The Intel Pentium line has a long history, starting with being the best processor available, to now being considered a budget minded processor. Today, many people immediately rush to say you have to an Intel i5 or i7 processor for gaming and home needs; that simply isn’t true. It’s all a matter of what you want to do, the performance you need versus the cost.
Today, we have taken a look at two of Intel’s latest processors, that are geared towards different audiences. The Pentium G4400 is targeted at the average home user, while the i5-6600K is targeted at enthusiasts. Many of the performance benchmarks we ran today are designed more towards doing heavy calculations, which will of course lean towards the higher end processors such as the i5-6600K. The average home user will most likely not perform these types of tasks on a regular basis; however the Pentium G4400 is capable of doing them when needed.
Over the past month I have used the Pentium G4400 for my main system, and was surprised at it’s performance for standard tasks such as web browsing, emails, video and other lightweight tasks. With the EVGA 970GTX, I was able to play games whenever I felt the need, without a huge loss in performance. The only time I felt the need for more power was encoding video, which to be honest I haven’t done for personal use in a long time.
When looking at the performance numbers, you need to take into account the price difference of the Intel Pentium G4400, which can be purchased for $64.99 with free shipping, versus purchasing a higher end processor such as the Intel i3-6100 for twice the price or going even higher with the i5-6600k for nearly four times the price. Obviously, if you are doing video encoding, the i5 series is the best choice. For the average home user that casually plays video games, purchasing the Pentium G4400 allows you to save some money and put it towards other components such as a better graphics card.
One additional thing about the Intel Pentium G4400, overclocking is not supported by Intel as it is a non-K processor. However, you might be lucky enough to overclock it if your motherboard BIOS supports it. The downside is that some of the necessary features of the processor could be disabled, in the case of the EVGA Z170 FTW, the thermal sensor, power management, and a few other non-essential items were disabled. In our testing, overclocking the processor we saw a small performance boost, but only Dirt: Rally showed a significant performance boost.
Legit Bottom Line: If you are on a tight budget, the Intel Pentium G4400 will do the job of a more expensive processor, just at a slower pace. Depending on what you plan to do, the Intel Pentium G4400 might work for you. If you want a good budget gaming system, the Pentium G4400 will work perfectly fine for you. Sure there is a slight loss in performance, but that difference is pretty minimal for the big difference in price. The next time I’m asked about building a low budget system that is capable of playing games, I would have no issues recommending the Pentium G4400.