Intel Pentium G3258 CPU - Budget Overclocker of the Year?The Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition processor was released to the public this week and Legit Reviews have been waiting for weeks to pick this processor up. Why have we been highly anticipating a low-end Intel Pentium processor? Well, we remember the old days when you could get massive overclocks on inexpensive processors and get some decent performance out of them. The days of using a pencil or rear window defogger kit to get a sick overclock are certainly a thing of the past, but that doesn't mean that there still aren't budget friendly processors that can be overclocked to the hilt. When Intel announced that they were coming out with a Pentium Processor Anniversary Edition processor we were excited. The thought of a cheap processor that was unlocked was no longer going to be a thing of a past that old timers reminisce about at LAN parties or to friends. The Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Edition processor has been released and it will be the budget overclocking champion for the DIY PC enthusiast of this generation! The Intel Pentium G3258 processor (Intel ARK) is an unlocked Dual-Core, 3.2GHz processor with 3MB of cache. This is a basic 22nm Haswell processor that has entry level Intel HD Graphics (up to 1100MHz) with Intel Quick Sync Video enabled. The bad news is that it is a basic processor. That means it lacks Intel Hyper-Threading, Turbo Boost, Intel Clear Video HD, vPro, VT-d technologies along with the AES and TSX-NI instruction sets. The key selling point of this specific processor is that it has an unlocked multiplier and it is the only Intel Pentium processor that is currently on the market to be unlocked.
- Mfr Part Number: E97378-001
- CPU Socket Type: LGA 1155/ 1156/ 1150
- Compatibility: Intel Core i7/ Core i5/ Core i3/ Pentium/ Celeron/ Xeon Processors; Supports up to 95W TDP
- Speed: 1200 - 2800 RPM
- Noise Level: 22 dBA
- Bearing Type: Hydraumatic
- PWM Function: Yes
- Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
- Rated Current: 0.6A
- Connector: 4pin
- Dimensions: 92.0 x 92.0 x 32.0 mm
- Material: Aluminum + Copper insert
- Dimensions: 87.0 x 87.0 x 19.0 mm
- Weight: 280.0 g
Intel Z97 Test System For Pentium G3258Before 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 Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We completely overhauled our test setup for the Intel Core i7-4790K processor launch, so we are starting over from scratch when it comes to testing everything. For this review will be comparing Intel Z77 and Intel Z97 platforms. These platforms are aimed at mainstream users and all feature integrated graphics, so it will be interesting to see how the systems compare. The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 1204 that came out on 6/20/2014. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB 2133MHz memory kit was set to XMP 1.3 memory profile settings, which is 1.65v with 9-11-11-31 2T memory timings. The Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD uses 19nm NAND and was using M310 firmware.
|Intel LGA1150 Test Platform|
Intel Pentium G3258
|ASUS Z97-A||Click Here|
|8GB Dominator 2133MHz||Click Here|
|Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSD||Click Here|
|Corsair H105||Click Here|
|Corsair K95||Click Here|
|Corsair M95||Click Here|
|Corsair AX860i||Click Here|
|Windows 8.1 64-Bit||Click Here|
Intel Pentium G3258 Processor Overclocking
The IntelPentium G3258 Anniversary Edition processor is 3.2GHz . We heard that reaching 4.7GHz should be easy for most platforms with high-end air or water cooling. For this review we wanted to see what we could hit with the Corsair H105 water cooler and we were hoping that the rumors of being able to hit 5GHz on an inexpensive dual-core processor would be found true. It would be awesome to hit 5GHz on a dual-core processor that costs just $65!
The top overclock on both of our Intel Pentium G3258 processors was 4.8GHz. We could get into Windows at 4.9GHz, but it would crash with the launch of pretty much any application and was far from stable. The ASUS Z97-A motherboard we were using was already feeding 1.526V to the CPU and we certainly didn't feel comfortable going any higher. We know of one person inside ASUS that was able to get 5.0GHz up and running with 1.5V on the core and 1.4V on the cache, but ended up killing the chip when running the ASUS ROG RealBench torture test. Sure, this processor only cost us $65 after taxes, but we don't feel like killing it in the first 48 hours of owning it.
With the Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition processor running 4.8GHz we were able to score 353 on the CPU test in Cinebench. We got a score of2 47 stock, so this is a nice 43% performance gain. All of the performance charts in the review show performance at 4.8GHz, so please reference those in the pages ahead to see how the chip performs in a wider variety of benchmarks.
At 4.8 GHz we saw the temperatures hit 80C, which isn't bad considering the processor doesn't start throttling until you reach 95C. The ASUS Z97-A board puts the voltage at 1.5260V if you leave the voltage on auto and bump up the multiplier, but you can go into the BIOS and lower the voltages to see if you can use less voltage. We were able to back the voltage down to 1.46V with the cache voltage at 1.20V and that helped keep the temperatures down and lowered power consumption a little bit. If you are overclocking you'll find out quickly that you can get far with leaving the voltages on Auto, but you have to remember that increasing the voltages reduces the longevity of the processor and degrades it. Always try to lower it and see what you can do manually!
Let's see how the Intel Pentium G3258 performs at both stock speeds and at 4.8GHz!
SiSoftware Sandra 2014 SP2a
The Sisoft Sandra 2014 SP2a benchmark utility measures pretty much all of your system components, but we'll be using it to focus on memory and CPU performance!
Results: As you can see from our memory testing that was completed with a Corsair 2133MHz DDR3 memory kit, all the processors perform roughly the same. The Intel Pentium G3258 was the slowest of the group, but we did see a slight memory bandwidth improvement when the processor was overclocked up to 4.8GHz.
Results: The Intel Pentium G3258 doesn't support the Intel AVX, AVX2 or TSX-NI instruction set, so the performance was notably lower than the other processors that do. Still, The Intel Pentium G3258 processor scored 44.23 MPixels/s in stock form and that jumped up by 51% to 66.81 MPixels/s when overclocked to the max. Results: All the new mainstream and high-end desktop processors support AES-NI, but not the Intel Pentium series. The Intel Pentium G3258 scored 0.56 GB/s for this AES benchmark test, which is significantly lower than other high-end unlocked K-series processors that are also in the performance charts. The good news is that the Intel Pentium G3258 costs $60 whereas the other processors cost upwards of $280.
Results: In the Sandra 2014 SP2a CPU Arithmetic Benchmark the Intel Pentium G3258 scored 36.67 GOPS, but when overclocked we were able to get 55.06 GOPS. This is an improvement of 50% from a 50% overclock, so we are seeing 1:1 performance gains with the overclock so far!
x264 HD Encoding
Euler3d CFD BenchmarkNext up is the STARS Euler3d CFD benchmark. The benchmark is intended to provide information about the relative speed of different processor, operating system, and compiler combinations for a multi-threaded, floating point, computationally intensive CFD code. The benchmark testcase is the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing. The wing uses a NACA 65A004 airfoil section and has a panel aspect ratio of 1.65, a taper ratio of 0.66, and a 45 degree quarter-chord sweep angle. This AGARD wing was tested at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 16-foot Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and is a standard aeroelastic test case used for validation of unsteady, compressible CFD codes.
HandbrakeHandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded.
Benchmark Results: HandBrake version 0.9.9 showed that the Intel Pentium G3258 20th Anniversary Processor is no Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon Processor, but was able to average 13 FPS on the render in stock form at 15 FPS when overclocked. This is just a 15% improvement with the 50% overclock, which was lower than expected. It was also the only sub 40% gain to be seen from overclocking on all the benchmarks that we ran.
PCMark 8We ran the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, which includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system. Intel Pentium 3258 CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics: Intel Core i7-4770K CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics 4600: Intel Core i7-4790K CPU w/ Intel HD Graphics 4600: Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3258 processor was compared to the other processors we ran on the ASUS Z97-A motherboard and we were happy with the results. The overall score for the PCMark 8 Home Accelerated benchmark was 2555, which was about 25% lower than the Core i7-4770K. If you look at the detailed test results you'll notice that web browsing scores are identical as are the 30 FPS video playback test. The only major differences here are on photo editing, video encoding and of course integrated graphics gaming.
POV-Ray 3.7Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7: The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own. The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which, in a nutshell, allows the renderer to run on as many CPU's as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend on purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 RC5, which is the most recent version available. The benchmark used all available cores to their fullest extent to complete the render.
Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the elapsed time from the dialog box, which indicates the exact time it took for the benchmark to finish the benchmark and a score in PPS. We are using the final CPU score for our benchmarks and a higher value indicates faster system performance.
Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor tops the chart when it comes to the POV-Ray multi-CPU benchmark with a score of 1817.6 PPS. The Intel Pentium G3258 comes in with a score of 588.5 PPS with stock clock speeds and with the multiplier bumped up to 48 we were able to get 901.1 PPS, which is a solid 53% performance increase.
MAXON; CINEBENCH R15:MAXON CINEBENCH Release 15 is an advanced hardware testing suite that assesses a computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on the same powerful technology as 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. The new version of CINEBENCH includes the ability to more accurately test the industry’s latest hardware, including systems with up to 64 processor threads, and the testing environment better reflects the expectations of today’s production demands. A more streamlined interface makes testing systems and reading results incredibly straightforward. Again, higher Frames/Second and point score equal better performance.
Cinebench R15 was able to put a 100% load across all the cores on all of the processors, which makes this a great benchmark to look at multi-core platforms.
Benchmark Results: When it comes to OpenGL graphics performance the Intel Core i7-4790K with Intel HD 4600 graphics was running at 38 FPS and the Intel HD Graphics on the Intel Pentium G3258 was able to average 19.5FPS during the benchmark. There is no performance change on the GPU side on the overclocked processor as we didn't overclock the GPU as we were primarily focused on the CPU performance for this article. For those that are wondering, the Intel Core i7 2700K with Intel HD 3000 graphics isn't supported on the OpenGL benchmark. Benchmark Results: The fourth generation Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor scored 900 points when using all of the available cores and had a score of 179 on just one. Out of the box the Intel Pentium G3258 scores 247 points on all cores and 127 with just a single core running the render test. With the Intel Pentium G3258 overclocked the multi processor test score went up to 353 and the single processor score jumped up to 181! This means that our overclock bumped up performance by 42.5% and more importantly the single threaded performance when overclocked was better than the stock Intel Core i7-4790K in this particular situation!
TrueCryptTrueCrypt is a is sort of discontinued, but it was once a widely available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or (under Microsoft Windows except Windows 8 with GPT) the entire storage device (pre-boot authentication). On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternate solutions. Since that announcement was made Thomas Bruderer and Joseph Doekbrijder have stepped forward with plans to revive the project through the truecrypt.ch site, which is offering downloads of TrueCrypt 7.1a – which can encrypt and decrypt data, and was the latest version prior to 7.2. We are using the benchmark built-in TrueCrypt 7.1a with default settings to figure out the mean AES speed for each of the processors being tested with a 50MB buffer size. Benchmark Results: As you can see the Intel Pentium G3258 didn't do too hot on TrueCrypt when it came to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) benchmark test. This is because the Intel Pentium G3258 does not support the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction set (AES-NI). AES-NI are a set of instructions that enable fast and secure data encryption and decryption, so if you run applications that perform bulk encryption/decryption, authentication, random number generation, and authenticated encryption you'll want to be sure to invest in a processor that has AES-NI support.
Futuremark 3DMark has three primary benchmark tests that you can run and which test you should be running depends on the system that you are benchmarking on.
- Ice Storm - For mobile devices and entry-level PCs
- Cloud Gate - For notebooks and home PCs
- Fire Strike Extreme - For extreme gaming PCs (extreme mode for those with multiple GPUs)
Metro Last Light w/ GeForce GTX 780 Ti
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 very high image quality settings with the SSAA set to off, Tesselation on normal and 4x AF. We used the game titles built-in benchmark (seen above) and ran it 3 times at each screen resolution to ensure accurate results. Benchmark Results: In Metro: Last Light we found that there is a fairly significant difference between processors with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti discrete desktop graphics card installed in the system. The Intel Core i7-4770K and Core i7-4790K were similar when it came to the average FPS and were nearly twice the speed as the Intel Pentium G3258 at stock speeds and even when overclocked up to 4.8GHz. At 1280x1024 we were getting 53.5 FPS on average with the Intel Pentium G3258 with stock speeds and 68.00 when overclocked. You can clearly see the processor is bottlenecking performance because as soon as we switched over to the Intel Core i7-4770K processor we jumped up to 108 FPS on average and the low and maximum frame rates also greatly improved. Benchmark Results: With the screen resolution bumped up to 1920x1080 we found that the average FPS dropped by a fair amount on the 4770K and 4790K, but minimally on the Pentium G3258.
Intel Pentium G3258 CPU Temperature TestingThe Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition Processor DOES NOT use Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM) like the Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor uses, but we were still interested in seeing how hot the chip gets. We took a look at idle and load temperatures on the processor with Gelid Extreme Thermal Compound on the Corsair H105 Closed Loop Water Cooler. With the Intel Pentium G3258 processor sitting on the desktop at an idle we observed an average CPU core temperature that bounced around 25-28C and the voltage was at 0.7270V. We ran a run of POV-Ray 3.7 across all the CPU cores and saw that it the processor temperature topped out at 42C and was using 1.0470V. We used the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility v4.4 to monitor the temperatures. So, on our system with the Corsair H105 water cooler along with Gelid Extreme Thermal Compound we were running 25-28C at idle and hit 42C at load. When the system was overclocked up to 4.8GHz we noticed a slight temperature increase at idle and nearly twice as high at load!
Power ConsumptionPower efficiency remains important to PC users and Intel and AMD have both made great strides to improve power efficiencies. Today we are looking at the Intel Core i7-3770K with a TDP of 77W, the Core i7-4770K at 84W, the Core i7-4970K at 88 Watts and the Pentium G3258 at 53 Watts. Benchmark Results: The Intel Pentium G3258 Processor is said to be a 53W TDP processor and we were happy to find at idle the entire system was pulling 31.1 Watts and the wall and when under fill load we were pulling 50.1 Watts. All that efficiency is thrown out the window with the overclock though and our idle power increased to 34.6W and at load we were now hitting 119 Watts, which is similar to a Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core processor with default settings. We used Handbrake to rip a full 1080P Blu-Ray as our load test, so this is representative of a real world scenario. So, to get a 50% overclock and performance increase we needed to more than double the power consumption at load.
Final Thoughts and ConclusionsThe 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. 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. 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 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!