The Direct Competitor: Intel's Core i3-2105

When Intel launched Sandy Bridge the only way you could get the faster integrated graphics option (Intel HD 3000) on the desktop was to buy one of the more expensive K-series chips. The logic didn't make a ton of sense given that lower priced systems are usually the ones that depend on integrated graphics. In the weeks before Llano's arrival however, we met a new member of the Sandy Bridge family - the Core i3-2105:

The 2105 is virtually identical to the 2100 it augments. It's still a dual-core processor (HT enabled) with a 3MB L3 cache . There's no turbo boost and you still get all of the same checkbox features (e.g. Quick Sync, VT-x, no VT-d, no AES-NI, etc...). There are only two differences between these two parts. The i3-2105 has an Intel HD Graphics 3000 core vs 2000 in the 2100, and the 2105 is priced at $134 (one dollar cheaper than the A8-3850).

It's clear that this HD 3000 equipped Core i3-2105 is intended to compete directly with the A8-3850.

The Test

The CPU tests in this review use an identical configuration to everything else in Bench (4GB memory, Intel X25-M SSD, discrete GPU etc...). The table below is for the processor graphics comparisons. All Intel HD 3000 numbers were generated using the Core i3-2105.

All discrete GPUs use our standard GPU testbed (3.33GHz Nehalem). This does prevent our usual efforts to keep our testbeds identical, however with low-end GPUs the contamination should be minimal as we’re GPU bound and then some, rather than being CPU bound.

CPU: AMD A8-3850
Intel Core i3-2105
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68V-Pro (Intel Z68)
ASRock A75 Extreme6 (AMD A75)
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.2.0.1025
AMD Catalyst 8.862 RC1
Hard Disk: Corsair P256 SSD (256GB)
Memory: G.Skill DDR3-1866 2 x 4GB
Video Drivers: AMD Catalyst 8.862 RC1
Intel 2372
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
Introduction CPU Performance
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  • zac05 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    was waitting for this reviw very badily......

    probabily amd llano desktop version is just a beafed up amd apu mobile version, it has a clear winnig point on its mobile platform ( added advantage of batterylife and graphics performance for relatively lower price than the intel counter part )

    but for desktop its a mixed review....i think the bulldozer family apu..which is the real desktop apu variant must come into picture, for a face to face comparison with the intel counter part ...phew we have to wait another 4-5 months for that i guess.

    a8-3850 would be good for casula gamers....else i3 will provide more performance and lower tdp for others
    Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    -Thank you for the nice review, but would you add image quality (IQ) comparison as well? From what I found around the internet, Intel HD 2000/3000 still lacking competitive/comparable quality of the rendered images. So, it would be better to show what's the actual IQ the user will see even when the frame rate (FPS) looks like it's playable.

    Thanks again.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Yes, that is coming up in a separate review. Give me a couple of hours. Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    -Wow, what a quick reply, thanks!

    -Hmm, Anand said you're covering HTPC scenarios, right? So would that mean video (output) quality only? Or that will include 3D games as well?

    Regards.
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Thanks. very much looking forward to that t, being gaming or video. Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Seconded, a comparison of image quality would be nice. I'd also like to see 1024x768 dropped from testing, who runs that resolution? Looking at a couple of other reviews, the tests were done@ 1680x1050 with good frame rates on Llano. If a game has to be dropped down to 1024 to play then why bother, it's going to look ugly anyway. Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    -In my place, budget/value systems often bundle with second-hand 15" or 17" CRT (sometimes LCD too) to reduce the sale price. So, I think 1024x768 (and 1280x1024) resolutions are still relevant. :)

    Regards.
    Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    The third world is a dreadful place indeed...
    17 inches *shivers*
    Reply
  • ppeterka - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Hey, you dissin' me? My home rig is 17", my work rig is 2x17", and not gonna change soon. I don't want to. I enjoy life even at sub-HD resolutions too... Reply
  • L. - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Just kiddin', my laptop is 17" too ... 17" of eye-killing 1920*1200 madness.

    No reason to change, except you can get LED pannels for like 130 euros now .. and damn it's good for the movies.
    Reply

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