsair AX860I 860 Watt Live Pricing
Keyboard Corsair Vengeance K90 Live Pricing
Mouse Corsair Vengeance M95 Live Pricing
Cooling Corsair H100i AIO Water Cooling Live Pricing
Graphic Card ASUS GeForce GTX 670 Direct CU II Live Pricing
GIGABYTE Z97X-Gaming G1 WiFi-BLK Intel Pentium G3258 System Settings

Intel Pentium G3258 Overclocking

Intel Pentium G3258 Overclocking The IntelPentium G3258 Anniversary Edition processor has a base clock of 3.2GHz. Nate was able to take his Intel Pentium G3258 to 4.8GHz, and with a little luck I will be able to hit at least that. Though I'm hoping I can bring it past 4.8GHz, with a little luck maybe even 5.0GHz! Intel Pentium G3258 Overclocking It seems that luck isn't on my side today, I wasn't able to get past 4.8GHz with the  Intel Pentium G3258. Not that I'm disappointed with 4.8GHz, a 1.6GHz overclock on a $65 processor makes me as happy as can be. Rather than just running  a couple of tests for stability, I'm going to include the overclocked performance results in all of the gaming benchmarks today!

FutureMark 3DMark

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. 3DMark Fire Strike Fire Strike Benchmark Results:

Intel Pentium G3258 3DMark Firestrike Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3258 was able to score 5099 overall in Futuremark 3DMark Firestrike. The stock G3258 was ~80 points higher overall score but the Physics score was nearly 200 points higher. Once the Intel Pentium G3258 processor was overclocked to 4.8GHz, the Physics score jumped from 3320 to 5041! That's a gain of 51.8% from a 1.6GHz overclock! Not only did the physics score improve, the overall score improved by 400 points as well to a high of 5499!

Bioshock Infinite

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.

Bioshock Infinite

We tested BioShock Infinite with the Ultra game settings. Intel Pentium G3258 BIOSHOCK Infinite Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: At 1920x1080, the Intel Pentium G3258 was just a hair behind the Intel Core i7 4770K with an average of 94.34 frames per second compared to the 4770K's average of 95.69 frames per second. Overclocking the Pentium G3258 to 4.8GHz the gap was closed as the system averaged 95.21 frames per second, a gain of .9%. BIOSHOCK Infinite Medium Image Quality Settings BIOSHOCK Infinite Medium System Settings BIOSHOCK Infinite Medium Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: I didn't see much of a difference between the processors while I had the image quality at the maximum so I dialed back the IQ to see where what would happen without all of the load on the GPU. Running BIOSHOCK on the medium IQ settings, the processors stacked them selves up pretty much the way I would expect. The Intel Core i7-4770K was the dominant force here with an average of 197.23 frames per second at 1920x1080 while the Intel Pentium G3258 averaged 136.07 frames per second. While the Pentium G3258 was overclocked it was able to pick up a couple fps and average 140.00 frames per second at 1920x1080.

Hitman: Absolution

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.

hitmanabsolution_550.

We benchmarked Hitman: Absolution with Ultra Settings. Intel Pentium G3258 Hitman: Absolution Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3258 was able to average 31.47 frames per second at 1920x1080 at both overclocked and stock clock speeds but at 1280x1024 there was 3.33 frames per second difference between the two. Hitman Absolution Medium Image Quality Settings Hitman Absolution Medium System Settings Hitman Absolution Medium Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: At lower image quality settings the Intel Pentium G3258 starts to become the system bottle neck. The G3258 averaged  just over 46 frames per second at both 1920x1080 and 1280x1024. The Intel Core i7 4770K was nearly double that at 1920x1080 with an average of 81.8 frames per second and more than double at 1280x1024 with an average of 103.23 frames per second. Overclocking the Pentium G3258 helped to close the gap and was able to average 60.70 frames per second at 1920x1080.

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs PC game
Sleeping Dogs is a 2012 open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix. The game was released on August 14, 2012, for Microsoft Windows. The game uses the Havok physics engine.
Intel Pentium G3258 Sleeping Dogs Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: In Sleeping Dogs, there is very little performance difference between the Intel Pentium G3258 and the Intel Core i7-4770K at 1920x1080, only .4 frames per second. The G3258 averaged 44.7 frames per second while the 4770K averaged 45.1 frames per second. At 1280x1024 the 4770K stood out a little more with an average of 68.7 frames per second versus the 65.2 frame per second average of the G3258. Once I overclocked the unlocked Pentium G3258 to 4.8GHz it was able to close the gap at 1280x1024 and had an average of 68.6 frames per second, only .1 FPS behind the 4770K. Sleeping Dogs Medium Image Quality Settings Sleeping Dogs Medium System Settings Sleeping Dogs Medium IQ Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: Once again the Intel Core i7-4770K runs away with the lead once I drop the image quality down a few notches. The Pentium G3258 was able to average 99.9 frames per second which is still more than playable, but was beat by the Intel Core i7-4770K by ~43% with an average of 142.7 frames per second. Overclocking the Pentium G3258 had a hue impact on the performance at 1920x1080 and brought the performance to just shy of the 4770K with an average of 136.0 frames per second.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

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.

Tomb Raider Settings

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. Intel Pentium G3258 Tomb Raider Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: In Tomb Raider, there is very little performance difference between the various processors. The Intel Pentium G3258 was able to take the lead when overclocked with an average of 85.7 frames per second at 1920x1080 and 116.30 frames per second at 1280x1024. Between the stock clocks of the G3258 and the overclocked clocks, there is only .83 FPS difference at 1920x1080 and .47 FPS difference at 1280x1024. Tomb Raider Medium Image Quality Settings Tomb Raider Medium System Settings Tomb Raider Medium Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: Tomb Raider doesn't show off the same performance gains and differences that we have seen in the previous game titles. At 1920x1080 all of the processors were pretty close with only 2.24 frames per second separating them. At 1280x1024 the Intel Core i7-4770K took a slight lead over the overclocked Pentium G3258 which hit an average of 231.43 frames per second.

Battlefield 4

bf4-screenshot Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have beem running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States. battlefield-4-ultra-settings   This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark each card with these settings on the Shanghai level. Intel Pentium G3258 BAttlefield 4 Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: In Battlefield 4 the $60 dual core Pentium G3258 was able to hit an average higher than the Intel Core i7-4770K when the G3258 was overclocked to 4.8GHz. While there isn't much of a difference, it's a clear sign here that frequency plays a bigger part in the Battlefield 4 performance than the number of CPU Cores. At 1920x1080 the overclocked Intel G3258 was averaging 59.14 frames per second at 1920x1080 and 85.55 frames per second at 1280x1024, the Intel Core i7-4770K averaged 58.67 frames per second at 1920x1080 and 85.15 frames per second at 1280x1024. It's not significant differences, and could be variances in the runs since this is a FRAPS benchmarked game, but it seems a little to consistent that the faster frequency chips are just slightly ahead. Battlefield 4 Medium Image Quality Settings battlefield-4-medium-settings Battlefield 4 Medium IQ Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3258 was a bit of a bottle neck in Battlefield 4, still plenty playable with an average of 105.58 frames per second. The Intel Core i7-4770K was able to average 135.36 frames per second at 1920x1080 which is ~30FPS faster than the stock G3258, overclocking the G3258 to 4.8GHz closed the gap to only 3.1 frames per second with an average of 132.21 frames per second.

Metro Last Light

 

MetroLL-SS

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-ll-max-settings Metro: Last Light was benchmarked with very high image quality settings with the SSAA set to off and 16x AF. These settings are tough for entry level discrete graphics cards, but are more than playable on high-end gaming graphics cards. We benchmarked this game title on the Theater level. Intel Pentium G3258 Metro Last Light Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: In Metro: Last Light the Intel Pentium G3258 saw some huge gains when overclocked! At the stock speed of 3.2GHz the G3258 averaged 42.33 frames per second at 1920x1080, when the processor was overclocked to 4.8GHz the performance at that resolution increased to 47.33 frames per second. That's a gain of nearly 12% from simply overclocking a $60 processor! The gains at 1280x1024 were even more impressive. At the stock speeds the system increased from 48.39 frames per second to 59.78 frames per second! That's a fuzz over 23%! Metro Last Light Medium Image Quality Settings Metro Last Light Medium System Settings Metro Last Light Medium Benchmark Results Benchmark Results: Lowering the Image Quality settings to medium in Metro Last Light really showed the Intel Pentium G3258 being the system bottleneck. At the maximum resolution of 1920x1080, the G3258 averaged 50.29 frames per second while the Intel Core i7-4770K averaged 86.59 frames per second. Overclocking the ~$65 Intel Pentium G3258 to 4.8GHz increased the average to 66.36 frames per second which is a great performance boost for a budget chip!

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

Intel Pentium G3258 Processor Earlier this year I took a look at the Intel Pentium G3220 processor and I was thoroughly impressed by how well it handled itself in the gaming benchmarks that I ran. It certainly had it's short comings in the X86 benchmarks as it is limited to having only two cores, but I didn't expect it to keep up with the Intel Core i7-4770K in those tests, nor should I. Though for a ~$70 I was impressed at how well it did. One aspect that I wasn't satisfied with was the lack of overclocking. I was able to increase the Bclk and increase the overall clock speed to 3100MHz, clearly not a huge jump from 3000MHz and it definitely left me wanting more out of it. Fast forwarding to today, I have the Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary edition processor that comes out of the box 200MHz faster and is completely unlocked! While the Intel Pentium G3258 is still only a dual core processor, it was able to handle itself gracefully in all of the gaming benchmarks today. Across all six of the games that I tested the Pentium G3258 on, for the most part none of the games took to much of a performance hit between the Pentium G3258 and the Intel Core i7-4770K, especially at 1920x1080 with high Image Quality settings. When running the games at 1280x1024 there was a bit more of a difference as the ASUS Direct CU II GeForce GTX 670 was utilized less and the stress went to the CPU. Metro Last Light is the most significant difference between the 4770K and the G3258 that I saw today. Running at 1280x1024 the system with the 4770K averaged 66.94 frames per second while the Pentium G3258 averaged 48.39 frames per second, a difference of 38% which is pretty significant. Our overclocked results closed the performance gap pretty well in Metro Last Light as the performance increased to 59.78 frames per second at 1280x1024, closing the performance gap to 12%. Wanting to further test the Intel Pentium G3258, I lowered the image quality settings to take more of the load off of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670. Once the GPU was removed as a bottleneck, the Intel Pentium G3258 started to struggle, at least compared to the Intel Core i7-4770K. During a number of the games benchmarks, the Intel Core i7-4770K was significantly faster than the G3258, as much as 70% faster in some of the benchmarks. Though in others titles like Tomb Raider there was virtually no difference between the two. Despite the differences in performance, the Intel Pentium G3258 was still able to handle all of the game titles without an issue and everything was playable. In just about all of the game titles, there was huge gains from overclocking the Intel Pentium G3258 to 4.8GHz! The Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary edition processor isn't going to be for those looking for superior multi-threaded performance, after all it's a dual core processor. What the G3258 does offer, is great bang for the buck! Out of the box the G3258 cruises along at 3.2GHz which is a pretty respectable speed but it doesn't have turbo, hyper-threading or many of the bells and whistles that are available on the more expensive Intel SKU's. What I feel is the best feature of the Intel Pentium G3258 processor, it has an unlocked multiplier! Let me say that one more time, Intel has launched a ~$65 dual core processor that has an unlocked multiplier! This is great news for those that want to toy with overclocking and aren't quite ready to risk the sacrifice of the more expensive Intel Core i-series K processor to the overclocking gods just yet. Not only does the Intel Pentium G3258 dual core processor have an unlocked multiplier, it loves to be overclocked! Of the three Intel Pentium G3258 dual core processors that Legit Reviews has overclocked, all three of them were able to hit 4.8GHz without an issue! Intel Pentium G3258 Overclocking If you're keeping track, or are mathematically challenged like myself, 4.8 GHz is a gain of 1.6GHz over the stock speed of 3.2GHz! An overclock of 50% like that is great news, especially considering that this is a very budget friendly processor at only $65 if you're local to Microcenter or ~$75 from Amazon.com or Newegg.com! LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line: If you're looking to build a dedicated LAN gaming machine or Steam Box, the Intel Pentium G3258 is a great option for only ~$60-$65. I found it was able to keep up with the Intel Core i7-4770K in most of the games and even come out ahead when it was overclocked!