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  • loeakaodas - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Why intel, why? Do you still ram these chips down our throats, they're so short of features that would be great for a cheap HTPC, but aren't all that attractive if you want to do anything but basic stuff with your machine. Reply
  • Blaze-Senpai - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    And this is aimed at those people that only want to do basic stuff with their machine. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It still makes no sense: a Pentium 850 costs $98 ( an A6-3650 costs $119 (
    For $20 you get a real graphic cards which acelerated web browsing and video decoding, so it is actually very useful even for very basic systems.

    I see no value, whatsoever, for entry-level Sandy Bridge, as they have a higher price/performance ratio than most AMD stuff.

    Incidentally, while SB is undoubtedly the finest piece of CPU technology today, at these prices it makes sense only starting from the Core i5-2400, which, basically, outperforms nearly every AMD CPU.
  • ET - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    A G620 plus a discrete low mid range ($70-80) GPU will give you a much better entry level gaming PC than an A6-3650, for not a lot more money. (For about the same price as an A8-3850, which will still be slower for gaming than the G620 system). Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I am not convinced, but you might be right about the gaming rigs. I would argue that a cheap discrete graphic card would CrossFire nicely with tha A6, but that's not the point anyway.

    I was talking, however, about entry-level systems.
    There`s a "Best CPU for the money" update on Tom's hardware today: you can see that the G620 is not even in the picture, in favor of the Athlon II X3 and the G850.
    If I was to play games rarely, I would much rather have an efficient but relatively powerful APU, than having to use an external graphic card: this way I wouldn't have to pay the electricity bill to have my GPU run a screensaver.
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Perhaps, but an Athlon II X3 450 plus the same $70-80 GPU would make for an even better entry level gaming PC at the same price. Reply
  • lowlymarine - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Not really. Many games still struggle to hit even two cores efficiently; few if any would benefit significantly from the third. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    For example see Grand Theft Auto IV PC edition. This game is unplayable on a Dual Core pc without a massive overclock, but runs fine on a slow tri or quad core. This was due to Xbox 360 having a tri-core processor (The 360 cpu is also a PowerPC design not x86 but that doesn't really matter.) Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    great article Anand! Reply
  • owned66 - Sunday, February 10, 2013 - link

    most games after 2011
    play very well with multicore systems
    my qx6700 was maxed out at 100% playing bf3

    playing with a 2600 sandy maxes out at 85% equally on all cores and gpu maxed at 100% gpu load

    increasing gpu clocks would increase cpu load which is a good sign of fine tuning
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Despite the fact that these chips are so crappy, they will still outsell amd's cheaper alternative by a factor of at least 3 to 1. AMD could give you an A6-3650+FCH for the same price as a G850+chipset, and the G850 would still outsell it by 2:1. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I totally agree.
    Exactly like the Pentium 4 still surpassed the Athlon when it came out. Made no sense, but people still bought it.
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    There's more to it back then. Intel was using anti-competative practices to keep OEMs away from AMD. Now I think a huge part of AMDs problem is supply. Even now, there's a pretty nice mix of AMD and Intel products at B&M stores.

    That said, I totally loathe Intel's CPU marketing. You have to do in depth research on their products because features are randomly disabled down the product line. There's no good reason for it, and it just goes to show what Intel would sell you if there was no AMD.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Just look at the gaming benchmarks - the "crappy" G850 is at the top of the chart, the a6-3650 is 2/3rds to the bottom.
    The difference in G850 winning frame rates over a6-3650 is a gigantic super-win when it comes to evaluating video cards, so why does your prediction surprise you ? Why scowl and moan about it, amd loses and should sell less.

    Do you want to buy a new motherboard, a new amd APU, get all fired up, drop your $500, then have some crappy Intel cpu with a $50 video card spank the ever loving daylights out of your brand new amd rockin' system ?
    You probably don't, but that's what will happen. So you go buy a new smokin' video card to catch up - and the "crappy" G850 system slams you into the dirt, anyway !

    Two years later, as you moan for amd driver patchings that don't break and fail other things while not really fixing anything except 2 fps in a game you used to play but don't anymore because your crappy amd APU can't keep the frames very high, you spend your upgrade money on depression meds...

    The Intel G850 person upgrades to the then $99 2500K, overclocks it to 4400 on stock volts, and DOUBLES their frame rate. They show.... and you ... well... it's been good knowing you...

    See- that's why 2X the sales really isn't enough. Should be 10X the sales of the amd apu.

    Amd= locked into CRAP a6-3650 failure forever

    Intel= massive G850 upgrade path on the cheap years down the road.
  • alent1234 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    3 year old intel GMA 950 graphics cards will accelerate flash as well Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Correct. Just like any GPU integrated in older north bridges. I think I am missing your point. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Don't you feel like an idiot now yankeeDDL ? The crappy as heck amd APU and it's debilitated motherboard END OF LIFE is already toast.

    If you would have been smart instead of an amd fan with no sense, you would have supported the 850 and said " I can save literaly hundred$ a year or two down the road with a massive cpu upgrade, while amd will leave me and my crap single use cpu in the dirt dung of lonely and slow forever...

    It's nice to see how these amd fan predictions work out - as in "epic fail".
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It is not aimed at YOU at all. Lenovo, Dell, HP and others LOVE to sell these to the corporate world. The chart that matters most is that power consumption number. The will stick these in their ultra-low end "workstation" and sell millions of them.

    There is a huge number of computer users who need nothing more than a dumb terminal. And these are that. Intel can produce the quantity at a price point that AMD simply cannot offer for this kind of market.
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Well, probably NOT HP.... Reply
  • stimudent - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    ...and who the hell has a desktop computer anymore??! Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    People who visit AT are the last holdouts of the desktop PC generation. Reply
  • philosofool - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Businesses and schools. Or, about half the market for computers. Reply
  • alent1234 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    last year i bought a $299 laptop as a gift for someone. it's more than enough for that person.

    i actually wanted to buy them an ipad but my wife said laptop
  • Yowen - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Yeah, for personal use that's fine, but I'd love to run it for the hours that I run my desktop at work and see how long it lasts. So there is still a very sizable market for desktops. Reply
  • averik - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I don't think so. We recently bought 24 G620 Pentiums to replace socket 478 Pentium 4s in 2 highschools.
    The CPU market for doing "basic staff" is quite large, and its impressive that G620 is almost as powerful as the Core 2 E8500 which had a release price of $266.
  • philosofool - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link


    This review is naturally targeted at the single user building his own system.

    If you're a public library or a high school or a medium sized office looking to upgrade 20 computers that are running 9am to 9pm daily, a 35W pentium destroys the competition. A 100W anything is a waste of money because the extra 1300W power consumption bites would cost you quite a lot of money in electricity. The power company charges a lot more when you're consuming a lot of power (like a business) than when you're consuming a little (like a home.)
  • yankeeDDL - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    Guys, please, let't be serious.
    You cannot possibly do considerations on power consumption by looking at a chart showing the power under load, do you?
    If you do, then you should have bought Atoms: at 9W they're for sure much better than any Athlon and G*.
    So why didn't you buy an Atom instead? Exactly, because it's slow.
    What good does it make to use less power, if it takes you longer to do the same thing?
    The G620, under load, consumes about 55% of the Athlon X3, but the Athlon takes 60% of the time that the G620 takes to do the same task (I'm looking at the x264 charts). So the difference between these two, under load, is anecdotal, at best.

    So, I'm sorry for your highschools, but you did not save them much money in electricity. Infact, considering how more expensive the MoBos for SB are, you probably ended up making them pay more.
  • averik - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Cost of Athlon X3 + cheap Asus mboard = Cost of G620 + cheap Asus H61 mboard (about 125 Euros).

    Athlon X3 is a great CPU and in fact I use one at work. But most of the time CPUs are idle. We dont do any x264 work. In fact, i believe the typical hardest daily job of a CPU is to startup windows, antivirus etc.

    In the low badget market you cannot go awfully wrong, so even Athlon X2 is a good choice, but AMDs line is aged. Pentium G*s on the other hand offer comperable performance at same price on a newer platform.
  • yankeeDDL - Friday, September 02, 2011 - link

    respectfully, I disagree.
    From Newegg: Biostar N68S = $40, Ath II X3 440 = $65
    Biostar H61ML = $50 G620 = $75
    Delta: $20 (out of $105, it's ~20%).
    Note: the MoBos are the cheapest I found. The one for AMD also has onboard Video, saving you a few extra bucks if you don't do gaming.

    If you are an extremely "light" user (email + web browsing), then neither the G620 or the Athlon X3 make much sense: Brazos (either the E-350 or the C-50) make a lot more sense, since their power consumption is abismal compared to the other two, and they pack plenty of speed for those tasks. Plus, the on-chip GPU accelerates web content nicely.

    If you add to the mix some casual gaming, Brazos can even handle it, but it won't compare with either the Athlon of the G620. If you trust Tom's hardware, you can see that they recommend the X3 easily, because of the 3rd core, which helps in several scenario, despite the lower efficiency over the 2 cores of the G620.

    I can imagine only some very, very specific scenarios (very limited budget, low PSU capacity, occasional gaming, lots of encryption) where the G620 has a slight edge over the X3, but that's far from average Joe budget PC.
    You're totally right about not going "awfully" wrong with the G620, nevertheless, you do pay the "Intel" brand price over a slightly less performing CPU.
    You're also right about AMD line being aged, but again, if you are looking at G620, you are looking into budget-oriented systems: not something you change every other day, so what is wrong wit being aged? In my view, you can find tons of good combo deals, and maybe even used parts, which could dramatically drop your costs.
    Also, Intel isn't exactly famous for keeping things compatible: it wouldn't be the 1st time that the socket gets quickly outdated (was it really necessary to have a socket 1156 and an 1155?), while AMD's socket gets you covered up to the Phenom II X4, for a dirt-cheap bump in performance.

    That's the way I see it at least. I would love to see the prices of the G620 going below $50: that would be a real deal (and I'm sure would push AMD's prices even lower). Till that happens, for budget, I buy AMD, which gives the best bangs for the bucks.
  • averik - Sunday, September 04, 2011 - link

    yankeeDDL, I agree with many of your points (especially changing sockets). Please note however that best prices or used items are not an option for some buyers.

    The scenario is extremely light use (email, web browsing, ms office, thin-client intranet applications, light educational applications), but the investment has to last for 5-10 years (we are replacing P4s - I know its a shame). I am not sure how heavily threaded the environment will be in then. If it is, then yes, Athlon X3 will perform a bit better. If not, then G620 having better single-thread performance will be better. Both will be old though.

    I also found the case of E350 very interesting - to replace bulkier equipment with ITX motherboards and small cases - so I built one for home and use it daily. My conclusion is something like Brazos will be a good mid-term investment for basic office use if (1) they get 50% better CPU power (graphics are ok) and (2) availability of PSUs for ITX cases gets better - I mean it should be as trivial to find a replacement as a regular PSU is. But sure, thats the way of things to come.

    As for G620 going below $50, I dont have high hopes. Maybe the cheapest Bulldozers (when they appear) will force Intel to do that - but why go for G620 then?

    I really liked reading your comments.
  • yankeeDDL - Monday, September 05, 2011 - link

    Averik, positive exchange of opinion and ideas is always nice, I think :)
    I wrote another comment a few pages down about comparing power consumption.
    It is very difficult to compare power consumption based on the data above, however, a "quick and dirty" comparison can be done using the data from the graphs of the H264 decoding and the power under load.
    You can see that the G620 uses 55% of the power of the X3, but the X3 takes 60% of the time to do the compression.
    What this means is that under load, the G620 consumes less, but the X3 goes back idle much faster than the G620. Of course, this is one specific scenario: in general, it's clear that the G620 is more efficient, but also slower.
    Considering the type of applications you indicate, I think the amount of time when the system will be at max power will be extremely low, compared to the idle time.
    Unfortunately Anand did not compare the idle power consumption between these CPUs.
    This page compares system level power consumption of both the X3 and the G620 ( and shows again the X3 on top. In the comment you see that with other MoBos the G620 idle power can be shaver a little and be made, at best, the same.
    So I stand by my position: the G620 offers no advantage over the Athlon X3, and this includes power consumption considerations (at system level, which is what matters). Considering the price difference and the 3rd core, I would not consider the low-end sandy bridge for my budget PCs.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Exactly, and that newer platform has a gigantic upgrade path years from now while the amd system has jack nothing.

    When the company wants to throw the systems away, all the employees will want one because they can drop a 2500K in it for the $50 it will cost then, and have a freaking screamer of system again. Or one of the new IB's.

    The amd boards won't make it in tact to the trash bin. No one will want them.
  • TypeS - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    Brand recognition, plain and simple. That is why Intel releases these chips and why they will sell. Agree with the ways Intel has grown in the last 2 decades, they have the market leader spot and will use it. Intel was the company that created the x86 design and AMD would be nothing today without it's tech and government forcing cross-licensing agreements down Intel's throat.

    Remember the percentage of us that actually read these reviews, go to these websites and know that actual statistics of all the various PC components is pretty small compared to the size of the consumer market. People usually walk into a Best Buy (or other big box store) and see two things to base their decisions on, brand and price.

    You see the same with cars. People buy the ridiculously overpriced german, italian and bristish "luxury" cars when the same quality can be found in premium Japanese cars and some luxury American models. It's brand recognition. Who wins in performance charts means little in the end.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    A few year down the line in hoes the IB or 2500K or 2600K and suddenly the piece of crap is a MONSTER.

    The amd board - stomp it. It loses, screw any upgrade.

    Oh look at that... only a freaking fool would buy the amd rig now.
  • JD_Mortal - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Because 90% of computer users only do "basic stuff" with thier computers.

    Because, AC is more expensive than heat.

    Because having 2000 computers that constantly draw 95Watts at idle, and not being used, is more expensive to operate for four years, than 2000 running at 23Watts at idle.

    Because "We" (the people buying them, who are the majority of sales), keep asking for it. Thus, fueling the few sales and development of YOUR overpriced and over powered (wattage-power), making them within your actual budget. (Without OUR sales, YOUR chips would still be on 65nm, and cost $1000 per CPU. Oh, you are welcome BTW.)
  • algida79 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand. I think that the phrasing under the x264 comparison charts:

    "Without Quick Sync, the Pentiums have to rely on raw CPU power for video encoding performance."

    is a bit misleading. It implies that the presence of QuickSync would benefit the Pentiums' performance in x264 encoding, which is not the case.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Very true - fixed :)

    Take care,
  • Arnulf - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    How about that par2 test, is it true that the lower clock A6-3650 is faster at this one than A8-3850 ? Reply
  • ckryan - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    But I don't think the celeron line deserves to continue.

    These Pentiums aren't unattractive neccessarily. If you think about it, they're faster than a comparable i3-5xx series, have better IGPs and use less power. You can't over clock them, nor can they hyperthread, but they're not useless. The celeron line refresh is a different story -- though I suppose you could say the 1155 celerons are the best ever... not that it's saying much. I have a spare 1155 H67 board laying around that could be inexpensively outfitted with a Pentium for not much cash, but the question remains whether the Athlon II X3 it would replace would be better served by retirement. The answer is probably no -- it's not worth the $78 for a lateral move. If you're building a budget system from scratch you'll probably need to decide whether a super cheap H61 board and a Pentium is a good investment, and I think most people would be better served with an Athlon II system if you can't fit Llano or a H67/z68 i3 setup into your budget. But if you're in the market, a G620/H61/4GB DDR3/Rosewill Case and PSU combo is less than $200 at Newegg. So I'd say buy whatever is on sale. Add $120 for a cheap SSD and DVD burner and you have a system that could do everything but game, or choose to get a entry level GPU like the 6600 series and you could game pretty well for such a modest system.
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    The problem with your thinking is after some time one can drop a 2500K SB in the dirt cheap pentium board and be miles ahead of any amd setup, which cannot and will not do the same thing.

    So if you go amd you've screwed yourself forever.
  • dingetje - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    AMD Athlon II X3 455 = 80 bucks
    Intel G620 = 78 bucks

    nuff said
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    You can overclock the AMD processor, though. You can get an Athlon X2 560 black edition, plus a motherboard for $89 at Microcenter (and the last one I bought unlocked to 4 cores). The Phenom II processors can often be had for low prices - they should have included at least one Phenom II in the benchmarks. Reply
  • dingetje - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    lol, with nuff said i meant:
    they are priced the same and with 3 overclockable cores the AMD is way better deal
  • ET - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    As you can see, it's apparently not obvious that's the better deal. I agree the AMD is better for enthusiasts. It's worse for people who care about power consumption, and it will be worse for gaming (though perhaps not significantly so if you use an inexpensive GPU). Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    ET, there's a "Best gaming CPU for the money" article on Tom's hardware: go and see that every CPU up to the Core i5 2400 is AMD.
    This translates into: if you are into gaming on a budget, there's only one choice.
    I agree on your comment on power efficiency: Intel is unrivaled and if your highest priority is power consumption, then the Pentiums are unbeatable.
    Of course, the differences measured, are completely irrelevant in a home environment: it may make a difference of $3, $4 in one year, if even. The only place this would really matter to the point that it could be a priority, is for large enterprises. Then again, this is not the entry-level PC for Mr Joe Average.

    It is absolutely normal for Intel to use its brand name to charge more, for inferior products. I'm sure AMD would do the same if could. This doesn't change the fact though that if you're after getting the most for your hard earned $$$, if you're after the best price/performance ratio, you cannot possibly choose Intel.
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I think you had better re-read that chart, yankee, or look at toms today and see the new chart. Intel is well represented all the way to the lowest level:

    85.00: Athlon II x3 455
    100.00: Tie, Phenom II x4 840, Pentium G850
    125.00: i3 2100
    190.00: i5 2400
    220.00: i5 2500K
    325.00: i7 2600K

    I didnt include an "honorable mention" because the article is "best for the money" but at 120.00 AMD did have an honorable mention for one of the quad core phenoms.

    But if you only look at the clear winning categories 125.00 and under, AMD has 2 and intel has 2.

    above 125.00 it is all intel. So if you are gaming on a budget, you do have a choice. Intel is tied or ahead except at the very lowest price point.
  • yankeeDDL - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Hi Frozentundr,
    I have read the article very well and what you wrote confirms this exactly: like I said, if you're looking for gaming on a budget, you look at the cheapest CPUs that give you the best "bang" for the bucks.
    If you read the comment about the G850: "However, it only offers half of the execution cores as AMD's alternative, and it doesn't even have the Hyper-Threading technology needed to logically address four threads".
    Translated: you save on power, but the G850 can be set to choke much easier than a Phenom II X4. I hope you would agree.
    You're right about the Core i3: I skipped it when posting my note, but the conclusion totally stands: the lowest priced gaming CPU worth recommending, are AMD.
    The Core i3 is an option indeed if you're willing to spend some more on CPU, motherboard, and forsake overclocking as well, but we are already talking about a CPU more than 50% more costly than the Athlon II X3, so calling it "entry level" would be a bit of a stretch.
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    All I was saying is that your original statement was not correct. Intel does have processers listed in the lower end. Now it seems you are changing the conditions of the argument to make your point. You are talking about only the "absolute lowest" price. And as every AMD fan eventually brings up, you can get more cores.

    Personally, I would even agree with you that I probably would prefer a quad core AMD to a Pentium for sure, maybe even to the i3 2100. But that is not the point. The point is that Intel does have competitive processors in the low end, based on what Tom's said, not on my evaluation.

    And I would consider the difference between an 80.00 and 125.00 processor not that significant. I mean, that is the price of one game, or one dinner out for a couple of people.

    Bottom line, I dont see how you can call intel processors "overpriced rubbish" based on Toms article. And I am not an intel fan. My first real gaming was done on a single core Athlon XP 2600, but I am just getting tired of AMD continuing to push out CPUs using an outdated architecture.
  • ypsylon - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Well I want to build super-duper cheap m-ATX/ITX PC. That slowest of them,G620T, running at 2.2 GHz looks like a good deal. 35W is great when you look at modern CPUs. Perfect for small box which will do trivial task like recording audio tracks or downloading torrents through the night. All of that with min. power drain. And most important thing all of those Pentiums are not as useless as Atoms. What is nice in Atoms [and likes] is only power drain, but performance is highly insufficient even for many trivial jobs. I don't need OC, well to be honest I would love to see VT-d, but heck you can always install XP (it still alive and kicking, and I couldn't care less about M$ propaganda) only or Linux!

    One thing which I'm not too sure about is the testing procedure. Those CPUs are not targeted at gaming or video editing.
  • Captmorgan09 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I built up a WHS box running a G620T along with 4GB of RAM and 4 1.5TB WD black edition drives in RAID 5. It's not the speediest machine in the block but it runs cool and does the job. The only issue I had was the asus board I bought didn't support the G620T out of the box. Had to take the board to work and use an i5 so that I could boot and update the BIOS. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    If you want to use a "super duper" cheap PC you use Llano, not a Pentium. Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    What's apparent from your response is that Llano can beat a Pentium only when you make sure to ignore the requirements and instead stick to a couple of words without true meaning. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    The details of the "super duper" were in the post I replied to, which I was obviously referring to.
    I intentionally put "super duper" in quotes, as it seemed a rather inefficient way to convey its message.
    I stick to what I said though: if you need a small system with some power to get your everyday job done, you should look for something that gives you the best value for your bucks, as well as the lowest acceptable level of performance.

    Hey, we're reviewing the Pentium family here: anybody interested in gaming machines, or high-performance PCs, should look elsewhere.
    If you look at Pentium, is because you seek entry level, unpretentious performance.
    And my point is that Llano is a much better alternative than the Pentiums in these areas: they have slightly less performing CPU cores, much better GPU (which, let's not forget, helps an awful lot in web browsing, Flash acceleration) and all for a similar price.
  • jabber - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    The issue I find when trying to build a budget Intel box over a budget AMD box is not so much the CPUs (though often I find the Intel chip will come in around £15 more) but the motherboards.

    I can get a decent Gigabyte motherboard for the AMD chip with USB3.0/eSATA/HDMI/Firewire/optical out etc.

    The same cost Intel board will still have serial and parallel ports and maybe 4 USB2.0 ports and thats pretty much it.

    Intel at the budget end just isnt attractive or value for money. Oh it might be a bit faster but Joe Customer doesnt notice that.

    Intel - Nice CPUS, shame about the crappy motherboard choices.
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    From the moment that the 1st Athlon arrived, Intel stopped making sense for budget PCs.
    It is very clear today: Sandy Bridge is the undisputed champion of performance and efficiency, only clouded by a mediocre GPU, and yet, despite the significant architectural advantage, they compete with AMD's pricing by crippling their CPUs to the level where it makes no sense anymore.

    Unless you're an Intel fanboy/aficionado, like ET, it should be clear to you that the efficiency advantage of a dual core Pentium G620, over an Athlon II X3, are easily balanced by performance advantage (Tom's Hardware places the Athlon II X3 au-pair with the G850). When compared to the G850, you have higher cost, less flexibility, and 2 cores instead of 3. Quite frankly, I'm still waiting for a good benchmarking methodology, that shows how much CPU cores the various background programs (virus scanners, power management, instant messaging, live feeds, ...) take on a regular basis and what real-life impact do they have on a 2-core vs 3-or-more-core CPU.
  • seapeople - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I don't see why everyone is so negative about Intel "crippling" their CPUs to sell them at lower prices. Sure, Intel could just sell their 2600K for $100 and still make a profit, but that would basically drive AMD out of business and then our government would step in and then we would have Intel Company A and Intel Company B. Company B would buy the remnants of AMD and then we would have Intel and Pseudo-AMD Intel.

    How would that be better?
  • yankeeDDL - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    The fact is crippling their CPUs doesn't really save them any money, since the silicon is very likely exactly the same.
    The gripe, at least from my side, is that you need a degree to figure out what does what.
    And yes, Intel has enough money to throw AMD out of business any time they want to, which is also why it bothers me that people try to look for value in low-performance, crippled Intel units, when they have better solutions on AMD's front: if you don't find this info on specialized, semi-professional websites like Anandtech, then where can you?

    Let's not forget what was happening with Pentium II and Pentium 4 back then when Intel had, basically, no competition. I am convinced that we have Sandy Bridge today (which is a fantastic piece of technology), only thanks to the kick in the balls that AMD gave Intel with the Athlon back in the days.
    I hope history repeats itself with Bulldozer: it is only going to do all of us customers, good.
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    For all you know without AMD sucking dry the world's resources and crapping up everything with endless complaints, lawsuits, appeals to world courts and the EU, spending hundreds of millions fragmenting the PC space and wasting dies on crap, we'd have INTEL CPU's at twice and thrice the speed they are now.

    Instead Intel has had to spend vast resources coddling the crybaby amd and billions in court, constant engineers to help the crybaby loser company do x86 compatibly, and on and on.

    AMD is much more likely a SCOURGE to progress and innovation - and now after sucking the world dry, they are still worse than broke.
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    It is clear that NONE of you people have clue one what Intel makes on any cpu.

    The saddest of issues is amd LOSES MONEY on everything they make.

    Now, since every one of you Intel haterz tells us amd is such a good deal, isn't it YOU who need to change ? Aren't you people the real problem ?

    AMD should charge more, and all you amd fanboys SHOULD BUY IT when it is no better a deal than any Intel - then we could have TWO competitors, one of which is no longer losing it's shirt.

    Instead I'm sure you'll keep demanding amd strip their prices ever lower, THEN THEY WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS - and you'll blame Intel, or the government, but NEVER you, never yourselves, never the REAL PROBLEM.
  • yo2020 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It would be great if we have a chart for Power Consumption without discrete GPU. Reply
  • yo2020 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    for both idle and load. :D Reply
  • Havor - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    For anyone that wants to build a low power system, dont look for a 620T or 2100T, they will only cost you actually more money and save's you almost no energy or even cost you extra if you do heavy loads like encoding.

    After looking up a lot of sites and comparing idle loads i made the following list, and radical changed the dissension on what CPU to use for my server.

    CPU (total system use) Idle/Load
    E-350 26W /38W
    Pentium G620 Undervolt @ 0.9GHz 31W/43W
    Pentium G620 31W /60W
    Pentium G840 31W /60W
    Pentium G850 32W /65W
    Core i3 2100 33W /69W
    Athlon X2 240e 34W/84W
    i3 2120 33W /84W
    i5 2400 34W /99W
    i5 2500K 34W /110W
    i7 2600K 35W /125W
    i7-2600K (4.85GHz) 39W/190W

    The idle difference between a G620T and a i7 2600K is only 4 watts, and yes under load the 2600K uses 2x the amount of watts, but at the same time it also dose 4x the amount of work, so with the "instruction per watt" (IPW) you are better of with a 2500K/2600K

    So now I turn my main system of when i dont need it, and let my server that's 24/7 on anyway, do all the work.

    So if a system is needed that needs to do heavy CPU work like encoding, but you still want a energy lean machine, a fast CPU could not be suds a bad idea after all.

    Just something to think about ;-)
  • Marlin1975 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    These are well suited for HTPC but you did not compare them in that regard?

    Very few care about synthetic benchmarks, test these for real world uses like HTPC where many are looking to use low-end cpus like these.
    Also you can still overclock the intel cpus just not much. Why not overclock the A6/A8 and the intel chips to compare as well?
  • dubyadubya - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Seems everyone has forgotten about 64 bit programs. There is zero mention of 64 bit programs in most reviews on the net. Testing using mainly 32 bit programs and not stating which programs are 32/64 bit give the impression that Intel's SB is way faster than AMD's offerings. AMD offerings perform much better running 64 bit code than Intel's SB so lets see some multi-threaded 64 bit testing. Reply
  • Traciatim - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Benchmark links? Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    You're going to have to back that up. Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Either you're saying that AMD's CPUs perform better in 64-bit mode than 32-bit mode, or that AMD's CPUs are better at x86-84 than Sandy Bridge. Regardless, as stated, you'll need to provide some evidence to back this up. Reply
  • AngryMonkeyMob - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    While it is true that AMD can keep competitive on price/performance, when it comes to power consumption AMD gets it the hot bullets of shotgun when compared to Intels baked goods. That matters to some people ( it does to me ). I'd use this in a tiny ITX machine with something like this

    ...But I'd imagine that makes me a minority around here :)
  • Death666Angel - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    If you do something that specific, surely you know how to undervolt a CPU? :-) AMDs Llano can be undervolted quite heavily as far as I know and the 65W TDP chips (A8-3800 and A6-3600 afaik) will already perform much more energy conscious out of the box. :-) Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Since you quibble on 5 or 20 bucks when it comes to a crap apu, and spend minimum $124.00+ on a tiny computer case, yes, I'd say, God Willing, you are in the minority around here, but I fear, that you definitely are not.

    Oh the irony
  • iwod - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    The sad thing is AMD is still using a CPU core then is two generation behind Intel. We will have to wait for Bulldozer + updated GPU for a decent low end CPU.

    However by the time Intel would have either Ivy or Haswell ready.

    AMD you need to work harder.
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    iwod, you may have waited, and achieved: massive, epic failure, amd style...

    Since amd still has to be sold with endless lies, everyone knows the answer that few are willing to admit.

    I congratule on amd lying about bulldozer transistor count, fanning their fanboys to the outer limits of worshipful surrender.
  • Targon - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Now that Firefox and IE9 support GPU acceleration, adding these to the CPU benchmarks SHOULD be seen as fairly important when talking about low to mid range processors/GPUs. I suspect that if running Firefox 6 with Flash(due to banner advertisements and such), you might see some interesting results on a per-core basis between the AMD A6 and Intel Pentium chips reviewed here. Reply
  • fuzzymath10 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I'm pretty sure you need only DX10 for that. My laptop's x3100 IGP from 2008 supports h/w rendering because the driver is DX10. Flash video decoding is more restricted, but it's possible the new Intel IGPs will work since they have DXVA decoding of h.264. Reply
  • Targon - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    The GPU acceleration obviously will be better with a faster GPU in browsers and Flash, and that helps level the playing field in this case. I would like to see how much it levels the playing field. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    If you have a good benchmark for measuring performance in IE9 and FF6, I'd love to hear it. Sure, I can open up a Flash video, but on any modern GPU (including Arrandale's IGP), it's not a problem. Even GMA 4500MHD could handle Flash video content with the latest drivers (helped by the CPU of course).

    The problem is coming up with a meaningful benchmark with browsers. Are we supposed to look at CPU usage while watching a video, or power usage? Do we go to some weird web page benchmark that stresses the GPU accelerated portions of the browser, even though 99% of web sites look like our site and don't benefit? I've got from Firefox 1 through 6, most versions of Chrome, every major Internet Explorer release, and I've even dabbled with Safari (sucks on Windows!) and Opera. Unless you're playing Flash games, I haven't ever felt that any of the browsers was "too slow"; mostly I stuck with FF for the extensions, but I've moved to Chrome now. Both still run fine whether I'm on IGP or dGPU.

    I guess my point is, sure, you can create a browser test that stresses GPUs/CPUs to the point where it's a benchmark, but is it actually useful data? If a web site is putting a 100% load on your CPU, GPU, or both, it's a poorly designed site for normal use.
  • knedle - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I have bought few months ago 620T, compared to AMD I was previously using, power consumption is much smaller, same goes for noise, I can't hear it with stock cooling.
    My whole computer with high quality PSU, 3 HHDs (all power saving), a DVD and some basic ASUS motherboard takes only 60W in stress, and for things I do with this computer, it's far more superior than AMD.
    I should mention, that I use my computer as server for backups of my customers servers, so I need high IO rate without any bottlenecks, and AMD always gave me problems with that. For example, AMD had problems while I wanted to watch a movie, while 2 servers were sendbing backups to my computer and saving it to LVM on software RAID array.
  • koan00 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    On page 3, the link to "Bench" is broken in the second sentence

    Also, the hardware setup lists a Corsair drive for the Hard Disk, but then 2 paragraphs down references the Intel XM25-M ?
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    The Bench link looks fine here. What are you seeing? Reply
  • koan00 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It initially linked to " but it appears to be correct now. Thanks. Reply
  • blazeoptimus - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I realize that this mostly focuses on desktop parts, but in the mobile space, the e-350 tends to go head to head with a B940, (which is a slower version of the G620T). Something most stores (ala BestBuy) will say is that if you want graphics performance, go with the e-350 based laptop, and if you want cpu power, go with the B940 laptop. I suspect, that other than HTPC specific tasks, the B940 is a generally superior option. Reply
  • flipmode - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    article quote:
    None of the Pentiums support AES-NI or VT-d.

    Wait, wait, wait - so does that mean that you can't run Windows XP Mode or just that it will have fairly crummy performance?

    Either way, that's a deal breaker for me.
  • elevants - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    They don't support Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)
    They all do support VT-x. And XP mode runs fine.
    Besides XP mode runs without VT-x as well.

    For VT-d you need platform support anyway.
    So no deal breaking here. :)

    More info:
  • kallogan - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    The power consumption graphic is weird, we can see that the core i3 2100 is consuming more juice tha the core i3 540 when loaded. But i have an itx core i3 2100 setup and it consumes only 59W when loaded ( 4GB ram/corsair F60 + 2,5" 320GB seagate 7200tr). My previous itx setup with a core i3 530 was consuming 77W when loaded. So i'm not sure about your results. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I think it would have been nice to have the AMD Phenom II X4 840 (3.2GHz) thrown into this crowd. Its still in production. It sells for $100 on Newegg.

    And Texas Microcenter, they've been selling it for $50 (with purchase of a motherboard $80+). For $50, its a steal compared to these chips.

    Wish the A8 & A6 CPUs were cheaper... the A6-3650 should be a $99 CPU, tops.
  • kallogan - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    the AMD Phenom II X4 840 is nothing more than an athlon II X4, it doesn't have any L3 cache. It's a name scam. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Amd's massive rebranding, far worse than the one that always gets blamed for rebranding.

    When will amd fans face the truth ?
  • Malih - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I'm thinking of possible inclusion of system value comparison on this type of CPU tests, you can't possibly think about buying just the CPU nowadays right, you can't do anything with just CPU.

    I mean which one of the systems built using any of these CPUs would offer more features (eSATA, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 Audio, VT-D, SSE, Solid Capacitor, DXVA and so on) at the same price point.
  • Arnulf - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    This obviously depends on the motherboard you decide upon and with the range of chocies avaliable you can get just about anything you can think of for either platform (FM1 or LGA1155). Reply
  • racingpht - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    There must be some problem with Crysis:Warhead benchmark. Why is1680x1050 faster than 1024x768? Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Isnt the clockspeed of the i3 2100 3.1ghz??

    It is listed in the chart as 2.93 or something like that, less than 3.0 anyway.
  • zero2dash - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry, I don't know how you can mention SNB Pentium being devoid of HT AND having lower clocks, but then continue on in the same sentence that they're "very similar" to i3.

    That makes no sense at all. The only way they are "very similar" is if you lower the bclk and turn off HT in the bios and then bench them against each other.

    That's like saying a Chevy is just like a Cadillac with cheaper doors, wheels, and less than half of the horsepower and resale value.
  • erickdingess - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    I'm looking to upgrade and was wondering how the two compare. I don't do a lot of gaming on my PC but I don't want a slower GPU. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Kind of off topic, but from looking at the graphics card heirarchy on Tom's Hardware, looks like the 9600GT is quite a bit faster, even though it is very old now. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    It does bring dx11 and lower power consumption though.

    An A8-3850 is about 75 to 90% the speed of a ati hd5570. They have the same stream processors, but the 5570 has a 8% clock speed advantage. The times that the A8-3850 scores less than 90% of the ati hd5570 is when it is memory starved. There should be no times that the hd5570 should be scoring less than an A8-3850.

    The 9600gt is about 10 to 30% faster than a 5570. See here for 5570 vs 9600gt benchmarks.
  • erickdingess - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Thank you for the reply. Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    That is, until I have noticed the removal of any idle power data ... AMD would not loose terribly on power so those are apparently unanacceptable in Intel PR.

    Nice AT, keep up the good work!
  • Concillian - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    Low end processors were quite interesting when you could squeeze extra performance out of them.

    Now with locked everything, this stuff is boring.

    Intel has succeeded in eeking every dollar out of the low end, but I've spent less money on my computer this year than perhaps any yearr in the last decade as a result. Just so 'bleh' out there unless you're spending $400 on mobo + CPU, which is something I haven't done since the 386/486 days.

    I need a new hobby
  • ikeke1 - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    I was about to build a basic web box for my GF sister, almost about to go for i3-2100 - but at the last minute spotted the G620. So few minutes later i had ordered:

    Msi ITX H61I-E35 motherboard
    2x2GB 1333Mhz ddr3
    and a cheap ITX case

    All in all ~€150.

    Scavanged a 2,5" HDD from GFs dead laptop, had a spare DVD writer and Win7 HP x64 licence. Now shes got a SILENT and classy box :) The UPS is showing ~50W consumption with the crappy 300W PSU i have feeding it - so most likely with a brick-psu or efficient one it`ll draw 35-40`ish.

    The sister is most pleased - she was going to buy a last gen mac mini :D
  • superccs - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    This is clearly Intels attempt to dip into AMDs low end turf. Just like AMD attempted to counter the SB with the X6 line up. They are both only attempts. Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    It's not really a attempt, they have it all sewn up. Intel has dropped their prices and I don't see anywhere at all that amd can compete with the exception of someone that needs a six core for cheap. Everyone here is talking about unlocking cores and o/c and such. This is not the intended purpose of these nor is unlocking cores ever a sure thing. The new bar to hit is power consumption with acceptable performance. A g620 and h61 is perfect for a fileserver or htpc etc. I have always liked amd but they have even overpriced llano. The a8350 ought to be 100 bucks let alone the a6350. Their cpus use too much power, even the zacate. My buddy is building a new computer and doesn't care about overclocking. I told him to go with a h61 and i3 2100. It just makes more sense since he can upgrade to a i5 or i7 down the road. a x3 may be cheap but it's on a old platform. Intel has a much better sata driver also. Someone said above they never could find a decent intel motherboard for cheap. For 65 bucks, I can buy a h61 biostar board that has vga, dvi, and hdmi out, plus 2 usb 3.0 etc. This is even on a matx format. The only thing missing other than sata 6gb is usually firewire and esata but these are absent from alot of full size boards these days too. Firewire isn't used much anymore and esata can be had for 2 bucks and a backing plate with some wires. Reply
  • mino - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    AMD competes with Llano. And there was a reason Intel lowered prices - they now have to squeeze a GPU into a budget where AMD needs none. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    This is true to a certain extent, but I would also argue that for 90 percent of the users on the low end, especially if you dont game, the integrated graphics on the Pentium would be more than sufficient. Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    AMD competes and outstrips with Llano on the graphics front but not on price and not on cpu. No hardcore gamer is going to buy these chips. I still cannot understand the target marget on these Llano desktop parts? It's sure not for htpcs, because they don't need this much graphics power, and it's certainly not for hardcore gamers because it's not enough gpu and nowhere close to the cpu power they need. There is no compelling reason at all to pay 140 bucks for a a8350 instead of the i3 2100. Now I do see where Llano has it's place in the laptop market, but they need to get the power consumption down. Reply
  • mino - Sunday, August 28, 2011 - link

    i3 without a GPU is good for SuperPI. And that is about it.

    You may wanna look-up Steam statistics what most people play with.

    As for "but they need to get the power consumption down", I am just wondering what are you tlaking about when Llano has comparable idle and LOWER load consumption to Intel (without proper GPU!).

    Sure everybody should keep getting power down. But that claim of yours smell ignorance and/or PR warfare.
  • najames - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Do you have an idle power comparison test??? These would make a dandy server if they idle without taking much power. It would be nice to see IGP power, not using the normally tested large video card. Reply
  • azcoyote - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    To anyone disparaging these Intel Pentium chips, I challenge you to show me a way to build a newest architecture PC for around $200. I just bought a combo deal from NewEgg for like $239 that has 4GB, 500GB HDD, G620, MSI Mobo, Case, Power supply, Keys, Mouse, and speakers. When you need a PC for someone who does mostly Facebook and legacy games, that is pretty hard to beat. Gonna throw an old X1900 I have handy in there for them and call it good. Thrilled to see these available! Reply
  • ClagMaster - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link


    Thank you for comparing the Core 2 Duo E6850 and Q6600 in this article. One of my pet peeves is I upgrade every 3-4 years and its really hard to assess performance over these so-called legacy parts. I only upgrade if I get double the processor performance (PC 2005) of the processor to be replaced for the same price.

    I personally would go with the A8 for a HTPC or offline private PC because of its better graphic performance and hardware accelerated graphics converters.
  • najames - Saturday, August 27, 2011 - link

    I second that motion!! I still use a lot of older hardware and found it interesting to see it all listed too. Reply
  • rockfella79 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    I still don't feel i need to upgrade from my E5200 and 2 GB DDR2 hohoho. Reply

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