The Performance & Power Summary

I’ve added the Core i3 530 to our Bench database, if you want a full comparison of results head over there. What I’m providing here is a subset of our tests to show the 530’s strengths and weaknesses.

In every single non-gaming test, the Core i3 530 bests the Phenom II X2 550 BE. In our gaming benchmarks the 550 was faster in two out of our 8 benchmarks. In the rest, the i3 took the lead. The Core i3 530 also manages to outperform the Phenom II X2 550 BE while using significantly less power. In the battle of the dual-cores, the i3 wins. AMD needs to fight with clock speed at at 3.1GHz, the 550 can’t muster enough to beat the i3.

The Athlon II X4 630 comparison is a little more complicated. In single and lightly threaded applications, the i3 is a much better performer thanks to its higher clock speed. The i3's gaming performance is also significantly better across the board. What the Athlon II X4 loses in clock speed, it makes up for in core count. Things like video encoding and offline 3D rendering are almost always faster on the Athlon II X4 630.

Applications that are bound more by the performance of one or two threads are almost always faster on the Core i3 530. As a general purpose desktop microprocessor or a chip for a gaming rig, I’d opt for the Core i3 530. If you’re doing a lot of heavily threaded content creation, then the Athlon II X4 is the chip for you. If you’re somewhere in between, the choice is up to you. Our Photoshop test has the two processors very close to one another, but with the i3 taking the slight lead.

Power efficiency obviously goes to the Core i3 530 thanks to its 32nm transistors.

Index Integrated Graphics - Slower than AMD, Still Perfect for an HTPC
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  • a1623363 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Using the same Gigabyte motherboard and same core i3, I could overclock my graphics to 900 mhz only. I pushed to 950 Mhz, but this caused errors. Serious YMMV on overclocking above 900 Mhz, especially to 1200+ !

    Overall, I have to say I am happy with system performance, but very disappointed in the integrated graphics. Here Intel is barely able to match performance of ATI or NVidia from years ago. I have always had an integrated graphics machine, and simply chose to play games on lower settings, but now am having to buy a Radeon HD 4770 as the performance of Intel's solution doesn't allow you to play anything made in recent years. Not to mention that games like Mass Effect 2 don't support Intel or S3 chipsets, even when Intel HD Graphics are above the minimum system requirements in terms of performance.

    I am keeping my system, but if I was buying again today, knowing that the integrated graphics is sub-par, I would take a closer look at AMD plus a third party graphics card.
    Reply
  • partha77 - Thursday, March 04, 2010 - link

    Hi! As a novice in this field, i'ld like to know 3 things regarding intel core i3-530 vis-a-vis intel core 2 duo e7500 -> 1) which one delivers more performance in general? 2) which one has longer functional life span? 3) which one has more future upgradability? Reply
  • crochat - Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - link

    It is really strange to me that all reviews I've read about intel processors with integrated graphics always tested system with discrete graphic cards. I don't play games and don't see the use of spending money on a graphic card if an IGP can deliver what I need. I suppose graphic card may have an impact not only on idle power consumption figures, but also on load power consumption figures. I wonder how i3 530 IGP compares with athlon II X4 635 with e.g. 785g. Reply
  • slikazn09 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    4ghz sounds WHOO! But what temperature does it get up to when pushed to 4ghz? You thoughtfully quoted in yourr final word, about the options set out which is pretty helpful (and i like it:] ), but what about the heat when overclocked?! Reply
  • slikazn09 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    buying options* - correcting myself from last post. any help would be greatly appreciated :). should i buy a 3rd party cooler to ensure long term stability? Reply
  • piasabird - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    It seems comparing the processor to an E7500 to an I3 would be benneficial. Does the I3 really run faster than an E7500?

    Reply
  • ericore - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Hence double the speed.
    Simple math ladies and gents.
    Bandwidth is not a factor in this case.

    If you want to check it out for yourself google: intel ark
    Reply
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    The Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 board has just been posted on Newegg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - link

    TomsHardware had unveiled the awful 2D behavior of the most expensive nVidia and ATI card:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2d-windows-gdi...">http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2d-windows-gdi...

    They perform slower than integrated chipsets. Sometimes 10X slower.

    I would like to see the same benchmarks on this integrated video
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    This would make an excellent home/ small business server as well. Low idle power consumption, low price, integrated video, and virtualization all combine to make for an excellent platform for 5-10 users for file sharing, web based local apps, and minor SQL server duties.

    I just wonder how it compares to the new AMD chips that came out today in server performance.
    Reply

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